Valient Viewers of Braver Homes and Gardens

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Lady Grey part 2

Back with the Lady Grey sew along.  Last time, I stopped short of putting the sleeves in.  I prefer one piece sleeves because I find them easier to set in.  But this pattern features a two part sleeve.  I started by sewing together the top and bottom of the sleeve.  Because I only paper pieced the sleeves before cutting the fabric, I wanted to try on the sleeve first before I connect it to the body just to double check the fit in the bicep - my problem area.

As you can see, I'm wearing the same shirt I wore last time.  I'm doing that because this shirt has a typical weight of clothing I wear in spring/fall and  I want to to ensure a consistent fit as I go along.  Hmm....there's (thankfully!) enough room in the bicep area.  But I'm a bit concerned that my sleeve pokes out of the bottom.  The pattern is described as having a 3/4 sleeve...but I just had getting a draft up the arm.  Hopefully it will fit better once it's attached - otherwise, I may need to consider modifying the length.

My biggest challenge with sleeves is getting a nice, smooth shoulder.  When the sleeve isn't set in right, there tend to be puckers up at the shoulder.  The result is either an amateurish looking piece or the poufy little girl shouldered look.  Neither of which I want. 

Taking advantage of this jacket's current status as a muslin, I decided to experiment with two different sleeve methods.  I used blue thread on one sleeve, maroon on the other so I could remember which method I used on each. 

For the first method, I started by basting in only the top three inches or so of the shoulder seam.  This will guarantee that the top is pucker free.  (Once I was done setting in the sleeve, I noticed a pucker at my high bust.  Now I know I need to sew from my high bust and *then* over the shoulder by about two inches so there's no puckers at the bust).

Once I did this, I then sewed the side seam of the body.
Then I went and pinned the rest of the sleeve into the armscye.

Drat!  The area in between the yellow headed pins reveals extra fabric. 
Fortunately, this twill has a slight stretch and all I had to do was ease it in by stretching slightly.  Smooth as ice!  I forgot to take a picture of the finished sleeve.  It resulted in a nice, smooth seam all the way around except for the slight pucker at the high bust.  Which will be no big deal to deal with, should I go with this method.

At this point, I had to take a break because my airheaded dog (ONCE AGAIN) got her leash wrapped around a planter and was barking for help.  I put the planter there because she used to wrap her cord around the mailbox.  You can see how well that strategy worked. 

Egad!  I really need to fix my porch steps. 

Back to the second sleeve.  For this method, I first pinned the sleeve in, stopping where the side seam would go.  You can see in this
picture that I'm short.  Galdarnitall! 
But I sewed the side seam.  Then I sewed the sleeve in.  I left a two inch-ish opening so I could set the sleeve in. 

This time, there was NO stretch to simply ease it in.  That meant I had to "pin the heck out of it", as my home ec teacher used to say, so that all the extra gets flattened by the pins. 

Except that no matter how much I pin in situations like this, I never eliminate all the tucks.  Fortunately I sewed the sleeve in from top to bottom again.  So:

by this method, I also achieved a nice, smooth shoulder.  (The puckers were from me yanking on that piece of basting thread like an idiot).  But....

Horrors!  Look at all the puckers under the arm!!  Some good all that pinning did!

Yea, yea.  It's the armpit. Who's going to notice, right?  Well, I'LL know they're there.  And I'll feel like an amateur wearing something I can't be proud of.  Now that I know that my first method allows the sleeve to set in super easy, and that it gives me a smoother seam all around, I know which method to use on the final version.

BING!!  This is the point at which the lightbulb went off and I finally understood the value in doing a muslin.
I'm so glad I took advantage of the chance to try different techniques to find the best one. 

So, now it's time for a first fitting.  Here's the front:

Clap!  Clap!  Clap!  By the looks of it, the "too short" sleeves actually aren't too short.  Yippee! 

I also wanted to check the back, since many sew alongers are having swayback issues: 

Yippee!  Turns out having a Polish dupa sometimes pays off.  No swayback problem for me!  I do need to press all my seams and try it on again. I see wrinkles in both views so I want to make sure, before I go on, that these are just due to lack of ironing - and not the fabric being pullled oddly.  But I'm loving it so far!

1 comment:

Caroline said...

Make me one! That is a hot jacket!! Ok, ok, I am only kidding because while I don't speak your sewing language, I can interpret how much time and effort this took. Buuuuuut... if you ever want to do it again think of gift-giving!!