Statement sleeves have taken the runway by storm. They can be found everywhere from your local department store to your favorite sewing pattern designer. When it comes to a trendy piece this is a winning addition to your wardrobe. They are dramatic and alluring, they grab your attention and consume you with their dreamy flow.
As fashion makers, we are always looking to put our personal spin on each project. In this project, I hacked the sleeves, back bodice and neckline. But today we will focus on the sleeves, which is making a splash everywhere. The addition of lace inserts adds a spark of the renaissance era. The alteration takes a hold of the sleeves and captures a small essence of that period. We will be working with a design that has an upper and lower sleeve. The upper is a normal sleeve and the lower is the trumpet shape, or statement portion of the sleeve.
I did have some easing issues with the sleeve of this top, right around the elbow area as you can see. However I believe it had a lot to do with the fabric. This periwinkle fabric is a polyester blend and stretches easily, while my other attempt was a linen blend fabric, which attached smooth and nicely.
Your overall fabric choice is important, and weight is a consideration. A light to mid-weight fabric is perfect, such as cotton blends, crepe, and poplin. These fabrics add a lovely drape. Mid-weight fabric tends to look heavy, where the sleeve seems to weigh the top down. This is important when auditioning fabric for your contrast. The insert should have a similar drape to the main fabric.
For this pattern hack I am using McCalls M7542, however the steps are applicable to most sleeve design and will go the extra mile. You’ll always get butterflies in your stomach when diving into a hack. Generally, you are going against every fiber of your body that’s telling you to stop. With time comes perfection, I hope this sleeve modification propels you to great adventures in sewing. Let’s get down to business, here is what you will need.
Tools for the Trick
Statement Sleeve Pattern
Tracing Paper (for demonstration purpose poster board was used)
Rotary Cutter (Standard & Mini) or Scissors
Measuring Gauge or Tape
Step 1: The first thing we are going to do is trace the upper and lower sleeve pieces. This is an exact replica, transferring all notches, marking, & cutting lines. Set the original tissue aside.
Step 2: Using the new upper sleeve pattern, create a line that measures 1¼ inch from the seam line.
Step 3. Repeat step 2, this time you’ll be measuring from the line you created in step 2. Cut along those lines to create the new pattern piece. You may choose to increase the width of the stripe.
Step 4: Label the pattern pieces (a) main fabric (b) Lace or contrast fabric (c) main fabric
Our new upper sleeve pattern is complete, set aside. The lower sleeve is done in a similar manner.
Step 5: We are working with the new lower sleeve pattern piece from Step 1, trim the lower sleeve along the cutting line.
Step 6: Using a measuring gauge or tape, mark 1 inch circle around the stitching line
Step 7: From that new circle line measure, approximately 1 ½ – 2 inches, creating another circular line on the pattern piece. This creates the circle band for the lace insert/contrast pattern.
Step 8: Cut along the lines to create a new pattern piece
Step 9: Label the pattern pieces (a) Lower main fabric (b) Lower lace or contrast fabric (c) Lower main fabric
Step 10: Remember to add seam allowance to all your pattern pieces. 3/8-5/8.
Congratulations! You’ve created your new sleeve from your chosen pattern.
Note: If you are using lace for your insert, I would recommend that you use Easy-Knit EK130 by Pellon, Sheer-Knit SK 135 or similar and staystitch all edges 3/8in.
Location: Volume One HQ Eau Claire