|Something along these lines. Initial sketches for the gown design|
|Ideas for altering a raglan sleeve bodice|
|My muslin mock-up. I thought the weight and drape of the velvet would sort out that sleeve. I was wrong.|
|The sleeve in velvet wasn't looking any better. I pinned a tuck in to see if I could fix it to my liking, but me no likey, so time for Plan B|
Quick change on the fly! I picked out all those shirring stitches on the sleeves, cut a facing for the cuff, and shirred it all again, turning under the cuff and securing the stitches. They're not the big 1933 poofs I had envisioned, but I'm really happy with the sleeves now.
|Quick sketch with Plan B sleeve construction|
You gotta secure it, and stitching across the end ain't gonna do it. I know this because that's what I did, thinking it was all grand, and then all the shirring pulled out of the neck as soon as I went to put the bodice on the dress form! UGH! Shirring has to be secured to some sort of lining. I'm using lightweight dupioni silk that happened to be the same color. I've turned facings on the neck edge and sleeves and stitched over the gathering stitches, through both layers. If I have time I'll pull the gathering stitches out, too.
|The neckline turned with a facing, and the shirring stitched through|
(I've become a stretch velvet convert, as a substitute for silk velvet, which can be hard to find and afford. Why? The stretch velvet has been easy to work with, does not crawl when pinned together, is robust enough to withstand picking out lots of stitches, drapes amazingly, is washable, and doesn't leave velvet droppings everywhere. As always, choosing the right fabric for the job is important: I would never ever ever recommend this material for historic periods prior to the Aesthetic movement, but for drapey, "watery" velvet creations of the 1920s, 30s, and 40s, heck yes)
|Working out the skirt pattern in muslin, using a basic straight 1930s skirt sloper, omitting the dart for a shaped side seam, and adding a bit at the top to meet the empire waistline of the bodice.|
|Nearing completion! The belt is a stand-in, obviously.|