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Friday, August 10, 2012

Sleeves On Saturdays

Yes, I know it's not Saturday. The week has been a little crazy, but I am still in charge of my mind...somewhat anyway!! A few weeks ago I received an email from Tania asking for a little help,
"I've been scouring the internet for months for a decent tutorial on a style of sleeve that I need in sewing a traditional dress (Philippines). I have a wedding to attend in September and I'm aiming at sewing a traditional dress to wear to said event. Would you be so kind and help me, or at least give me an idea, on how to achieve the sleeves as in the pictures below?"
Love the dog! 
As many of you can probably guess, anyone who has seen my shoe collection usually refers to me as Imelda, so when I saw Tania's request, in honor of my namesake, I had to take on the challenge. Tania told me that I could wait until tomorrow to post the sleeve, but I would really like to get her started on her dress, so I'm flipping Friday and Saturday this week. Tomorrow I'll post this week's Fabulous Free Pattern Friday edition.
The sleeve on the green dress has a tucked cap and the sleeve on the white dress is gathered. Since the gathering is a little simpler to do, our sleeve today will be gathered.
The Imelda Sleeve
Begin with your sleeve pattern.
Determine the length of your sleeve. From all the pictures I saw of this sleeve, it is usually worn a little above the elbow to just above the elbow.
This is a very straight sleeve. Most sleeves are tapered somewhat, so you will want to straighten your sleeve. Do this by squaring a line off the line you drew in for the length of the sleeve.
Now we have a straight sleeve that is the length the we would like. Draw in a bicep line. This will be used as a guideline when we begin to spread the sleeve for the fullness.
 Square a line off the bicep line at the notches.
Now divide the center area of the sleeve. I divided my sleeve into 4 equal sections on either side of the center of the sleeve. Be sure and number all of your sections!!! Now cut out the sleeve and cut each section apart.
Draw a horizontal guideline on a new piece of paper.
I included this picture to show what can happen when you don't number your pieces. So please number your pieces so you don't end up with a mess.
I did a 1" spread between each of my sections. This gave a fairly full sleeve. Use the guideline that you drew on the paper to line up the sections of the sleeve.
Now we need to add the height to the sleeve. The rule is, and of course rules are meant to be broken, but this is a good rule of thumb, for every 3" that you spread, raise the cap 1". I spread my sleeve 9" so I raised the cap 3". Now with Imelda, more was always better, i.e. the shoes!!, so this is a matter of choice. Make a muslin of the sleeve at this point and if you would like the height to be more, add more.
The final pattern.
My muslin sleeve.
And a side view.
As you can see from the above picture, this is a sleeve that holds its shape. In order for it to do so, we need to add some structure to the inside of the sleeve. I would also suggest that you add an underlining to the sleeve by cutting the sleeve out of your fashion fabric and cutting another sleeve out of silk organza. If your fabric is sheer as in the sleeve above, the organza can act as your lining, but if your fashion fabric is not sheer, I would cut a layer of fashion fabric, a layer of silk organza and a layer of lining.
For the interior structure, 
 measure from one notch to the other.
Draw and oblong piece that is the length measured between your notches. The width will be the amount that you raised your cap, plus seam allowance. I raised my cap 3", so my interior structure piece will be 3" wide.
This can be made out of silk organza or netting. Netting will give more structure. Fold the piece in half and sew in gathering stitches.
 Attach this to the cap of your sleeve.
 Now the cap of the sleeve will truly hold its shape.
I looked through pictures on the internet, I saw that they would actually press the sleeve to accentuate the cap.
I told Tania that this was not a sleeve that I would have thought to do, so I am very happy that she asked. It was a lot of fun to put it together for her. Send pictures Tania when you finish your dress. I know we would all love to see it! Good Luck!!



