Saturday, June 13, 2015

A Regency Roundgown - Sleeves and Skirt

It has been a rather wet and humid week and I was able to quickly get the sleeves done, in the course of about an afternoon. Generally sleeves are my least favorite parts of a garment to sew - yet for some reason the most satisfying.

Now, here I must share the extremely important information to ALWAYS SAVE YOUR SLEEVE PATTERNS. Sleeves are hard, but its easier when you have a base pattern to start from. I generally trace off my finished bodice mock ups to save as a pattern for future gowns but for some reason fail to trace and save the sleeves. Do not make my mistakes; learn from them. Save the sleeves.

So. This sleeve is a super basic elbow length sleeve. Its cut with an S shaped head, so the seam runs down the back of the arm. Little pleats take in the excess fullness of the sleeve head and are set at the back of the arm. This way of cutting, coupled with a deeply cut back armscye, gives maximum flexibility to arm movement.

And all that I need to do is sew up that seam, finish the seam, hem the bottom and thats it.

The finished sleeves are pinned into the armscyes. Now, generally you fit the sleeves as you go and then sew them in after you perfect their hang on your own arms. This dress is from a pattern I draped to fit my dressform, not me, so I didn't fit the sleeves again after the initial draping.
And an inside view: 
If desired, the armscye seam can be finished. The tidiest looking (well, in my opinion anyway) is binding the armscyes. 
And here is what it looks like so far!
The skirt is extremely easy - just two rectangles seamed together, with a slit cut and hemmed at center front for the front opening. 
I cut this skirt with a slight train at the back (very slight) so the top edge of the rectangle skirt was cut higher in the back, tapering down at the sides to the front. This enables the hem to be sewn easily (no curves to hem) and still gives the extra length at the back to train prettily. 

To sew the skirt to the bodice, I pleated up fabric at the back in deep pleats. leaving the skirt plain at the side and front. 
After pinning the skirt to the bodice, I sewed it together. Woo ya. The seam between the bodice and skirt at the front and sides will be sewn to become the drawstring channel for the waistline. The seam allowance at the back (where the skirt is pleated) will be covered in self fabric binding. Here's a back view: 
And front: 

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