Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Great Sleeve Experiment

I love McCall's 5752 which is one of Palmer/Pletsch's "Perfect Knit Dress" patterns. I think it is being phased out, if not actually out of print, since I couldn't find it in the stores and had to order it from McCall's. Or you might check the PP website at They are great about answering promptly.

So on this pattern views A&B have a shawl collar, wrapped bodice and capped sleeves. Views C&D have a deeper V necked wrapped bodice with long, set-in sleeves. I wanted version B with long sleeves. What to do? Change the wrapped bodice on version C to the shawl collar or add sleeves to version B? I choose to add sleeves to view B then and shorten it to tunic length and had pretty good results. Here is the pattern envelope:

I wanted the view on the left but with long sleeves!

To make the sleeve I simply placed the front and back pattern pieces together at the shoulder seam and drafted that shape for the top of the sleeve then used the sleeve from my sloper for the right length. I ended up with:

You can see a faint line down the sleeve indicating the
shoulder and notice the front "half" is narrower than the back.
I then decided the sleeves needed a little oomph so I marked 8" on each side of the sleeve at the wrist and sewed clear elastic, stretching as I sewed, to create some gathering. Here is a close up of that:

This is also a great pattern where the ruching in back view tends to fool the eye a bit! What woman wouldn't count that as a bonus!

I did my usual FBA and then the only other change I made to this pattern was to leave out the second waist stay in both front and back. When the gathered waist pieces were basted to the stays there was already more thickness in those areas than I wanted. I simply sewed wrong sides together of the gathered pieces and stays so that the right side of the stay shows inside my garment. I was happy with the changes that I made to this pattern and the end result. As usual, another winner for Pati Palmer!


  1. Wow that looks great - love the fabric - I partially made this dress and didn't like it on me and never finished it, perhaps I should take it out of the UFO box and try again.

  2. This is so pretty, and what genius to ruche (sp?) the sleeves. I love this on you!

  3. I love your creative thinking. You give me so many possibilities to consider in my sewing.


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