Oct. 22nd, 2011 08:32 pm
elizabeth_mn: (Default)
Ok, I normally find sleeves to be basically a breeze, and when I hear people complain about them and throw the word "sleevils" around, I am arrogant enough to think I am past such troubles.

Obviously, I was ripe for a humbling.

I am currently on Version 4 of the caraco sleeve.  It seems like your basic one-piece 18th c sleeve, with a little dart in back to curve it over the elbow.  But it has given me so much trouble!  I really want to figure it out, but really, next time I think I'll just skip straight to a 2-piece sleeve.  More seams = better fit, every time.  Plus I'm just more familiar with a 2-piece sleeve.

There is a disconnect between the sleeve cap curve and the elbow shaping.  When the highest part of the cap is positioned at the shoulder point, the back-of-elbow dart is on top of my arm.  I thought at first I just had the sleeve backward, but on the other arm, that put the seam on top of my arm, and that's not right.  And anyway, the dart was still in the wrong place.

Then I thought maybe the top of the sleeve cap is not in fact, supposed to be positioned at the shoulder point, but adjusting the sleeve back caused all kinds of ugliness.

The elbow dart in the pattern is in line with the top of the sleeve cap, and nobody's shoulder point falls in a line with the back of their elbow, so I had to shift the pattern around a bit.  Unfortunately, I only realized this was the problem after 3 tries.

To make it worse, Janet Arnold omitted a.) sleeve seam placement in the sketch of the dress, b.) hash marks in the pattern diagram detailing where to connect sleeve to bodice, and even c.) which side of the sleeve cap is the back and which is front.

I realize now that what I ought to have done is fit the cap, then create the elbow curve.  I think I may have a working pattern now with #4, but if not, I am going to basically start from scratch and chuck the original version.  The next mockup is now in order.

I have the feeling that I am in way over my head with this project!  Not only do I not have the relevant information to make it work, I also have no idea where I might get it.  All my current resources seem to be exhausted.
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