Tuesday, January 22, 2008

"Menswear Lace" Dress


This dress is still not finished...I didn't feel like sewing much this weekend and pretty much took it easy. Usually this stresses me out when I have three days to sew and nothing emerges from my sewing machine, but this weekend I was so tired that I just didn't care.

So the dress needs to be hemmed. One minute I see it and hate it...the next minute I'm not so sure. I know its the sleeves that I'm dissatisfied with. I took a chance and did something different and now it might be a little toooooo far to the left...so it hangs, waiting to be hemmed.

I hate UFO's so I have two options:

1. Take the sleeves out and make them over. However, if I do that I will have to rework the sleeves I have because I only have scraps of fabric left...or...

2. Take the sleeves out completely and wear the dress as a jumper.

I like the lace on the bottom of the sleeves but....so the dress sits. And I need to move on, 'cause did I mention I hate UFO's...

Anyway, weigh in...all opinions are welcome! Doesn't mean I'm gonna follow your advice! *smile* But I will definitely read it!

39 comments:

  1. I'm guessing, although you didn't say - it's the elastic you don't like? Could you shorten the sleeve and move the lace up? I think it looks great. I didn't feel much like sewing either. Glad you got something out :)

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  2. ok, I Like the dress, but you are right, the sleeve has got to go.
    how about removing the elastic, opening up the sleeve seam, then while it is flat, using your twin needle and create some pintucks to take some of the fullness down out of that sleeve, and end up with a lace edge straight short sleeve that has pintucked detail?
    It's a thought.

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  3. I think if you take the elastic out and shorten the sleeve up just a bit, so it's not as close to the elbow, it will be splendid. Maybe you also want to narrow up the sleeve just a bit, but I think the length is the most important factor. Love the lace detailing!

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  4. I'm having trouble getting moving this weekend as well - I'm not particularly happy with my project, so it's aging on the table while I spend entirely too much time online.

    I love the dress - I think the the lace on the front is very successful. Maybe what's not be "right" with the sleeve is the level of the elastic? For my arms, it's too in the middle - there's too much sleeve left under it and either you could shorten the sleeve, move the elastic down closer to the lace, or just lose the elastic altogether on the sleeve and leave it plain. I don't think you need to lose the sleeves altogether or rework them, but if you're not happy with it now, you're not going to be any happier when you finish it. You need to figure out what will work for you, and if that means leaving it as a UFO for a little while it percolates, then so be it. A late answer is better than the wrong answer, especially when you don't have a lot of fabric left.

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  5. I love the dress and the feminine touches to the plaid. But the sleeve just doesn't look like your style... it's a bit too "fru fru". I like the lace trim, but not the elastic.

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  6. I agree with the other commentators. The dress is so successful it seems a shame to dislike it for the sleeves. Maybe you can keep the lace if the sleeve itself were shorter. More accomplished designers (see above) have some actual technical advice. I'm more here for moral support.

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  7. At first glance it appears it is the elastic that is causing you consternation. Take the elastic out first, reevaluate, then shorten the sleeve if necessary. Or do the lace in the same manner as down the center front--as an overlay rather than as an edging (without any elastic distorting the sleeve). I am sure that whatever you decide to do, the dress will be a "Carolyn" garment and look fabulous! I sure do like the combination of the fabric and lace. Wow!

    By the way, I loved yesterday's post. That man was powerful in his voice and in his words. I feel fortunate to have been raised by parents that saw each person first and foremost as a person of worth and of value regardless of race or gender. I can only hope I have been able to do the same with my children.

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  8. You have had some great ideas given to you. I think I like Marji's best, the pintucks will reduce the volumn. Keep the lace but not the elastic.

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  9. I like the lace trim on the sleeve because it picks up the detailing on the front of the dress, but like some others I am not digging the elastic. Maybe you could add a pleat to the sleeve?

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  10. I like Marji's pintuck idea; but there are several great ideas here you could try. If none of them work, then I think it would work nicely as a sleeveless jumper...but try to save the sleeves first!

