Stout Woman Revolution: Choosing the right sleeve.

Long sleeve. Cap sleeve. Kimono sleeve. Drop shoulder sleeve. Flutter sleeve. Short sleeve. Cuffed sleeve. Two piece sleeve. Fitted sleeve. Sleeveless.

Oh, what to choose.
It's no secret the love I have for sleeves.

I select sleeves for garments based on my confidence level. I'm a plain type of sleeve gal for most outfits. Either a basic design for day dresses, bracelet length for winter dresses. I used to lack the confidence in displaying my arms and made all my sleeve lengths at least past the elbow. But then I got brave, and started doing shorter sleeves and, well, the earth did not explode after all.

I just don't think my arms are my strongest asset. There is nothing wrong with that, but oh, how I do so envy the larger ladies who can work a flutter sleeve.

*Gasp*

So feminine and frilly and wonderfully womanly. Delicious. Or, her more practical cousin, the cap sleeve. Squeeee! In a contrasting fabric from the garment's bodice? Be still my heart. Or, for the stout woman who can do it with pride, sleeveless. I worship you.

But, as I've said many times before, I'm about making what you have work the best it can, and for me, I feel the most confident with sleeves that cover most of my forearm.

It is a personal choice.

How daring do you feel? How safe do you wan to be? Even with all the decisions of fabric and choosing which notions to use, sleeves are often something that most just take at face value. But then there are some outfits where the sleeve is the *best* part.

If there are some tips I can give with sleeve selection it would be these:

1) Choose a sleeve based on the seasonal design of the garment.

If it's a sporty number, chances are you don't want to do a full length cuffed sleeve.

2) If supplementing a sleeve, do a mock up first.
New sleeves have to be adjusted to the bodice of the design you are using. Subtle alterations from the opening to how far the shoulder length needs to be extended should be looked at. I've ruined many a garment by not planning ahead.

3) Don't overpower the design of the outfit.

If you choose a fantastic sleeve, make sure the outfit plays with it, not against it. Too many design elements can harm your overall intent for the garment.

4) Play with fabrics.

Two tone your design, or use a different fabric to use up left over material. Buttons, bows, cuffs. Yay!

Thats it for now.
Happy Sewing!!

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