On my drive home from the TEDx conference I went to the day of STOMP, the charity dance event my big project is for, I realised that a) it was colder than I had been expecting for late October; b) I didn't have anything that would go with my dress to cover my arms with, and c) it was almost 6pm on a Saturday night so all the shops were closed.
I remembered that I had seen a refashion of the sleeves of a raglan sweater into a shrug. (I just went searching, and the original blog post I read is here. The original instructions are for a knitted item, rather than for knit fabric.) Lacking any raglan sleeves, I raided my pattern stash for any patterns with raglan sleeves, so that I could make some from scratch.
And, as luck would have it, I came across this pattern, that I bought at an op-shop (thrift store) a fortnight ago. I must have sensed that I would need it. Or, perhaps (more likely), I bought a bunch of patterns 'that might be useful one day, and it's for charity, and they're only 50c.' It's Knitwit 1150, and It has a copyright date of 1979.
So, I took the pattern out, traced around the sleeve, size 6, and cut out two sleeves. I used white stretch lycra that was in my stash, but in all honesty, I have no idea what I ever sewed with stretch lycra in the past. It was clearly used though, because it had that weird 'I've-had-patterns-cut-out-of-me-so-I'm-not-a-straight-line' edge thing going on.
Next, I bound the edges of the sleeves (the bits that would be sitting on my back) with baby pink bias binding from my stash. I think the binding was originally used to finish off a corset I made many years ago.
Again, I remembered a tutorial I had read about sewing on bias binding, available here, found through craftgossip. I have, in the past used bias binding, but until I read the post, I must admit, I'd mostly forgotten how.
Once the sleeves were bound, I added some lace from the leftovers from my Stomp dress to the ends of the sleeves. Partly because the shrug was aimed to go with the Stomp dress, partly because I had a feeling that the sleeves were going to be too short without the extra length of the lace (I like my sleeves to sit on my wrist or low on my palms), partly because I had run out of bias binding, and mostly because I was feeling lazy, and didn't want to hem them properly.
Because I was running a bit behind schedule at this point, I forgot to take a photo of the lace. Sorry.
Lastly, I sewed the seams closed. I used a 1.5 stitch length, and a 1.5 stitch width for the zig zag stitch. So that I didn't pull the seams as I sewed them, I pinned them to a piece of tissue paper.
Lastly, I tried the sleeves on my dress form, and decided that I just had to sew the ends of the arms closed at the ends, to join the two pieces and finish my shrug. Again, no photos. The tissue paper then tore away like the perforations on a stamp.
And, with that, I had a raglan sleeve shrug that had taken me less than an hour to make, and only used items from my stash.
Plus, it looked awesome with my dress.