Thursday, June 11, 2009

DVF surgery

A friend of mine picked up this dress for me (thank you!!!) at the DVF sample sale last week in NYC, I've been dying to get a dress in this print but kept missing it when one would pop up on ebay, I think it's from Spring 08. I hadn't seen it made up into this style before, I think it was unique to the sample sale. I'm not crazy about bell sleeves, so I decided to turn them into a more traditional DVF style, 3/4 sleeves with a vented cuff.

I already had a pattern for the cuff from my other knockoffs, so it was just a matter of cutting off the bell, narrowing the end of the sleeve, making the cuff, and attaching it.

Before, DVF Greer in Spring Shadows print


In taking apart the bell sleeve, I did discover the method used to attach it, so I thought I'd share that in case it's helpful. The bell is faced on the inside as well, up to where it attaches to the sleeve. The very end of the sleeve is understitched, and there is a 1" section along the vertical seam on the inside that is handstitched closed. They also used 1/4" clear elastic in both horizontal seams, the end of the sleeve and the top.

Here are the pieces:

Outer bell piece (roughly in a trapezoid shape, long edge is the bottom of the bell)
Inner bell piece (same)
clear elastic for top and bottom seams

Steps: (Sleeve is already attached to the dress and vertical seam serged)

  • Stitch vertical seam of outer bell piece
  • Stitch vertical seam of inner bell piece, leaving 1" in the middle open
  • Baste clear elastic to one of the pieces at the top and the bottom of the bell (I definitely saw basting stitches in addition to the serging, but I'm not sure which piece it was on, I don't think it matters)
  • Stitch the inner and outer pieces together at the bottom of the bell, right sides together
  • Understitch
  • Baste the outer bell piece to the sleeve, right sides together
  • Turn the sleeve right side out, it should look almost done except the inside bell piece hasn't been attached to the bottom of the sleeve.
  • Now reach through the 1" opening you left in the vertical seam of the inner piece, and pull out the sleeve/outer bell piece (basted together), and the top of the inner bell piece that is unattached.
  • You need to stitch the inner bell piece to the sleeve/outer bell seam, but you'll have to sew in a circle and readjust the piece as you work, you can't expose the whole seam at once. For a really good tutorial/pictures on how to line this up see Kathleen Fasanella's blog post. This is the same thing you do when bagging the lining in a jacket.
  • Stuff the seam back through the hole, and press.
  • Slipstich the 1" opening closed and you're done!