Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Rebecca's Purple Dress

Hello Everyone,

My sister told me today that a few people asked about her purple dress over on her blog. There are a few pictures in her post about our last event, Remembrance Day. I will include a few here just for clarification :)

Basically, she made the dress with my help and a friends. The skirt has four panels and is gauged to piping and the gathered bodice. We use the instructions from Elizabeth Stewart Clark's Dressmaker's Guide I think the question was more specifically about the sleeves though.

So, using the Dressmaker's Guide on slim sleeves (I can't say exactly how those are made because of copyright reasons so just use a close fitting sleeve pattern), I drafted those up as usual as a base. Once I had those cut out I started on the rectangle that is attached to the slim sleeve and gathered at the elbow and armscye. This sleeve is not for warm weather so keep that in mind :) So cut out your rectangle. The size doesn't matter that much as long as it is wider than your slim sleeve at the elbow and armscye and as long as you would like it. I do recommend cutting these pieces on the bias as the slim sleeve will be easier to wear and the rectangle on top will drape better. Now, all I did was gather the top and bottom edge of the rectangle and lay the rectangle right sides together on top of the slim sleeve. Lay it so that the bottom of the rectangle is where you want it to be attached near the elbow. You might have to measure a bit. Now sew straight across below the gathering stitches, flip it up and baste the top of the rectangle to to the top of the slim sleeve. Turn the complete sleeve right sides together to sew the under arm seam. Hem the cuff edge and then you set it like you would any other sleeve. I hope this helps some! Let me know if you all have any more questions or if I can make this clearer :)


Bethany Lynn


  1. Ooh, thanks for sharing how those sleeves are made, Bethany! I'm so glad I have the Dressmaker's Guide. :D

  2. Your welcome! I am gald I could be of some help :) I love my Dressmaker's Guide! The new edition is on my wish list :)

  3. Thanks so much for posting these instructions! I LOVE how this sleeve style looks. I've made the short puff but never the long puff like you did on these sleeves. I tried to make a bigger puff on top of a slim sleeve today but I didn't cut the puff portion on the bias so you are right, it doesn't drape as well. :( I'll have to try using a rectangle next time. I think I'm making it harder for myself since I slice and expand the top portion of the slim sleeve to make a new ,huge, sleeve top pattern piece that I then gather and sew down. A rectangle, cut on the bias, would just be SO much easier!

  4. I haven't tried slicing and spreading the top of a slim sleeve but it is a good idea! Carolann Schmitt recommended this to me so that is what i went with. The puff on Becca's sleeve isn't on the bias but I think it would look better if it was. If it has enough fullness and length gravity will do the rest :) Sometimes too much though....