December 3, 2012

Lattice Sleeves

Here's a truly lovely gown.  The combination of the beautiful rose fabric and the tons of detailing makes for a very special dress.

Julia brought it to me because the netting inside the lattice sleeves was quite tattered.  It used to give the sleeve its shape, holding the lattice in a puffed sleeve shape, instead of letting it just hang down.

I removed the netting carefully, hoping there'd be enough left that I could use it as a pattern, but, well, no.

So here comes the story of the "I make it up as I go along" technique.  I pulled out a cap sleeve pattern I'd made for another project.

I needed to enlarge the shape, so there'd be enough to gather into a puff, and because this sleeve is longer than a cap sleeve.  I made several attempts at proportion, and finally settled on this one.

Here's the sample puff......

.....and the way it looked tucked into the lattice.

Next, I made the real puffs out of a pink tulle, pinned them into the sleeves, and stitched by hand to the bottom of the lattice, and to the armhole seam allowance.

And here's the finished sleeve.

I've got to say it - this was really tricky.  I spent a long time considering and playing with mental pictures before I even started.  It would have been sooooo much easier if the original netting had been in better shape.  I'm not totally sure how much it held the sleeve out, or if it only helped hold the bottom edge in place.  But in the end, it's a wonderful, wonderful gown! So much lovely detailing - the styling of the skirt, the gathers at the bust, the bustle flounces at the back, the buttons on the side - and of course, the lattice sleeves.  This gown is a garden party in fabric.

Photos courtesy of Basya Berkman Vintage Fashions.

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