How about a real classic look with real sleeves?
This Wtoo Nahara certainly delivers the look we remember from the 50’s.
To start, the sleeves are about 2 inches too long but they have a regular hem and no scallops.
With 7 buttons and 7 loops, we need to remove 4 of them at the hem. First detach the loops and buttons. Thread trace the new hem with red thread.
Fold under the hem keeping it for future brides with longer arms. Re-attach the 4 buttons higher up on the underarm seam.
Shortening the shoulders by 1/2 inch (one inch total) requires the removal of the sleeve cap and the tulle binding.
Once the first edge is released, we can see there are more rows of stitching to be removed.
After that, the binding is free and the shoulder seam can be taken in.
Here you can see the 2 layers of sleeve cap and bodice and binding.
Starting at the neck edge the new seam stitching amounts to 3/4 inch down to 1/2 inch at the sleeve section.
Basted by hand before machine stitching
The binding will now be too long and instead of folding it under and making a lump, I cut it and overlap for later.
The nice thing about working with lace is…the air spaces!!! Gathering by hand allows me to decrease the cap by the 1/2 inch it needs. Once attached back to the shoulder, it will behave itself and look nice…really.
With everything hand basted, you can see it works.
Once sewn by machine with white thread and basting removed, it will be fine.
That excess tulle will be folded under cleanly under the edge and hand tacked.
On the outside, it looks good.
The sleeve binding is re-attached
With the sleeves sorted out…what’s next? This bride wanted more coverage and the bust sections closer together. Pinching out 1/2 inch, she asked if it was possible to bring the 2 edges together without looking like it had been done.
Flipping to the back side, you can see the tacking stitches that bind the lace to the tulle base.
Once released, you can see that each “flap” could be lifted. Then what?
Here we have the exposed flat center tulle panel and the flaps pinned back.
I pinned out a 1/4 inch tuck (1/2 inch total) and basted it by hand and later back stitched along the basting to make it more permanent.
Then the flaps were flipped back into place, overlapping, and pinned down.
To secure everything, I ran another row of hand stitching down the center.
Sequins were re-attached and you can see that the coverage was complete and the bride felt confident to walk down the aisle without showing a cleavage crease and not worrying about bending over and exposing too much at the reception.
Another advantage of snugging up the center front is the profile, see how the bodice cups under her bust for a smooth transition down towards the belt.
The final photos of her dress with the veil…just stunning with lace motifs on the edges! The bride was so easy to work with, she gave me free rein to make all the alterations and said she trusted me with whatever I decided to do and try.
Just have to share what Mother Nature has blessed us with…patty pan squash normally are about 3-4 inches across and you need at least 4-5 of them in a meal. What about this one weighing in at almost 2 pounds! This is what happens when you don’t look under all the leaves!!!
Keeping my fingers crossed that this is the last week of 100 degree temps! Happy sewing to all the moms who waved their children back off to school this week!