Saturday, September 16, 2023

Pleated and Puffed Sleeves

Back in January of 2022, I was a tester for the Lily Dress from Daria Patternmaking.  I didn't get many photos of the construction process because there was a quick turn around for completing the pattern and communicating feedback to the designer, and I was doing most of the sewing on this project at night when the lighting was not great.  (I mostly blame the crummy lighting and lack of daylight hours.)

I loved this design as soon as I saw it and was excited to be a part of the testing process.  I did make a few alterations to the pattern.  First, the skirt was a bit short for my taste, so I added 2.5" to the length.  I will note that the only reason that I was able to fit the rather wide front skirt piece on my fabric is that I was using a sheet set (this print may look familiar as I recently made a blouse from it!).  If I was to make this using a standard width fabric, I would probably add a center front seam to that front skirt piece so that I could lengthen the skirt, perhaps an inch or two more than I did on this version.

I also added sew-in cups to the bodice since the rather wide-set shoulders were going to make finding an appropriate bra somewhat challenging.

It's a quick alteration that involves tacking the cups to the lining fabric and proceeding with the rest of the construction as directed.

Besides the lovely pleated bodice, the other design detail that caught my attention was the sleeves.  The exaggerated puffs are made by pleating the excess into the armscye instead of the standard gathering option.  This is a technique that is commonly seen in 1940s designs, but I rarely see it being used in contemporary fashion.  Now if only more basque waist styles get released as new designs, I would be quite pleased!

I definitely enjoyed making this design and should pull the dress out to wear again before it gets too cold for a lightweight cotton dress.

And one more thing I should mention . . . this pattern calls for the use of a ribbon to hold the wide-set shoulders in place.  I didn't have any suitable ribbon stashed away, so I just made my ties out of self-fabric.

Overall, I definitely like the way this turned out and would not be adverse to making another version in a solid colored, slightly more heavy weighted fabric for a cool weather version.  I'll just add that to the list of projects that I would like to get around to at some point!


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