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  11. Carolyn, could you take out the elastic and then form a small reverse box pleat at the outside center of each sleeve? Then you could add a pretty black button at the center of the pleat where the lace and fabric join. The pleat could be stitched up from that point as far as desired to get the sleeve shape you want. You could also add three or five of the buttons down the upper center of the front lace panel, to bring it all together. Just a few thoughts...

    Sherry in Little Rock

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  12. Hi Carolyn....I have to say I think the plaid, elastic, and lace sleeve together with a tailored type of dress are not working. I would consider removing the elastic and the lace and then shortening the sleeve a bit. I think the lace down the front makes the statement that you originally talked about wanting to make. Linda

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  13. Carolyn, I am new to blogland and haven't made many comments - but I have to agree with the last comment. I think the lace and elastic round the sleeve takes attention away from the lace on the front of the dress - which I think should be the 'star' of the show. It is almost as if the sleeve is trying too hard to 'match' and be part of the dress - if that makes sense!!?? Just my opinion, but I think that what you want is honest feedback? Love you blog and am amazed at your output - even when you don't feel like sewing! You inspire me! Leanne

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  14. I've just got one more idea to throw in, could you run the lace vertically down the sleeve instead of across the hem? My 2c, I think the dress will look better with sleeves, but I agree it's not quite these sleeves.

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  15. I think it is very pretty, Carolyn, and I like the sleeve. It is so feminine and different. But I know what it feels when you are not completely sold on something you've all but finished, and you feel like moving on.
    As others said, perhaps you will like it just fine after you remove the elastic and perhaps also shorten the sleeve. I think the lace edging is such a nice touch!

    My idea would be to finish the dress as it is and try and wear it a few times. And see if it grows on you. :)
    You have many other wonderful dresses for work that are more classic... This one looks like a funkier variation on the theme. :) You may perhaps not reach for this one as often as the others, but it may make you feel good when you are in a funky mood :)

    You of course are the only judge! Those are just ideas :)

    Anyway, I really, really like the fabric and lace combination! And I love the colours. :)

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  16. I like the lace down the front! It adds an unexpected feminine touch to the fabric. However, the front AND lace/elastic combination on the sleeve make the lace seem incongruous. How about removing the lace/elastic and having a plain short sleeve?

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  17. I would take the elastic out of the sleeve, perhaps narrowing it along the lines of one the fabulous suggestions already submitted. I would leave the lace on to start as you state you like the lace at the bottom, and it can be nice, but the combination of the lace at the bottom and the gathers is a little too frou-frou. The sleeves are frilly, the dress is not. Once you have a simpler sleeve shape you will be able to reevaluate the lace, if necessary

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  18. I vote for either no sleeves or a plain sleeve with or without the lace. The focal point really is that lace on the front; the sleeves at this point are vying for attention. There's too much going on with that sleeve to work with the chic body of the garment. Of course that's all personal taste and opinion. Feel free to ignore!

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  19. I love the front of the dress but the sleeves make it look frumpy. The idea is great but not on this dress.

    I like Marji's idea with the pintucks and if you really want to keep the lace, run it about an inch or so above the hem of the sleeve (parallel to the hem), in the fabric instead of as an edging.

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  20. I really like the dress as is, although I can see how the sleeves may give you a pause.
    I love the lace on the sleeves. I second Miriam's idea to remove the elastic first and reevaluate the sleeve.

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  21. Love the dress, love the lace! I must confess I also like the sleeve.

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  22. I love it, but I'm going to second what Gaylen said - maybe shorten the sleeve?

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  23. Okay, I'm going to join the chorus here...
    Remove the elastic first. Thinking of the classic, clean lined clothes you really enjoy wearing... I think probably the puff maybe is not "you".
    I do like the idea of narrowing the width in a more tailored fashion such as with the pintucks or pleat.
    I also like the suggestion of applying the lace flat, in the same manner as the front lace.
    But I also agree that taking each step separately and re-evaluating is the way to go.

