FIRST THING FIRST….I NEED YOUR VOTE HERE! Now…..
When I received the challenge for this week I immediately laughed…like oh man Fall is nowhere near Florida right now and even worse when it arrives the leaves barely change colors and there’s a slight breeze here and there. The funniest part is Fall is my FAVORITE season and I thought hmm what better way to transition into my favorite season than to use my FAVORITE color….BLACK! Black is a color I wear year round and let’s face it the ruffle/layered bell sleeves has been a trend all year! I wanted to add a dress to my wardrobe that could be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. I would definitely wear a pair of sandals, knee high boots or even nice flats with this dress! You could even add a chunky necklace or go without!
This fabric was a Ponte knit that I received two years ago in a swag bag at Mimi G’s conference. I’m so glad that I saved this fabric for so long because it was perfect for this dress! So I bet you’re wondering, “how in the world did she get that triple bell sleeve/ ruffles!?” Well, I’m going to explain it all to you!
For the bodice I used M6886 which we had to use for this particular challenge. However, once I found my size on the pattern I decided to cut a size down because I like my dresses to be more fitted and this particular fabric has a lot of give/stretch. Well once sewn up I still wasn’t pleased with the fit so I put it on inside out and marked out how much more I wanted to take in on each side (I’m no expert at this but it worked for me!) and then I sewed my side seams again following these markings and voila!
Now for these HEAVENLY sleeves! I used the circle skirt app to calculate the radius for my sleeves. Select inches, quarter circle and mini. First I determined where I wanted the initial sleeve to end and the bell sleeve to begin and where I wanted the largest one to hit (which was at my wrist). When I cut the sleeve down to the length I wanted it to hit (at my elbow) I then measured the bottom to get the inches to put into the circle skirt calculator. Then I determined how long I wanted my shorter two ruffles to be. I used the same radius for all three pieces and then adjust the length of each. Once I had all six pieces cut I used 5/8″ seam allowance and stitched the seams using a narrow zig zag stitch. I trimmed the top of the seam allowance where I would be connected the layers to reduce bulk. Then I slid the shortest one (wrong side out) into the second longest one (also wrong side out) and then I did a basting stitch to join the two. I then slid them into the longest one (also wrong side out) and baste stitched them all together. Then I sewed the side seam of the sleeve and attached all four layers together with a narrow zig zag stitch and then I stitched 1/4″ away in the seam allowance to add more security (this is called a double-stitch on the pattern). I finished off my seam allowance and then pressed it towards the top portion of the sleeve. See photos below for some visuals.
For a finishing touch, I wanted to use a twin needle but the one I had was not cooperating and due to Hurricane Irma everything was closed and was stuck in my apartment. I decided to hem and then create a second row of stitching to create the look I wanted! I also baste stitch all of my seams in place that I am matching up in order to ensure they are perfectly aligned before sewing! I also really like the unfinished hem on the sleeves so I just made sure I went back with the rotary cutter and perfected each piece before sewing them all together.
If you have any questions leave it in the comments below and I will get back to you asap! Thank you and enjoy the rest of these amazing photos by my Booski Pascale B.!
Stay Classy and Stylish…until next time!