Simplicity 2154 has been in my pattern stash for ages but I always found an excuse to not make it. It's a mini capsule wardrobe pattern, 1960s reproduction. There is the bow blouse, a knit cardi, woven jacket and pencil skirt.
While on a break from work for 2 weeks over Christmas/New Year, I was hit with some sewing inspiration. I didn't feel rushed or pressured, but interested. I ended up finishing three new items of clothing. Each one was cut out, sewn and finished in one day.
Even though this blouse is small, it takes up a lot of fabric! The bow, knot, collar, neck binding and arm binding are all cut on the bias which eats up fabric. Not entirely ideal. The blouse itself can basically be made from remnants. But not all the little extra bits. If you were clever, you could use one fabric for the blouse and top collar, something else for the bow and knot, and then standard single fold bias tape for the arm and neck edges. It has the potential to be a stash-busting project.
In my case, it was stash busting. I had an awkward amount of this pretty cheap and flimsy shirting poly left from a UFO project that is languishing in a box somewhere. It was meant to be.
I have ordered some red poplin with which I plan to make another....
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.