Chop Chop

Monday, 10 March 2014

Hellooo Everybody,

Sorry it's been quiet round these parts recently. I am up to my eyeballs in half finished dresses!!

I am sewing for Vegas right now - I'll give you the rundown of the current wardrobe at the moment - 

A tropical circle skirt - awaiting a buttonhole, button and hem

A sweetheart neckline top - awaiting strap attachment (already sewn up)

A pair of shorts - awaiting buttonhole and button

A floral heavy cotton sleeved Elisalex with a circle skirt - awaiting zip

A teal Duchess Satin Anna with a circle skirt - awaiting most parts. It's currently overlocked and darts and pleats are sewn.

A vintage pattern in Navy Bengaline (My latest Minerva Network make; It's almost done, but I am running late as I was ill recently - I'm sorry Vicki, I swear it's almost there!) I hope to have it finished by the weekend, my major hurdle was the buttonholes, but they are done now so awaiting bodice/skirt attachment, sleeve hem, skirt hem and side zip. I think I'll have to shorten the skirt too I think. Sounds like a lot, but it comes together so fast!

A pair of navy Bengaline shorts - cut out

A blue circle skirt - cut out

Sewing for this holiday may kill me but I'll be damned if I don't do my utmost!

I actually have more plans (mainly more circle skirts - which I think are achievable, and a couple of blouses that I'm not sure are)

I do have 4 weeks left, so if I just chip away every evening at something small (which I have been doing) then I think I'll manage it. I don't have weekend plans, and I have 1 days annual leave and a lieu day I can take if I need it.

It's so bizarre, I can spend so much time avoiding starting things mid-week, I used to feel that I needed an entire day alocated before I could focus. However, I have found that if I just pick it up when I'm sitting watching TV I can achieve marvelous things!

I was sitting in front of the TV the other night and I had a whole bodice pinned together before I knew it! Or handstitching a neckline, or cutting out a skirt, or drafting a pattern piece. I have to feed it to myself in bite-sized chunks!

OK so back to the reason I started this post!! I might have done something...

I'm not sure if you will twig instantly, but these are the sleeves of my Christmas dress.

Basically, I have never been happy with these sleeves. They were massive on me, and as much as I love those plackets, I'm not sure I can make them work without taking the whole thing apart. 

So I'm sort of at an impasse - take them apart and make them fit, or make the dress sleeveless?

I'm currently leaning towards sleeveless. (sniff, plackets, I'll miss showing you off...)

Further to this, I have been aware of people talking about making sleeved dress sleeveless recently (and vice-versa), and what to do about the extra ease in the armscye needed for sleeves.

For those who haven't noticed these little snippets or, who haven't the foggiest what I'm yapping on about - a sleeveless dress has a very fitted armhole, but a sleeved dress has more ease around the armhole so that you can move your arm around when it's in the sleeve. Otherwise you'd be walking around with your arms stuck to your sides all day :)

Well, in that vein, the blouse I have been considering making for the holiday is this one -

And what did I find on the pattern pieces, but different stitching lines for the sleeved and sleeveless versions!

Here's a closer look!

It might be difficult to see so I'll blow it up once more

The pattern shows all of the stitching lines at 5/8" inside the pattern, and the sleeveless version tapers more out of the armscye at both the shoulder and underarm. The normal line are the strong longer dash lines, and the alteration is the thin dashed line.

This pattern really helped me to see what changes you would need to make for a sleeved/sleeveless pattern to redraft it.

It is something I will take into other patterns with me - and with the red dress if I decide to leave off the sleeves forever. The whole thing is a little big really. Argh, I hate taking things apart!

Has anyone ever made this alteration before? Or seen anything on a vintage pattern that opened up your eyes??


Emmie xx


  1. It seems like every vintage pattern I sew opens my eyes to some technique. I love how detailed they are. :)
    Can't wait to see your makes!

  2. You have been a busy bee, I can't wait to see the finished results. That vintage blouse pattern looks very cute and I love the pleats at the shoulders.

  3. Ah that's wonderful Emmie! I wanted to make my Emery dress sleeveless but couldn't work out how to get rid of the extra ease, this is a life saver for next time, thank you! Your Vegas wardrobe sounds AMAZING!! x

  4. A teal duchess satin Anna with circle skirt?! Yum! Can't wait to see that! You are going to look so rocking in Vegas. Looks like you'll have loads of that list ticked off in no time with just button holes and bits left. I love doing little sewing bits and pieces in front of the TV too, I quite often cut out a few projects in front of a box set marathon and it's done before I realise


I really adore reading your comments :)

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