Thursday, March 31, 2011

A Tale of Two Sleeves

Part of this year's Smithson Gown is a lined jacket with two-part sleeves. Now, I've never made a lined jacket (yes, it's true...), so this is all new territory for me. Same thing with two-part sleeves.

After the original critique of the first muslin, I drafted a new pattern and put it together. The collar is better, but those sleeves... Something just wasn't right.

I'm also not sure about the length... This is 24". I might add an inch or two. It just looks too short. The collar was shortened by an inch and on this muslin I did the whole facing thing as well. I like it enough that I'm not going to mess with it any more. The muslin is also taped shut here; I'm going to put a zipper in the final version, positioned so that the folds of the fabric conceal it (rather than fussing with a separating invisible zipper). But anyway, about those sleeves...

The sleeves just looked puffy and ill-fitting. I think that most of this was because the upper seams on both pieces were convex. Not only that, but the stitching line on one piece was nearly an inch longer than the seam line on the matching piece.

After some input from folks on the PMB forum, I re-drafted the sleeve pattern so that the upper seams on both pieces were more concave. The result is a MUCH better looking sleeve. Not perfect, but good enough.

The inner curve of the sleeve looks more natural and feels a lot better, too.

Hmm... Looking at this side view, I do think I will be making the jacket a bit longer. I've got another week to finish the whole thing; the skirt is cut out and ready to assemble, so it's really the jacket that's the issue. But I'm going to spend much of tomorrow and Saturday working on the whole outfit and hope to have it done in time to show at my PMB group meeting on Sunday!


  1. I actually think the length is flattering. perhaps an inch at the back. If you are like me, you are just looking at the hem, but you need to look at the garment as a whole like everyone else will.

    Maybe you would be happier if the back didn't come into the curve of your back so closely. let it out about 1/4 to 1/2 inch on each side of the panel seams.

    well done on the sleeves. I have been stressing over getting sleeves right for a jacket I am doing. and it was hand drafted from Winifred Aldrich. not easy to fit yourself when it comes to sleeves.
    Sandy in the UK

  2. I think the length is fine. If anything, I would make it maybe an inch or so shorter. Like Sandy, I think the jacket is very flattering. I can't wait to see the skirt.

  3. ChoctawCharliSewsApril 2, 2011 at 5:31 PM

    I agree with Sandy, with the skirt the jacket length should be fine. But you might be more comfortable with a less tight fit in the back waist.


I would love to hear your thoughts... Please share!