Those Bishop Sleeves!

The sequence of construction for a child's bishop dress has always intrigued me, not that they are all constructed alike. But my TNT pattern, Creative Needle's Shoulder Button Bishop by Trudy Horne does things in a unique fashion. The front and back of the dress are cut out and put aside. Then a block is cut that will accommodate BOTH sleeves. The shape of each of the two sleeves is then drawn on the block. I use a mechanical pencil for most of my marking. I know, I just heard you shreik! I do not like and v. rarely use any of the disappearing (and returning) markers. Let's just say I have reason not to trust them. I have used mechanical pencils on most of my heirloom clothing, including christening gowns. With a little rubbing and some Biz, the line comes out. Usually I am pretty careful, however, to be as inconspicuous as possible with the pencil, drawing very lightly. I have done this for several years on nearly every thing I have made and it hasn't failed me yet.

The block is now pleated on the sleeve bottom edge with VERY long threads to ready it for smocking. Once this bottom edge is smocked the little puff sleeves will be all gathered and will be elastic, too!

The long threads are now pulled up between the two sleeve drawings and cut. Then the block is cut between the two sleeve drawings. Now you have the bottom of the two sleeves all pleated and separate. The long pleating threads are then spread flat for any trim to be attached.

Once the trim is on, in this case a 3 inch lace, the pleated sleeves will be attached to the back and front of the dress with french seams. Only then can the neckline be pleated and blocked. After that the smocking can finally start and tomorrow should see that task accomplished!

I have had a very very busy week with our work and have really been savoring my sewing time. Talk about return to sanity! I have been mentally pleating this outfit all week and it felt good to get those sleeves done. I put the pressure on myself to do this so I can then start work on my muslin for the grey coat. Then I will be back to my two project mode, one by hand, one by machine. The heat is on!

Today's mail brought me a book I have been craving for some time, " Sewing with Whimsy" by Kari Mecca. I will have a review on it in my next post. Til then..............Bunny


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  2. You want to know a secret? I use lead pencils, too, even on show garments. I will use the water soluble pens, too, but only the *water* soluble kind.

    I love the way those sleeves are done - you only have to run one length of fabric through the pleater rather than two smaller ones. Very smart.

  3. Me too, I use pencils for marking embroidery.

  4. It's good to know I am not the only marking heretic here, and in such good company, too!


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