Thursday, 9 January 2014

Mannequin making - Sleeves

Its Thursday, my favourite day of the week, and I'm up early and posting my 2nd blog in a I feeling ill?!

I'm not fully back to work yet so am making the most of having free time by bulk cooking and freezing meals so I have food to eat after a long day at work. 

One of the projects I got up to at the end of last year was more Mannequin making, but this time focusing on one particular limb, the arm.

It came about as I was finding it difficult to make a lining pattern for a jacket I was altering.
I teach Dressmaking in Belfast Met on a Monday and borrowed their detachable arm one evening, returning it the next day. A strange sight was a rigor mortis arm tucked sticking out of my backpack while cycling home.  It was a wonder I wasn't stopped and questioned. 

I needed to recreate this arm.  I find thinking always a lot easier with a cup of tea :)
I love the old dress stands and parts, stains and all. They are so expensive though!
I cut some calico (cotton) fabric on the bias (stretch cross grain).  The bias makes it easier to mold the fabric over the arms curves.  I marked where fullness needed removed around the elbow with a dart.  The armhole socket and the wrist were traced onto calico forming 2 circles.
By pinning the fabric in place it allowed me to make final alteration so I could achieve a very close fit.  I made a paper pattern, adding 1cm seam allowances and re-cut out. 
The dart was made and the sleeve was machine stitched in place.  Then stuffed tightly with polywadding until the amount of firmness needed was achieved.  I forgot to take photographs of these stages! 
The end circles were handstitched firmly in place and the arm was given a good steam with an iron to make it fit and sit.
Side view.  I pinned my arm to my stand using leather pins.  The pins need to be strong and secure the arm in place when using to fit a garment.
Front view.  A view lumps and bumps, but sure haven't we all!
I was now able to create a sleeve lining pattern a lot easier than before as this fabric was really soft and didn't hold a sleeve shape on its own.
Finished jacket.
Hope you enjoyed the post and it encourages you to make your own. 
Until next time
Happy Creating!
Christine x

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