1930s Sew-along with Norma: A possible solution to the sleeve problem

A fast update before I go away for the weekend.  I’m so determined to stay true to the period that I had an “Aha!” moment in the middle of last night!

I have to break my habit of falling back on what I know as the only possible solution.  The whole purpose of the 1930s Sew-along with Norma is to learn new skills and problem solving approaches.

I realized this as I tried to alter the draped sleeve again.  It still is too tight.  But rather than draft a sleeve based on the 1950s origins of the French Fashion patternmaking technique I decided to try drafting the sleeve from the 1932 book “Dress Cutting” by Margaret Ralston.  I made a few changes to the way the sleeve cap was drawn.  For the alteration to reduce the cap I used an alteration mentioned in the 1930s draping book.  This might be the solution.  I’ll have to try but at least it’s truer to the period.

I may end up with a draped bodice and a drafted sleeve but it will all have originated in the 1930s.  If the sleeve works out I’ll share how I made a few changes so that it would work with my drape.  Sometimes using different systems is tricky but maybe I’ll get lucky and have a good result.




3 thoughts on “1930s Sew-along with Norma: A possible solution to the sleeve problem

  1. I like your idea of trying 1930s drafting. It’s worth a try & I really hope it works.
    You ar right about the learning – I had never thought of overcasting seam allowances by hand and now I’m having to do it for the linen top. Much less fear now and more speed.
    And there was the revelation that snap fastening plackets work really well if you get the fit right.
    The importance of stay stitching is another. And that’s just from one skirt. Still the little jacket / blouse to go.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, Norma! You did a great job with your skirt and I learned, too. Now I can see how the waistband described in the Weldon’s encyclopedia of needlework and sewing looks like. I think the take-away from this project is a new set of techniques we can apply to clothing of any era. They become part of our problem solving skills.

      As I study whatever I can find about haute couture, I’m learning that many of the creative techniques designers use derive from the particular needs of the design and fabric. They’ve had the training and education to draw from the past as well as present. In like manner, we’re learning new ways for solutions to things like closures and neckline finishes.

      I’m looking forward to following the development of your blouse and jacket.

      So far I have to say the drafted sleeve looks sooooo pretty. I cut it out before I left for Baltimore and pinned together. There is a lovely curve around the wrist. Now let’s hope the cap fits into the armhole.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m looking forward to seeing it.
        I think you’re right – we are giving ourselves a much broader education in dressmaking than we had before.


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