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  24. I have no new idea. But if you are counting up who agrees with what, I like the idea of a shorter sleeve with no elastic or lace. I like Marji's idea of the pintucks and the Sherry's idea of a pleated sleeve. And Sommerset's idea of a plain shorter sleeve would be perfect too. How I managed to agree with all three designs probably does not help. I'm thinking of something that would keep the masculine feel of the fabric and let the front lace panel stand on its own. Whatever you decide, I just know you will come up with something perfect.

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  25. Before I even read the post, my first thought was how cute the sleeve was. I do believe that it would be more flattering as a simple short sleeve, but I like the idea of a jumper even more.

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  26. I think I'm in the minority here, but I like the sleeves. I like the extra lady-like detailing with the lace on the rest of the dress.

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  27. I love the dress...the lace in the front is exquisite. I would re-work the sleeves...whether it be pin tucks or a box pleat with a button and see it that does it for you. I know for me, if a garment doesn't "feel" right, there's no point in even taking up closet space. Your dress is too pretty to be a wadder. Mary

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  28. I concur with the others about removing the elastic.

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  29. Carolyn, there are allot of great suggestions here. I love the dress and the lace detailing in the front. For the sleeve I was thinking maybe making a simple small cuff with keeping the lace.
    I know whatever you decide it will look perfect:)

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  30. so many good suggestions! personally I like the sleeve length and the lace detail. The elastic is too "little girl"-ish. I'd take out the elastic and place just inch or two of a strip of it at the center shoulder just above where the lace begins to make the sleeve a bit more fitted but not all the way tight on the arm

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  31. I guess I just have to add my 2 cents. The sleeve has to go. No elastic, no lace. I think that it's too fussy. I also agree that the lace at cf is the focal point and needs a plain sleeve not to lessen its impact.

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  32. The pleat? I like that idea too. Although I still like pintucks – either one. I think the pleat and buttons may be more in keeping with the dress.

    I also really like the idea of running the lace vertically down the sleeve from the shoulder to the hem, and then pleating the hem of the sleeve, so that the lace is behind the pleat. More subtle.

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  33. Obviously many of us think the sleeve is the issue. I agree with several that the sleeve just does not look like your style. If you remove the elastic, somehow make a cuff and attachd the lace to the cuff. I think you need to have lace on the sleeve somehow. Maybe sew the lace from sleeve cap to hem down the center of the sleeve thus running vertical as on the dress.

    We all we want to see what YOU decide. I really like the lace on the dress.

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  34. I think you should leave the sleeves but take out the gathering/elastic just above the lace. You seem more of a "tailored" kind of girl. It looks a little too frilly for your taste. I'd leave the lace - it's very pretty and understated.

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  35. Oh crap. When I saw the photo my first thought was 'cute sleeves'. Soooo, I'm apparently against the tide here. But, I think the sleeves are adorable and I am loving the plaid and lace combo. But, I won't me bad if you ignore me :)

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  36. I don't think the sleeves suck (your word!), but I agree with others that the elastic is in the wrong place. And I can see both sides of the argument for keeping or removing the lace at the hem. I like the overall look of the dress with the feminine touch of lace. I'm sure whatever you come up with to move this off UFO status will be great.

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  37. Carolyn, I like the sleeve length as is - it's nicely conservative and balances the dress. My inclination would be to remove the lace & elastic from the sleeve, and go with the single box pleat at the bottom idea. If you have enough fabric, you could add a plain plaid band to hold the pleat together. Or change the sleeve to a simple plain half-length sleeve. I wouldn't shorten it, as I tend to dislike very short sleeves in an office environment. The dress is far too unique & pretty to turn it into a tunic - its character would be lost.

    Digs.

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  38. I love the concept of this dress and the lace on the front but I understand your issue with the sleeves. Maybe a regular short sleeve would solve the problem? You already have some very good ideas here, so I'll just wait and see what you'll come up with!

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  39. It's probably too late to put in my two cents now, but I LIKE the sleeves! I love sleeves with different shapes or details...

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