Dolcezza has arrived!!
I am so excited that this pattern is out into the world! I had made plans for a July release, and of course with the year we have had and the fit issues Dolcezza gave me, July quickly turned into December! I would like to acknowledge and thank Deepika from Pattern Review for giving me a gentle nudge to followthrough and finish this pattern!
Dolcezza has two views. View A has my signature oversized petal sleeve and a pussy bow tie closure. View B has bishop sleeves, and tie front closure. They are interchangeable and can be worn for any occasion. You will see photos of me in both variations, as well as hacked versions. If you want to take your patternmaking further, you can join me on Patreon as I will be showing you how I hack my patterns to make even more views such as the back bowtie version which will be seen on my Instagram sometime this week. The focus of my Patreon will be skill building and hacking the pattern, as well as video sew a-longs.
This bolero looks unsuspectingly easy and comes together quickly but the hardest part is the tulip sleeve. I am going to review some tips for success for both views. Pressing is crucial, so take the extra time to press in between stages for successful results.
Here are my tips for success:
1. Do not backstitch. In general, I do not backstitch. Especially when you get to parts like the front ties, and the sleeve, backstitching will get things stuck in the feed dogs. Instead of backstitching tie off the thread with a few knots.
2. Finish the armhole with a bias binding facing. I measure the armhole once sewn and then cut 1.5" strips, press them in half, attaching them to the sleeve using a 1/2" seam allowance. I seam it together last at the underarm seam to ensure my math was correct. Then press those inwards and you have a clean finish. This is an alternative as hand-sewing in the area and even folding in on certain materials tends to stretch out the armhole! I used black cotton lawn for my version here:
If you use this method you will want to change the sewing order and finish your sleeve hem first before the armhole (so read on to step 3). Once attached you can slipstitch it to the inside of the garment (gently).
3. If you are not lining the tulip sleeve you should hem using a bias binding. I tried a narrow rolled hem multiple times and it DID NOT WORK. It creates odd puckers due to the shape of the sleeve. I recommend you attach the binding to the sleeve and then press folding into the inside of the sleeve. Then slipstitch it to secure it. If your material is sturdier (like a polyester) you can use a satin stitch to finish the sleeve and then trim.
4. Understitch to secure the bolero lining. I am not a huge fan of underlining so you will not see it in my instructions often, but it is a good thing to do for the facing to not roll towards the outside of the garment.
5. If you want a more finished look and want to take it further, topstitch by stitching in the ditch to secure the lining to the bodice.
If you want additional tips or would like access to the video sew-along in January, consider signing up for my Patreon! We will be sewing the Dolcezza Bolero the third week of January.