Thursday, 12 September 2013

Thrifted dress re-sewed. Sleeve cap ease is still bogus. Shoes again.

Long time no see!

There has been much less sewing than I'd wanted to, which I think was to be expected, what with my laziness, and the trips we did with my sister in summer, and translation work, and watching things, and laziness... :D

The good news is, I've got loads of photos of beautiful places around the Czech Republic (mostly Moravia) to show you, and I should start with the chateau in Bučovice that I owe you since 2011, but before I do that, I want to show you my latest thrift shop find, or rather parts of it because it's too cold outside to wear a dress, lest you forget this is a dress diaries.
It's a Boden dress - I determined it is Aqua Bud in crinkle cotton (not available anymore). Or was. It said to twist after washing to retain the crinkliness, but I did not like the sort of crinkliness it had retained - more like sticking out in all directions. So I did not twist it after washing and instead ironed it smooth.
And re-sewed the sleeves and sewed the surplice together. I settle on the conclusion that custom fit rules, particularly if you're not a B cup, and sleeve cap ease is still bogus (my, do I love that eye-opening article!). The original shape of the sleeve was practically the same in front and back. Maybe even more cut-out in the front. Huh. (Come to think of it now, maybe the dress had wrongly inserted sleeves to begin with?)

Compared to my Lisbeth sleeve - oh, did I mention I started calling the LBD pattern Lisbeth? :D - it's rather obvious that the easing does not exactly help with what is simply a wrong shape. I had to wriggle the Lisbeth pattern around a bit to make it fit into the present armhole, and the results are not perfect because I had a limited amount of fabric to work with and a not-quite fitting dress to start with, but it's somewhat better.
Oh, and I think it is worth mentioning that the (original) Lisbeth sleeve actually fits into a smaller armhole than the eased sleeve did, and is still more comfortable and easier to move in. So much for the ease of sleeve cap ease, yeah. Not all sleeve caps are created equal.
(I suppose there are some eased sleeve caps that are well-fitted and easy to move in; but this was definitely not one of them.)

The dress is still not a perfect fit - it's actually a size smaller than I should have according to their size charts, and I suspect the bust and sleeves might have been better in a larger size, but then it might be way too tent-like anywhere else. But passing a cotton dress in your style, in your length, in your colours, for 20 CZK - that is hard. :D (I think I actually remember having admired that dress online, way back when. So, yay!)

* * *

And American Duchess is doing yet another giveaway, so here is an obligatory share of the new 1930s-style Claremont Oxfords.
Is she ever going to make shoes I do not want?! I still do not have any. It's always been a bit too much money that could and had to go elsewhere, so far...


  1. ohh - this duchess shoes are in my eyes for long time too, but... i have already to much fancy shoes and here i need just sturdy ones. and i try to buy only things i really need.

    this sleevecap/armhole thing is a science for itself. i´m somewhat professional in sewing, but every time i draft a sleeve it is an adventure. fortunately in the last times with happy end. but I do not know exactly why...

    1. I still have not quite figured it out, either. The Lisbeth sleeve was draped, in several attempts I lost count of, and I'm now using it as a guide...

      American Duchess makes a very sensible and sturdy kind of fancy shoes, which is why I'm so enamoured with them (maybe with the exception of Pompadours; those seem purely fancy). I don't need all of them, either, and am slowly entering the area of "many shoes", but I have not entered the area of "probably too many" quite yet, so I keep dreaming...

  2. Oh, goodness - I followed your link to the sleeve-cap article. Wow. But, I think that people really are starting to think for themselves anyway - so many who sew are just going with an instinct; I see them all over the internet. I hope you have time to finish fixing up your new cotton dress so we can see the result!

    1. It's already an old-ish article; since then, it's certainly picked up, and who knows where it started; I like watching it snowballing. In my and everybody else's sewing. Sometimes, it results in things like Cake Patterns - it's really quite fascinating.

  3. That article about sleeves, what an eye opener! I have always fitted and draped sleeves on the person, and the shapes I have come out with have really freaked me out, like they cannot be for real, but yes often very like that diagram. I am always so relieved when I find out I am not alone in doing something that appears to be radical.
    Life can be such a journey!
    Oh yes, and more pics of your gorgeous country, I just cannot beleive it is a real place that people live and work, it seems like a fairy tale!

    1. Sometimes, I cannot believe it myself. I am, of course, sharing the beautiful parts, but still... there are many of them. And going through the Highlands this spring was like going through Narnia.

  4. I know everyone else already commented about it, but thank you so much for linking to the article about sleeve cap ease! I've been struggling with that problem for awhile, and I thought I was just bad at pattern drafting! Great blog, keep up the good work!