I did go to Joann's to get stretch velvet actually - 4 yards of it to make my sister's Christmas dress. And when I saw this particular blue-green stretch velvet I was thrilled. It would make a stunning Christmas dress for my sister. I grabbed the bolt from the shelf and took it to the cutting counter. There I discovered the issue. The bolt held only two yards of velvet, not the 4 needed for my sister's dress. That was a disappointment. After a phone call to my sister I picked out a different color stretch velvet for her dress and got 4 yards of it. But I couldn't leave behind the blue-green, it was just too pretty, so it came home with me too.
Now that I had two yards of blue-green stretch velvet to play with, it was time to decide exactly what it would become. I began to brainstorm and eventually came up with the idea of a bishop sleeved top, but I didn't want to it be quite like the other bishop sleeved tops in my closet. I wanted something different.
I came across the Adrienne Blouse, by Friday Pattern Company, on Instagram and decided it was close to what I wanted, but still not quite right.
Somehow, thinking of, and then rejecting, the Adrienne Blouse brought me to the Rita Blouse by Charm patterns. I've admired it ever since it came out several years ago, but never bought it. Now, with two yards of velvet in hand, and a Black Friday sale happening at Charm Patterns, I decided it was time for me to buy this pattern. With a few alterations, it would become the bishop sleeved top pattern of my dreams.
The first alteration I made was to eliminate the front princess seams and cut the back of the blouse as one solid piece. This wouldn't have worked if I'd been making the blouse out of a woven fabric, which is what the pattern is made for, but knit fabric, like stretch velvet, is a bit more forgiving.
Next, I lengthened and expanded the sleeves then cut a nice long cuff to finish them off with.
Unfortunately, I didn't lengthen my sleeves quite enough, and once I had my top sewn together I found them to be a little too short to be properly puffed and comfortable. So I fixed that issue by cutting the sleeves, on my newly finished shirt, in half then sewing in a 6 inch band of leftover velvet.
This extra 6" of material in the sleeves made them properly long enough. We'll just pretend those extra seam lines in the sleeves are a design choice, and not a last minute fix.
The finished top is absolutely splendid!
And Dramatic Sleeves.
What more could you want?