Monday, January 30, 2012

Still Alive?

Well, yes, I suppose I am.

I have been rather busy what with the play there for a while. (We were doing You Can't Take It With You.

After the play my parents came home from a business show with a whole bunch of sewing orders that needed filled (and we keep getting new ones that still need filled, which is great.) So I have been sewing for him. 

I have also been working on possibly getting an Esty shop started. I have also started taking in custom sewing and alterations locally. And I am a Pampered Chef consultant and have been writing for a couple of different local papers. Not to mention babysitting. 

The most exciting thing that I have done this week so far is cleaned out my closet. It was amusing. It was kind of like traveling through time. I have clothing from the 1950's through the 1820's (the real deal clothing.) Then  in the clothing that I actually wear I have costumes from the 1950's and the Regency Era and the French Revolution and pirate costumes and steam punk and ect... the list goes on. 

I also realized the I must like hats (I only have 16) and belts (only 13 of those.)

I am thinking about trying to come up with a schedule to follow on my blog here. So that I can be for faithful about posting. 

I want to bring back my Designer of the Week (which I think I only ever posted one of.) And I was thinking about something like a Tutorial Tuesday or something  like that. And I might come up with some other ones, we shall see. 

Anyhow, I have a whole bunch of pictures that I have been taking and as soon as I figure out how to get them off of my brothers camera I shall try and post them. I know, you are probably tired of the constant promise about "one day I will...." But I promise! 

I have a tutorial on how to make a super full gypsy skirt in an hour and a half... Yes it is possible. 
And so much more. So till tomorrow (Tuesday Tutorial remember.) 


P.S.  I noticed that I have more posts on this blog about Shakespeare then sewing. That is sad since it is supposed to be about sewing.


Monday, January 16, 2012


Up this morning at 5. 

Had a cup of coffee. I don't know if I can express just how much I enjoy coffee. I enjoy it not only because of the energy boost it gives in the morning (which is nice) but I really like the flavor. I have always drunk my coffee black and I just really really like the taste of a good cup of black coffee in the mornings. 

Chocolate, coffee and bacon.... the three best things in the world. If God gave us coffee, bacon, and chocolate here on earth just imagine the amazing things he has saved for heaven!

Anyhow, I have decided that I didn't like the way the cape was turning out that I was knitting (I was knitting a cape in case I hadn't said that earlier and was trying to make up the pattern as I went.)

So I decided to rip out the whole thing and start over with a basic pattern to follow this time. So I found a pattern and printed it out.

I also have some really pretty rainbow yarn that I want to make into a lacy wrap/shawl.

So I found some different patterns and printed them. I just have to decide which one I like most.

I also just got this magazine for Christmas. Jane Austen Knits. I pretty much love it, even though I haven't made much of anything out of it. All I have knitted from it is the scarf on the front cover.

I really want to make this cape someday. I already bought this homespun looking peach yarn for it.

I have always liked capes and the idea of knitting them makes me happy. I just wish I knew more about knitting (like how to read patterns.)

There are so many different patterns in that magazine that I wish I could do.

Who doesn't need a spencer?

Or cameo mittens. So cute!!!

And everyone likes scarfs.

Fingerless gloves are also on my top ten things I wish I could knit list.

Sigh.... another cape.

Well that is enough hyper coffee ramblings. Off to get more done. Maybe there will even be time for some knitting today!!!!


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Tulip Sleeve Tutorial

As promised here is my tulip sleeve tutorial.

Tulip sleeves are an overlapped sleeve that can be fitted or puffed. It allows for a greater range of motion than the normal cap sleeves and adds some variety. You can trim the edge of the sleeve with pleats, ruffles, braided or beaded trim or lace. I have used all of the above at different times. This is one of my favorite sleeve options when it comes to designing a dress.

It was popular in a lot of vintage patterns.

It goes especially well with the princess neckline.

I just love the added lines it gives to a dress. And I like to use it when I am making a dress for someone and don't have their upper arm measurement. This way it looks like a fitted sleeve but I don't have to worry about it being restrictive.

The overlap can be placed in the back or in the front. It is up to you on what you want to overall look to be.

I even found this picture of a four part tulip sleeve. I want to try this some time on a light filmy material for a formal. 

It was also the sleeve pattern on the teal dress that Amy Adam's wore in The Muppets. 
Btw, I blogged about all of the costumes that she wore back when the movie first came out.

So here we go with the tutorial for making a fitted tulip sleeve.

You can either start with a basic sleeve pattern block and cut it down to short or you can use a cap sleeve pattern that you like. I will show you how to do either. 

 If you are using a long sleeve patterns block you will first determine the length of the sleeve at the under arm and mark that. You will then draw a line connecting the marks. The illustration shows 1" down from underarm. 

To establish curve for lower edge - measure up from new line at center and draw curve as shown. Illustration shows 1"
Cut apart on curved line. 

If you are not cutting down a long sleeve pattern and just using a cap sleeve pattern that you already have then you will start your alterations here.

Divide sleeve into four equal parts.

Slash from bottom of sleeve to cap.

Lap each slash at bottom 1/2" for fit.

Smooth curve at lower edge.

(Note. The slashing and overlapping is not completely necessary. It just depends on how much you want it to fit or flare out. Play with it and have fun.)

Next you will be drawing the curved lines that form the sleeve into the tulip. You can decide how much of a curve you want. Just make sure you make both curves even.

Trace around the entire front sleeve using the curved design line, making sure to mark the center top and the notches.

Trace around the entire back sleeve using curved design lines, making sure to mark the center top and the notches. 

Label grain lines and make sure the seam allowances are what you want them to be to complete the patterns.

Now on to making a puffed tulip sleeve.

Again you can use a basic sleeve block or a cap sleeve pattern.

It is all the same steps so far as making a fitted tulip sleeve.
You are going to divide it into the four parts.

Do the optional overlapping.

Now you are going to divide the sleeve into 8 vertical parts. 

Slassh the sleeve from top of cap to bottom of sleeve.

Spread for desired fullness.

Raise sleeve cap to allow sleeve to to "puff", adjust seam line as shown.

(Note: you can also just use a puffed sleeve pattern and draw the curve lines directly on to it. Just keep in mind if it is a puffed sleeve pattern were the fullness is. You will want all the fullness in the top of the sleeve and minimal fullness at the bottom.)

Draw curved design lines as shown. You can play around with it on exactly how you want the curve to look. Just make sure both lines are matching.

Trace both the entire sleeve front and back using the curved design lines, making sure to mark the top and notches.

And there you go, you have two different types of tulip sleeves.

As far as sewing them goes....

The first step in assembling the sleeves is to sew the underarm seams together. 

You will then want to finish the edge of the sleeve.

 You can either finish it with a rolled hem. 
Or you can also finish it with a ruffle or a piping or whatever fits your design. Or you can line the sleeve as well. 

Then you will match the sleeve centers and baste the sleeve together so that is looks like a normal sleeve. Make sure when putting them together you have the sleeves so that they will be the opposite of each other. 

That is all for now. Hope that makes sense. I will try to run around and take pictures of some of the different tulip sleeves I have done in my time. I will also try to get a few more pictures explaining how to put the sleeves together.

Oh, and I realized that this is my first post of the year. Happy New Year!!!