Tuesday, August 30, 2011

"Falling" for Vogue 1250

Inasmuch as I have lost count of the number of weeks Houston has had temps over 100 degrees one would think that whining about Vogue 1250 not having a long sleeved version would beg the question "what is she smoking?" And yet, preparing for that first crisp, cool day sometime in October was the inspiration for this project: I want V1250 with sleeves! It has bothered me from the get-go that sleeves were not an option.

This cinnamon colored "Crinkle Polyester" knit was actually the muslin I first made for V1250 and I loved the pattern so much I moved on to make others and put this one aside unfinished. I just love the color of this fabric and yet it has always said "Fall" to me so I decided it was the perfect Muslin #2 to try out the long sleeves on!

The first thing I did was to decide if I simply wanted to extend the existing cap sleeve or re-draft a set in sleeve at the shoulder. I took the easy route since I like the look of the existing dropped shoulder cap. I went through my stash looking for a pattern that had a similar cap sleeve and that also included a long sleeved version...I decided upon Butterick 5495. 

Next, I compared the two garments I had from each of these patterns. The armscye was virtually the same on both when I layed one upon the other:

Now, I must warn any of you who are professional pattern drafters, engineers, or basically anyone who has a highly functioning left brain...what I am about to do to get from A to B might be painful for you to witness...but, hey...it worked!

I took the back pattern piece with the extended sleeve from the McCall's pattern. On top of that I put the back pattern piece from V1250 and matched up the notches at the shoulder. No magic in that formula...it just happened to look right. I placed a piece of waxed paper over the sleeve to trace on. (sorry about the glare)

M5495 by itself

With V1250 back and notches matched, draw sleeve of M5495 on to waxed paper
 Then I repeated the procedure using the front of V1250, again matching the shoulder notches. See below:

Now I had a front sleeve and a back sleeve. Being the Einstein that I am, it occurred to me that I did not want a seam going down the top of my sleeve. So I turned one sleeve over and layed them sided by side, creating a whole sleeve. A further light bulb moment alerted me to overlap these two pieces to allow for imaginary seam allowances. I think I allowed too much which will be revealed by a fix later on.

Here are the two pieces of the sleeve side by side with approximately 1.250" overlapping (5/8 X 2 although this turned out to be too much. Plain old 5/8 would have worked better.)

So, I cut out the sleeve and pin fit it to my arm and the garment. It was a little snug but it seemed to fit the dress so I was going to trust the fabric I was using to be stretchy enough:

The next step required me to put on my big girl pants because it was time to cut into my fabric. Luckily, this "Crinkle Polyester" was on the remnant table so if it was a total disaster at least it was not a financial setback. Upon laying out my cute little pattern I saw that there was negligible difference between the front and back of it so I just folded that puppy in half and placed it on the fold. I ended up with a sleeve that looked like this:

Before cutting the second sleeve I basted in the first one. I undid a little of the side seam of the dress, sewed the sleeve in flat and then re-sewed the side seam and down the sleeve. It could have used a little more room right under the arm so I would make that adjustment on the other sleeve. It is not uncomfortable and not bothersome enough to buy more fabric and cut another sleeve. One down...one to go:


I decided to tweak the pattern a little bit and add a little more length to the under arm so I ended up with this:

And a cut sleeve that looked like this which fit much better with the dress:

So, as the heat continues to bake and buckle our streets causing the water mains to burst I shall continue my quest for a cute Fall wardrobe that will now include V1250 with sleeves! Hope this tutorial has been an inspiration for you to try something new! Happy sewing...and stay cool...


  1. Fantastic! I will wait no longer to make this pattern!
    Great review. Thank you.

  2. I really like the long sleeves on that dess!

  3. Wow what a brilliant idea. I love this dress with long sleeves

  4. Thank you so much for sharing this! I've made three of these already, it looks like I'll be making more!

  5. I only arrived home from Houston on Saturday and I can confirm how hot it was. Now I have a problem that it feels so cold over here in the UK :-(

    The Rust colour of your dress is lovely - great muslin and you are a girl after my own heart doing a bit of this and a bit of that to get the required end result.

    Lovely dress.

    p/s - next business trip to Houston we should try and meet up (if you are not too far out)

  6. What a great fix. I've been wanting both of those patterns and knowing I can put them together is a bonus. I'm bookmarking your instructions. Thanks.

    Kathy in Oz

  7. What a great idea and one that works well! I just made this dress last night and like the fit. May have to try your idea of long sleeve. Thanks for giving us the details. Your dress definitely says fall-love it.

  8. This is a fantastic dress! Thanks for sharing how you added sleeves. g

  9. Must do this!! You look wonderful in this dress. Just discovered your blog (I have a brother in Houston area) and enjoy it so much.

  10. Good job! I too have just discovered your blog...
    I've been attaching sleeves to non-sleeve patterns for years... it's the best! I mean really... we have all these patterns already... why not use them to their full potential?
    The dress looks great... and I really love the color!

  11. This long sleeve version has finally convinced me to drink the cool-aid. I bought the pattern yesterday and will shortly start my own version of this much loved pattern. Thank you so much for sharing your pattern method for sleeves.

  12. Thanks. I have made both patterns and would like a long sleeve version of the dress. This is helpful.

  13. Good for you, very well done plus you have a pretty dress!


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