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27 comments:

  1. That is rad. I love the mestiza dress and the sleeve is the best part.

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  2. I am Dutch and live in the Philippines and sew! It would never have occurred to me that any body else would be interested in this type of sleeve. You see them all the time here mainly in formal wear and especially for weddings as well as at political events! Traditionally the fabric used is from pineapple fibres and very stiff and crisp. So the sleeves hold their shape even with just an organza underlining (we can't get silk organza here unfortunately). They are often pressed and flattened so they have a crease along the fold. I've never actually seen a pattern for one of these sleeves, but if I ever get my hands on one, I'll send it to you. But I think you are on the right track here! If you want to see some modern versions of this sleeve, take a look at these from the last State of the Nation speech. http://barriosiete.com/the-2010-sona-fashion-parade/ It. includes a picture of now 80 something Imelda as a Congresswomen!

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  3. http://www.spot.ph/gallery/1445/sona-2011-red-carpet-fashion-gallery/article/48919#pid=22541

    here is another photo gallery of Filipino sleeves!

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  4. I've been searching for filipiniana sleeve pattern for ages ang i'm truly happy to see your blog. I am not a trained dress maker, I only sew whenever I have no other choice. This pattern is really a blessing in disguise as i'm really desperate for Filipiniana dress and living here in UK i don't know where to go to. Thank you so much for sharing this...wish me luck I hope I can do it!

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    1. So happy to hear from you! I am sure that you will be able to do the sleeve without a problem. Once you get your garment finished, send a picture. I would love to see your creation.

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    2. Great Blog! Im looking into making some dresses with this sleeve pattern, Do you have a video tutorial or know of any? Thanks so much!

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    3. this blog is great and i truly appreciate it. would you happen to have a video tutorial or know of any on this sleeve pattern?

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    4. Hi Michael, I don't know of a video tutorial on this sleeve, but if you would like, I could do one. Just let me know.

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  5. I'm working on a jacket that will have a similar sleeve. Thanks for posting!

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  6. http://sewnotwork.wordpress.com/2012/11/20/i-feel-pretty-oh-so-pretty/ Here is the jacket that I was talking about.

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  7. Thank you so much for this! I'm going to try to make boleros for my bridesmaids. :)

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    1. If you do make the boleros, I would love to see a picture. Good luck!! What a pretty wedding you'll have.

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  8. I attend a lot of functions and this would really help in making my own terno thanks!

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  9. I've just discovered your site and what a wonderful gift. I was adopted from Leyte and have had no upbringing on anything Filipino. But I'm learning to sew and would really love to make a butterfly dress. Is there a video tutorial. I'm a visual learner. Thanks, Nancy

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    1. Hi Nancy, So happy to have you! I do not know of a video, but I can do one if you would like. Let me know. You can email me at sewbussted@yahoo.com

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  10. Hello.. I had a problem before on how to have a structure on the filipiniana sleeves.. but what if I'll use a lace or seethrough? What will be the best material aside from using a hard tulle? I am.not quiet sure with some pics I saw using a lace fabric and it holds pretty well.. please email me kevin.ororo@gmail.com

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    1. If you would like to make the sleeve out of lace, I would suggest underlining it with organza. It will give some body to the lace and help the sleeve hold its shape. Hope this helps!

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  11. I am a freelance fashion and costume designer based in west covina, california and a dear friend of mine asked me to make her a Terno for their church event, since its my first time to make one, i have searched the net and found your blog. thank you for a very easy and informative instruction on how to make a Terno sleeves. . its just amazing. . I will send you a photo once the terno is done. thanks again and Mabuhay!

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  12. This has helped me a lot. Thanks heaps!

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  13. Thank you for this tutorial!! It will be a big help for me. I need to do something for my daughter that will be worn in a school event. Im just a mom, not a professional dressmaker, but id like to do something first before resorting to buying costumes or dresses that will be worn only for a day! So big big thanks! :)

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    1. I'm so happy that I have helped out a little. Good luck with the dress.

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  14. Thank you so much for this Imelda's sleeve tutorial , i am now able to create my modern filipiniana for my future pageant !

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    1. I'm so happy!! Send a picture of your gown once it's finished. I would love to see it :)

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