Vogue 1548 sleeves

I’m currently working on Vogue 1548, a recent Guy Laroche design. It has everything I love in Vogue designer patterns: a really unusual style with loads of interesting detail. Quite how wearable the end result is remains to be seen…I have to finish it first and it’s very slow going. So far I have a bodice (without a lining or a zip) and two sleeves (not attached to bodice).

Vogue 1548 line art

And what sleeves they are. There’s a weird pointy bit near the elbow, two very curved insets (one inside the other) decorated with self-fabric binding, and gathered cuffs. I don’t usually bother with construction pictures but these sleeves deserve to be commemorated. Below is the small inset just having been sewn into the larger one. The pattern pieces are just behind them. They’re sewn wrong sides together and then the seam allowance is trimmed, encased in binding, and stitched down on the right side of the fabric.

Vogue 1548 inset seam

The binding is supposed to be self-fabric bias binding. Normally I’d just use ready-made rather than faffing about making my own, but for this pattern I think the binding needs to match the sleeve fabric perfectly or it’ll look odd. Vogue’s instructions blithely say to do this by constructing a long bias strip about 25mm wide and then pressing over 6mm on each edge, giving approximately 12mm finished width. No further details about how to achieve this impressive feat are given, but then it is a ‘plus difficile’ pattern so I guess you’re supposed to know what you’re doing. I don’t know about you but pressing under exactly 6mm by hand on a wriggly bias edge is completely beyond my sewing skills and any attempt would certainly lead to burnt fingers and much cursing. Good thing there are bias tape folding gadgets to be had. Slow but effective.

Making bias binding

Here’s a picture of the bound edges basted down before being sewn. That was another massively fiddly job. In the very unlikely event I make this pattern again I would just sew the insets right sides together and top-stitch them. And I haven’t even got to the cuffs yet.

Vogue 1548 sleeve binding basted

24 thoughts on “Vogue 1548 sleeves

  1. Oh yes- fiddly, but so beautiful! I would have adopted the vintage technique of folding under the edges of the top sleeve and mounting it onto the insert, topstitching down. Easier than stitch and turn with fiddly shapes. It’s a fascinating design, it caught my eye because of those details- much nicer than flounces or bloody cold shoulders!

    1. Oh that’s a good idea – I will keep that in my back pocket for next time. It’s so nice to have a dress pattern with actual sleeves. Although I fear that the range of motion isn’t going to be great.

  2. Looking forward to seeing this made up. Very interesting details, the same reason I used to buy Burda Magazines … but the last few years they have concentrated more on easy designs.

  3. Wow, that looks so insanely complicated. I’m impressed you’re even trying it.

    (I have this pattern too, and it just looks so out of my skills range! Love it, though.)

    1. Hah it’s out of my skill level too; that’s why I’m making it in a very forgiving fabric. Can’t imagine sewing this in white like the original.

  4. That was a perfect reaction to “oh, just fold over 6mm…on both sides…it’ll be fiiiine!” Lol!

    This is going to be so awesome finished!!

  5. Wow! Yes, plus difficile! I like challenges, but wow!. Thanks for the construction picture, because it really helps to see it – even if I never make this dress, I’ve picked up a thing or two…

  6. Fold the bias in half, quick press and then fold each side to the fold – kiss ya fingers good bye – you don’t need them anyway!! Looking forward to seeing the finished product x

    1. I do keep thinking I could have made two more wearable garments in the time this has taken, but it’s been a good learning experience so far!

  7. I just finished a huge project for a client (a wedding dress) that has left me pretty much drained of sewing mojo, but I am so JAZZED to see all this intricate, lovely, tricky sewing!!! My fingers are practically itching to put some bias binding on something now… I hope you are enjoying the process. Thank you for sharing!

  8. God bless the inventor of the bias maker. You still get the odd scorched finger but it’s much more reliable than trying to make bindings freestyle. The dress looks intriguing, and I’m sure you’ll look fabulous.

  9. This is eye candy for me. Thanks for sharing. I love going through the designer section in my local department store, peering inside garments to see all the beautiful construction details.

  10. This is going to be terrific! I like DFs workaround for the sleeve bits, or possibly draft facings for them. I use the two needles in ironing board technique for homemade bias. Reasonably fast and not too many burns.

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