Hello hello you beautiful 1940s reproduction pattern. What a delight you are!
Welcome to my wardrobe, Simplicity 8736. It is a 1940s blouse with bishop sleeves into a cuff, button back, gathered front shoulders and gathered sleeve heads. I made self-covered buttons for the back and sleeves. They are small and flat so I cannot feel them when I am leaning against something.
This pattern went together really easily, however there are quite a lot of fiddly steps. Gathering here, facings there, folding back facings and interfacing back there, cuffs, button holes, buttons, tucks, darts. You should have some skills up your (bishop) sleeve if you want to sew this one.
Originally, the plan was to finish this on the June 2019 long weekend. I had cut it out, done the darts/tucks to start... and then my partner injured his knee on the Saturday (high grade ACL tear).... I became a full time care giver as he couldn't walk, bend, turn, step over high things, bend knees, reach up, reach low, carry things, pour things, balance. He could walk on crutches but that was about it. No more sewing for me! I also had to call my mum for her birthday while we were waiting in the medical centre! Not the best way to delay a birthday phone call! Most of my day was taken up by helping him hobble off the soccer field, up stairs, into the car, out of the car, into the medical centre, onto a chair, out of a chair. The whole lot. It was a busy weekend but not in the way I anticipated.
Finally, a few weeks ago I stuck in and got it done. Then it sat on my dress form for a while to be admired. Next it moved to my wardrobe waiting for the perfect moment to come out and play. That day is today! It's a lot of fun to wear, it's pretty glamorous and enhances general swanning about. Which is what you do in bishop sleeves. Everyone knows that.
If this pattern is languishing in your stash waiting for time to sew... then just do it! The time you invest is worth it.
Made the straight size 16 - no alterations
Fabric is a rust coloured rayon from Spotlight bought specifically for this project
Self covered buttons from a Spotlight kit, 12mm
Hand stitched down the back facings and neck facing to keep it flat
No shoulder pads installed. I use my own shoulders.
1940s blouse: made by me - Simplicity 8736
IT'S FINISHED! My first proper fair isle pattern has been cast off, blocked and worn. I absolutely love it. There will no doubt more fair isle knitting in my future. Mostly because there is a lot of yarn left over from this project...
The pattern is knit in the round, bottom up until the shaping for the armsyce. The front neck/upper back are knitted straight in rows. Neck and armholes and picked up and knit afterwards in the roundy-round. Then time to weave in a buttload of ends. So many ends. All the ends! Took me two full nights of weaving to finish it.
Purl-ing the fair isle was a bit of a pain to get used to, but I eventually found a rhythm. I cannot say how pleased I am with this project. It's the first thing I've completed in my knitting goals for 2018 and I'm glad that it's worked so darn well!
Now, I can do plain knitting, cables, lace AND colourwork! Considering that 2019 will be my 10th year of knitting, I think I'm doing pretty well! Colourwork isn't scary, it just takes time, patience, a little more concentration... and natural light.
P.S: Note how well the red in the vest matches the red of my existing pants! Match made in heaven.
Ravelry notes here
Trousers: Hell Bunny
Scroll down to jump straight to the tutorial
Introducing.... The Gable Top by Jennifer Lauren Handmade. But with bishop sleeves! Shut up and take my money.
My first attempt at this hack was with an additional 3" to either side of the sleeve - so an extra 6" per sleeve. I made it in a draped black knit jersey fabric from Spotlight. The added 3" per side looked really drastic on the pattern, and then wasn't at all drastic in real life. It was a subtle bishop sleeve.
Nothing was changed in the sleeve cap, I didn't do the slash and spread method. I did the lazy version. To continue with the lazy theme, I made a casing and slid some elastic through. No messing around with cuffs.
On the second version I used a wine coloured, open drapey knit which was prone to unravelling - tedious. I added 9" per side of the sleeve. That's a whopping 18" of additional sleeve. This was much more successful. However... there could always be more sleeve drama. I want to drape myself around the house like a femme fatale.
Tutorial: Gable Top Hack - Bishop Sleeves
You will need
1. Trace the entire sleeve, including all pattern markings. Remember to add a note about the type of hack and what version of the sleeve it is. Sometimes it can even be a good idea to add a date.
2. From the bottom edge of your sleeve hem, measure out your desired additional width. 9" on both sides = 18 additional inches added into the sleeve fullness and the wrist. Draw a line from that point up to the beginning of the sleeve cap shaping. It's going to look crazy. Just go with it. The example below is 9" per side.
3. Directly below, add your casing. Mine was 2cm (and I folded in 5mm to hide the raw edge).
4. Add in the little wibbly-bit on the BACK of the sleeve. The back of the sleeve will be decided by the double notches on the sleeve cap. I just free-handed this wibbly-bit and it worked out in the end. My smaller black 3" per side didn't have the wibbly-bit and there wasn't an issue - the world kept turning.
5. Cut out your new sleeve pattern. Again, double triple check that it is clearly labelled and you've listed how large the addition is.
Cut 2 of your new sleeve pattern. Hooray for dramatic sleeves!
Note on asssembly:
Make Gable Top as usual. However, do not hem the sleeves before inserting them.
Set the sleeves in, sew the side seams and THEN do the elastic casing. Trust me, this is the easiest way.
Now, swan about in your beautiful new top with added drama and mystery. Let me know if you try the cheats version of the bishop sleeve!
Top: Gable Top b Jennifer Lauren Handmade
Boots: Sandler, circa 2004/2005
I did it! I wore a different me made thing for every day in May! Originally, I wasn't trying to have no repeats. Halfway into the month I thought... yeah... let's give it a red hot go.
Day 28: Vintage Vogue 8066 skirt from the 80s, sweater from the Salvos, and beret from high school, circa 2005. I love these autumnal colours together.
Day 29: Pink Gable Top by Jennifer Lauren Handmade. A great staple. Pants are from Hell Bunny. Why yes, they are pink matching brogues popping out there - from Windsor Smith years ago.
Day 30: First Fair Isle project with this little two colour cowl. Wore this to a site inspection and client visit in Melbourne - day trip! The cowl worked as a great pillow on the plane. This picture was taken on the way home waiting at domestic station.
Day 31: The final day. This is my first ever sweater made. It's from a vintage 1950s pattern. When I made this (while in NZ in 2012), I couldn't really purl properly. I made mistakes by doing the wrong stitch while working in stockinette. Mum had to unpick lots of little mistakes for me. The neckband was the first time I had ever done pick up and knit and I was terrified. Now it's one of my fave sweaters. It's gorgeous and classic. The neckline is really beautiful. The skirt is from eBay. The belt stolen from Mum makes a come back!
Knitter. Home seamstress. Dance Teacher.