31 January, 2010

That Akris sleeve

Turning back to the jackets and blouses from a little back, I muslined the sleeve over the course of a couple of mornings.

I started with a raglan sleeve from BWOF dress 2-2009-101. It's already a 3/4 sleeve, so I knew I wouldn't need to shorten it a lot.

I then grabbed whatever was to hand (foam wrapping, because I was too lazy to dig out some fabric, unbelievable I know), and re-drew the outer shape of the sleeve in an arc. I sewed them together - with great difficulty, the machine teeth slip on this stuff like teflon, so I won't be trying it as a sewing aid in future) , tried on, and shortened the hem to the elbow. I used pins to change the inner raglan curve from standard diagonal raglan to the scooped-out Akris shape; the moon-shaped cutouts will have to be added to the body sections, of course, and that's why I kept them. I made an executive decision that the back is similarly scooped out; it wouldn't make much design sense to have it a standard raglan sleeve. If any of you have actually seen the back of one of these jackets, do point it out, please.

The foam pieces you see above are after they've been cut up, and SA's removed.
So, the foam experiment being rather an abject failure (it was a great recycling idea ;) though), I went to my freebie hideous eyelet (why do they even make such stuff?) for the next stage, below. The foam pieces got duplicated with SA's, cut up and spread for four large pleats, attached to some sew-in interfacing, and the curves trued up.

Below, see how the front is still smaller than the back, and its outer curve parallels the back's? the inner curves are on top of each other.

BTW, straight grain is at right angles to the lower hems. It only makes sense.

Then it was just a matter of finding something a little more suitable for sewing up, adding a small cuff, and pinning the pleats up to the desired length.

I added three small pleats to the inside (aha!) - yes, if you look at the model photos, you see the inner curve also softly rumples.

The overall effect seems close to the model, although my muslin fabric is some sort of rayon woven (it's actually nice, very soft, probably bamboo, but it rumples something awful). One might wish to widen the sleeve a little. I think it would look great in a smooth wool crepe, interfaced of course to get those soft non-rumpling folds. Or a nice breathable poly crepe for a blouse, since poly will also resist crumpling.

Who gets to make the first version, ladies?


  1. Why, you do, since you have the jump on all of us. Good experimental pattern-making. I urge you to carry on with it!

  2. You MUST make this into a jacket. I'm so curious to see how this would attached to the bodice.

    Great job on working this up, BTW. I'm extremely impressed.

  3. How are you securing the pleats? Do they just "free fall" or are they tacked to a backing fabric? Very cool sleeves. Continue please.

  4. I LOVE what you've done with this sleeve....it's perfect. And I love your regular pleating/folding. The original Akris version is a little more irregular, but either version looks great...has great lines! Congratulations!