Really Cool Sleeve

On my list of things that I must make for fall was a polka dot blouse. I was waiting until I could get to the city to buy fabric, but then while I was watching the kids at the pool and zoning out, I remembered that I had this polka dot print in my fabric closet! It came from a dress shop in London where they were selling some of their leftover fabrics. It is an ikat print, in grey and yellow, which is one of my current favorite color combinations.  It has some texture, too.   The fabric is screen printed, which is sooo much nicer than laser printed. Honestly, I just hate the color saturation, or lack therof, of laser printed fabric. I’m sure it will get better, but I certainly hope that screen printed fabrics will stay around until the laser printing process improves.

One negative about this fabric is that it is not an actual shirting cotton, so it is a little too soft for some of the shirting treatments.  I thought I was going to go insane trying to flat fell the seams, so I switched to French seams, and all was well.

Recently, I was looking through some books and I saw this great sleeve in Patterns of Fashion 2: Englishwomen’s Dresses and Their Construction C.1860-1940 by Janet Arnold.  Not to brag, but I have all four of the Patterns of Fashion books in my sewing library.  Anyway, I had seen this sleeve when I first bought the book,  but kind of forgot about it, and was reminded when I picked up the book again.  It was fairly easy to alter the pattern to add this detail, and I think it takes the whole blouse up a notch.

The pattern is from Burdastyle.  If anyone wants to know what the pattern is, leave a comment and I can look it up.  The sleeve on the original pattern is a normal shirt sleeve.  It has a convertible collar.  I have not sewn one of those for ages.

Sleeve. This photo came out a bit over-exposed. Oh, well.

Pattern for sleeve. You can see where I slashed and spread.
Back View


  1. Posted July 26, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Your blouse is amazing! The sleeve takes it up more than a notich! Also, I am loving ikat fabric. It is everywhere I turn! I love your blouse!!

  2. Posted July 26, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Permalink | Reply

    You’re right! It is a really cool sleeve. And I would have never have thought it was such an old design detail. The color combo/print is wonderful. I love your new blouse. Your print matching is quite stellar.

  3. Posted July 26, 2010 at 2:48 pm | Permalink | Reply

    It’s a great sleeve and it certainly looks very modern. The whole blouse is lovely and I love yellow and gray myself. Yes, I’d like to know which Burda it is please.

  4. Posted July 26, 2010 at 3:17 pm | Permalink | Reply

    A dot ikat that is aligned perfectly. Very lovely sleeves.

    I am headed to London this weekend, not to fabric shop…..but is there any fabric store I MUST visit Claudine?

    Thank you

    • Posted July 26, 2010 at 4:50 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Have fun in London! Joel and Son (NW8 8EU) has a really amazing selection of couture-quality fabrics. You may just want to look, though, because their prices are astronomical. But, if you don’t have access to super-high-quality fabrics where you live, it is worth your time just to see what they sell. The staff is really knowledgeable.

      Liberty has an ever-shrinking fabric and haberdashery section, but it is nicely laid out and they have GREAT buttons.

      Oh, wait, Cloth House on 47 Berwick St just south of Oxford is a lovely shop. It is very nicely laid out and they have beautiful fabrics. Nothing fancy, but lots of linens and cottons and a fantastic atmosphere.

  5. Posted July 26, 2010 at 3:19 pm | Permalink | Reply

    That’s gorgeous! I love grey & yellow as well- it’s such a pretty combination. 🙂

  6. Posted July 26, 2010 at 3:30 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Oh, Claudine, what a fantastic sleeve! I had not heard of Janet Arnold’s books but have ordered this one and put the others on my Amazon Wishlist. You never fail to inspire!

  7. Posted July 26, 2010 at 3:38 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Lovely! The sleeves are amazing and I like how the reflect the horizontal tucks. I also admire the dots–I like the circle of dots around the top button. Lovely!

  8. Posted July 26, 2010 at 3:40 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Wow, I love it! Beautiful fabric, and those sleeves are wonderful. It’s going into my inspiration file.

  9. vicki
    Posted July 26, 2010 at 6:14 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Wow, fantastic. Really cool!

  10. Posted July 26, 2010 at 6:38 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks Claudine.
    I will have limited luggage space and a limited budget, but it doesn’t hurt to look and touch!

  11. Meredith P
    Posted July 27, 2010 at 9:46 am | Permalink | Reply

    I am constantly inspired by what you show us. Thank you!

  12. Posted July 27, 2010 at 12:28 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Beautiful blouse! Fantastic job on the sleeves and lining up the dots on the front!

  13. Posted July 29, 2010 at 2:55 am | Permalink | Reply

    Very elegant and fun—>which is a killer combination. Not only do I admire the sleeves, but the dots and pleating together are awesome.

  14. Posted August 1, 2010 at 3:09 am | Permalink | Reply

    This blouse is gorgeous, I love the sleeves you added. I think they are very fun and elegant at the same time, very nice!

  15. Posted August 4, 2010 at 9:09 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Wow – what a terrific look on that sleeve – very effective and yet very well designed.

  16. Posted August 8, 2010 at 6:49 am | Permalink | Reply

    This blouse is my all time favourite for your creations. I may be driven to copying the sleeve at some time, I hope that you will not mind.

    • Posted August 8, 2010 at 9:05 am | Permalink | Reply

      Please feel free. I would love to see your version.

  17. Melinda
    Posted August 26, 2010 at 3:11 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I love love love the sleeves on this blouse. It adds so much. Great blouse.

  18. Sue Whelan
    Posted October 1, 2010 at 5:05 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Just discovered your blog and am amazed and inspired by your gorgeous creations. Those sleeves are a work of art! I’d say they take your shirt up waaaaay more than a notch 🙂 You really deserve your “couture” label.

  19. Posted October 5, 2010 at 6:06 pm | Permalink | Reply

    That is sure one cool sleeve!

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