The FrankenDress is a perfect example of having a vision for something, executing it, and realizing that it doesn’t work for you.
I got the dress completely finished, with the drop-cold shoulder sleeves. And realized that I hate that look on my body. After mulling it over for a little bit, inspiration came in the form of one of my favorite retellings of King Arthur, Mists of Avalon.
I’ve spent years adoring the fashion in that movie and wishing people dressed like that these days. My solution for this dress was a simplified version of the sleeves on Anjelica Houston’s dress (blue one). So, the finished product:
The end result is that I am in LOVE with my new tunic dress. It’s flattering, comfortable, and fits my aesthetic perfectly. After wearing it yesterday, I did decide I’m going to put the same lace trim that’s on the bottom around the hem of the sleeves as well. But on to the construction!
As you can see at the bottom of the picture, the knit I am using for this is very seethrough. Rather than changing up the slips underneath I decided to line the dress. If you’re using a more opaque knit just ignore the lining, it’s not necessary for the construction of the dress. I will also show pictures of how I constructed the initial drop cold-shoulder.
(skip this step if doing an unlined version)
For my lining I cut out the regular slim fit raglan so that it would skim closer to the body and leave the lace knit on top to drape freely. Sew the front piece to the lining at the arm seams. The lining fabric that I used was a rayon knit from Nature’s Fabrics that was largely the same on the right and wrong side, but I decided to put wrong sides together. If you’re doing the drop cold-shoulder, put right sides together, sew the arm seams and turn the fabric inside out. Now you have a nicely finished seam.
For the unlined version the finishing comes after attaching the arm and for the Mists of Avalon sleeve it’s not necessary.
Apparently, my camera ate the photos I took of the next few steps. But we’re just sewing the two sides together. How we do that will change based on which sleeve we’re adding, so skip to the sleeve you want for more instructions!
Drop Cold Shoulder Sleeve Construction
Taking the regular SFR sleeve piece, fold down the pattern and cut a straight line. As for how far down you want to fold it, it depends on how much of a cold shoulder you’re looking for. Remember that you need at least some space above the bottom of the arm to attach the sleeve to the bodice. For mine, I went for roughly 3 inches.
I also went for a wider sleeve. Starting from the bottom of the armscythe point I drew a straight line to the bottom of the sleeve, rather than tapering in.
Press the top seam down and topstitch.
Now the sleeve is ready to use, and we’re going to insert it much the same way you’d insert the full sleeve piece if making a normal SFR. Attach the sleeve to the front and back of the garment.
For an unlined version, once the sleeve it attached, fold down the seam allowance of the cold shoulder part and top stitch down.
Once the sleeve is attached, sew the sides of the garment the same way you would normally for the SFR. For the lined version, sew the outer fabric first, then sew the lining. You do not want them attached at the side seam!
Cut out the neckband and sew onto the garment, making sure to leave space over both arms (remember on a normal raglan the sleeve forms part of the neck!) I clipped the neckband as shown, with right sides together (not folded). Then folded it over and top stitched the entire neck down near the bottom of the neck.
Mists of Avalon Sleeve
Cutting the sleeve in half, lay it out on your fabric as shown. Rather than having two seams, one for the cutouts and one under the arm, I decided to reverse the pattern so there was only the top seam.
More camera eaten photos, so I will describe what I did, sorry! Next time I will double/triple check my photos before moving on!
Once the sleeve is cut out, on the outer edges (what would have been the middle of the regular SFR sleeve – top and bottom in the photo above) fold over 1/4″ press, and another 1/4″ and press. Now top stitch.
For this version of the sleeve, the attachment is backwards. Sew the side seams of the bodice together first, making sure to sew the lining and outer fabric separately. Fold the sleeve in half and make a small notch at the half-way point. Align that notch to the side seam and clip the sleeve to the arm seam of the bodice.
Once attached, bring the top of the arm together and hand tack the front and back of the sleeve together (this makes it easier to attach the neckband. Now just attach the neckband as normal.
I tried the garment on at this point and with clips, marked where I wanted the cutouts to be. Then I hand sewed the sleeve for 1/2″ at each of those points.
And that’s the dress!
I apologize greatly for the lack of photos. If anything is unclear, please message me on Facebook or leave a comment here and I can try and sketch something up or explain it better (it always makes sense in my head, lol)
On Monday I’ll be showing the last hacked garment, the grommet hoodie!