Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Designer Interpretations - Pinstripe Inspired - "The Sleeves"

My next dress is one that I'm copying twice over.  I saw this dress on The Selfish Seamstress' blog.  Elaine made her own interpretation of a Heidi Merrick dress and even though she is petite and thin, I thought that this dress would work for me.  Because we all know that a sheath dress...is a sheath dress...is a sheath dress!  Here's the original:

picture courtesy of The Selfish Seamstress blog

Again it's the details that drew me to the dress...this time it's the sleeves and the bow tie.  I have once again started with my TNT dress pattern and two pieces of fabric pulled from the fabric closet.


This post is about the sleeves because to me if the sleeves work, then the dress works.  So the first thing I needed to do was alter the sleeve pattern for my TNT dress pattern. 

I had a basic idea of how to go about doing this but I knew that there were instructions and diagrams in the book, "Make it Your Own Personalizing Patterns for Creative Design" by Lori Bottoms & Ronda Chaney.  This book is out of print.  However, it is one of my treasured resources because it was one of the first books that taught me that I could alter a pattern successfully and without fear.


Chapter Four - Savvy Sleeves is where I found the information I needed to alter my pattern piece.  I made a copy of the original sleeve pattern piece and then following the instructions for enlarging a sleeve, I placed three slits in the pattern.  One in the center front and one on either side of the center slit. Then I added 2" between each slice, so that my altered pattern piece looks like this:


Since I only had a small piece of the lightweight silk available, I didn't want to ruin it so I made a sample sleeve from a piece of silk charmeuse that was comparable in weight to the silk chosen for this project...


...then I inserted into the shell of my pea green linen dress...a dress that's hanging waiting to be completed btw...but made from the same TNT dress pattern...


I like the fullness that this added to the sleeve...the detail that I believe is necessary to make this design work.  Now that I'm sure the sleeve pattern will work, I've moved onto making the dress and the tie.

...more later!



18 comments:

  1. Ooh, that sleeve is looking promising!

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  2. I have that book too, it is full of wonderful illustrations and inspiration.

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  3. That is one of my favorite books as well. It taught me a lot. I thought this was a sheath with a blouse underneath. Making it a dress will give it a smooth look over the torso, smart thinking.

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  4. oh my... that is gorgeous!!!I know it will be amazing. Where did you purchase your dress form. My Birthday is coming and I want to put that on the list or at least the Christmas list.

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  5. That's one of the few books I never consider letting go.

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  6. I really admire your ability to make that TNT pattern work! I can't wait to see the finished dress. I know you will wear it well ;o)

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  7. That's a great choice, I like the original and the Selfish version. It seems like a good fit for you as it will fit in well at the work environment and still show some personality. I can't wait to see your version.

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  8. I can't wait to see this finished - this dress is going to look awesome on you...

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  9. Woo-hoo! So excited for yours! It's going to be gorgeous on you. BTW, I don't know how much charmeuse you have, but I found that the scarf-tie thing eats fabric (mine wraps around my neck twice). In case you find you don't have enough, I got my silk cotton voile for a steal on eBay (search on "silk cotton lining fabric") for a great price with free shipping.

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  10. Love the dress you've picked for your next project. Can't wait to see and read how it comes along.

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  11. I loved Elaine's version - your's will be marvelous too. I think it's very professional looking, but in a fashion-forward way.

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  12. I really love the look of that sleeve. I am always so impressed with how creative you are in transforming your TNT into an amazing designer look!

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  13. You're right, I think this style is really going to work for you. I like the sleeve in the green dress! It's a good match!

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  14. Now that is going to be sharp! I have that book and is is good, matter of fact I have two of them. Might be time for another give-a-way.

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  15. That is a great looking dress - can't wait to see your version. Love the collar with the tie. g

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  16. This dress is delicious. I can't wait to see yours!

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  17. oooh! I'm lovin' that sleeve. Can't wait to see the finished sheath.

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  18. I love how you worked the magic with the sleeve.... I'm forever making changes in sleeve patterns... this is a good one to add to the re-pe-thwa..
    Always nice to learn something new!
    I usually just go thru my patterns to find a similar one to the one I'm looking for!

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