The bell sleeve is HOT this season! When I first saw these dramatic sleeves popping up everywhere, I’ll admit I wasn’t sure about the look at first, but after seeing this dress I decided I absolutely needed to design something with bell sleeves. My invitation to the Stylemaker Fall tour proved to be the perfect opportunity to try it out! I’m not the only one who loves the bell sleeves, either; Audrey posted this great bell-sleeve tutorial on the Hey June blog a few weeks ago, and here’s another one from Lara Liz.
I used the basic building blocks of my Beatrix pattern to create this look (Jess did most of the cutting and sewing again), but as you can see it’s quite a departure from my first Beatrix top for the tour. I think they’ll both be equally perfect for any semi-dressy occasion that heads my way this holiday season.
We omitted the buttons in the back from Beatrix (see this post for a tutorial), and lined the bodice because the fabric — a gorgeous twill weave rayon — is a bit on the sheer side, as you would expect from any white rayon. This Monaluna warm white lawn is my go-to lining fabric lately. We extended the short sleeve by 1″, and added a gathered rectangle twice the width of the sleeve and 8″ tall to each one. The top was cut along the View B cutting line of the pattern, so it has a cropped look compared to the original pattern.
While I la la love and highly recommend this twill weave rayon — it’s incredibly comfortable, drapey, and has a soft, fluid quality that is really lovely — it probably wouldn’t be the easiest fabric to work with if you’re a beginner, so do bear that in mind. It moves around quite a bit when you’re working with it, which makes it fantastic to wear, but takes some careful handling when sewing. The darts were definitely tricky to get even (check out this Beatrixalong post for a few tips on getting them straight). Even after lining them up perfectly, I ended up dropping one of them a half inch due to what I can only describe as personal bodily asymmetry. AHEM. Our bodies are unique and lovely things, and for some of us, the two girls just land at different places. #straighttalk
One other thing I should mention: I did notice that despite copious amounts of pressing and steaming that these (naturally lit, indoor) photos showed every last little wrinkle; please don’t be deterred by this, though, because it’s not at all noticeable in person. Another fabric from the Stylemaker fall collection that is very similar that would be equally lovely (and is slightly less cream, more white) is the sueded modal shirting. Check out the lovely Gemma tank that Lara Liz made out of the white modal for her stop on the tour!
I like that this top is dressy but very simple. I love the idea of whites in winter and can often be found wearing my white jeans when it’s cold. In fact, I’m not a no-white-after-labor-day kinda person at all. I think white is dramatic and bright and brings to mind snow and holidays and all that. But it can definitely be difficult to shop for white fabrics online, so I’m really happy to have discovered this one.
This post is the last stop on the Stylemaker Fall Tour. Head over to the Stylemaker blog to take a look at all of the lovely looks that everyone put together!
Thank you to Michelle at Stylemaker for inviting me to be a part of the tour and for providing me with the fabric for these posts!