Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A Tale of Two Sleeves

sleeves sleeve2sleeve3 sleeve4

In an effort to clear out my studio, I've started grabbing projects that have been on the back burner for a while to reevaluate, rip, and fix them. This one you might recognize as the Zelda I started two and a half years ago, finally picked up again a year and a half later, and then realized was totally messed up in the sleeve and shoved into the bottom of my WIP basket. I made plans for how to fix it, but put off the actual execution for goodness knows what reason. So the other day, I pin-basted the sleeve in with the extra fabric pinched out, which gave me a starting point to base the new sleeve pattern on.

I ended up keeping the sleeve cap shaping the same in the front, but gradually decreased out about 15 stitches in the back. The problem with the original sleeve was that it was symmetrical in the front and back, which gave too much ease across the back of the sleeve cap; this extra fabric smushed in anywhere it could, giving a lumpy, unattractive shape to the sleeve. Given my usual modifications for forward rotated shoulders in front and prominent shoulderblades in back - severe curve in the front of the sleeve cap, soft curve across the back - it makes a lot of sense that I would need to make the same sort of changes on a knitted garment. Although knits give a lot more leeway in terms of ease, the same basic rules of fitting apply, and a sloppy sleeve is never going to look as nice as a tailored one.

sleeve changes

Taking a closer look, you can see that the overall shape of the fixed sleeve (right) is much more natural and flattering on the body. The grain of the sleeve lies straight, and there's very little extra fabric bunching anywhere. It's a small detail, but I think that it will be the difference between a garment that is cute but not quite successful, and one that I'm excited to wear.


In other news, you may have noticed that I got new glasses! They're by LA Eyeworks - the style is called Corncakes, in the colorway Surf and Turf. I've had my old ones for about five years, and a few weeks ago I finally made the plunge and ordered a rather pricey new pair. Considering that I wear my glasses all day every day, I figured it was worth sinking a little extra money into a pair that feels a bit more designed and special. These ones in particular feel very modern, with a retro twist, which I just love. I think they make my face look totally different than my old glasses, but in a good way - it's like getting a new haircut or a tattoo, but I can take them off!

1 comment:

Caroline said...

This is gorgeous! And good for you fixing the sleeve. (I would probably think about it, then not. Then sulk about it.)