I finally sewed something that's not a quilt! (There's been a lot of quilt-sewing going on around here lately - I've already started a new one.)
A couple months ago I was reorganizing my fabric stash, and came across a lovely floral knit I'd completely forgotten about! I bought it in spring during a sale, but it's really more appropriate for fall so I set it aside. After I found it, I spent some time thinking about what it should become, and I finally settled on a scoop-neck tee with medium-full sleeves gathered at the wrist.
So out came the Renfrew, and I gave the sleeve the ol' slash and spread. And I took pictures along the way in case you'd like to try it too.
After tracing my sleeve pattern, I drew some lines parallel to the grain line, about 1.5" apart.
I also drew in the seam allowance on the sleeve head.
Then I cut up all the lines except the center one, almost up to the seam allowance line. It looks like an octopus, doesn't it?! There are 7 strips though, so I guess it's a heptopus . . .
I cut in from the outer edge almost to the seam allowance line, to create a little hinge at the top of each strip.
I order to get everything lined up nicely, I decided to tape my original pattern to my mat, and then tape the slashed pattern on top of that. Then I decided how wide I wanted my sleeve to be at the wrist. I didn't want it to be too full; the original sleeve measures about 10" across at the wrist. I went for 19", just under twice the width. I measured out from the center to get that width, then lined up my outer strips and taped them down. Then I distributed the rest of the strips as evenly as possible.
Once I had everything positioned the way I liked it, I traced over the whole thing again. I felt that was easier and quicker than taping pieces of paper into the spaces.
Here are my two sleeve patterns: hacked sleeve on the left, original sleeve on the right. It was a very easy piece to draft, but I'm still super proud of myself for doing it because usually I'm too lazy to do this sort of thing!
Then I went about constructing the top in the normal way. Once I had the shoulder seams sewn and the sleeves attached, it was time to gather the bottoms. I thought of getting out my sewing machine, but then decided to try out gathering on the serger. It's one of those things I knew you could do on a serger, but had never actually done. And it's really easy!
I did a few samples with different settings on the differential. I started out with the dial all the way up, and then worked my way down, notch by notch. It was interesting to see the samples get incrementally less gathered.
What I didn't do though is to measure my beginning and ending width, so I didn't know the percentage of gathering on any of the pieces! I decided to gather my sleeves like the middle piece, but once I'd done it I felt it was still too wide, so I went back over it with the setting turned up as high as it goes.
And then I continued with construction as usual. For this look, I wanted a narrower wrist binding, so I cut the pattern piece in half.
And here's the whole top:
I think it's really pretty. I love this fuller sleeve. The only thing I wish were different is the wrist binding: my fabric doesn't have a lot of stretch, so the binding doesn't hug the wrist as much as I'd hoped. Next time I will probably add in a little elastic there. But still, I'm very happy with this make!
I had a terrible time getting a good picture to show the puff of the sleeve while wearing it. Here are three mediocre snaps, because it's all I have time for!
Trust me, it's blousy :-)