January 24, 2013

Best Sleeves Ever

We all know that the easiest and most fun sleeves to sew are dolman and kimono sleeves (essentially, they're not really a sleeve at all!). The unique dolman sleeves of Simplicity 2305 by Cynthia Rowley may be my most favorite sleeves ever on what is sure to be a new staple of my winter wardrobe.

The sleeves are roomy through the shoulder, but taper and gather around a wide, tight cuff. What is otherwise a cute, relatively standard dress becomes a one-of-a-kind piece because of the style of the sleeve.

Dolman sleeves.

As with most Cynthia Rowley patterns, the instructions are clear, but unique design details and construction methods are meant for intermediate level seamstresses. I made a size 10 through the shoulders and graded to a 14 at the waist for a perfect fit. The sleeve cuffs, however, had a very wide arm opening so I took drastically wide seam allowances there. I also cut two inches off the skirt length so the finished dress would fall above my knees.

And this morning I woke to the DC area's first snowfall of the season! Here's a street view outside of my apartment. Can't wait to get home this evening and do some warm winter crafting.


  1. That dress looks so chic on you! I love dolman sleeves, though I tend to cut them close to my torso rather than the "batwing" look.

    What kind of fabric did you use for this dress?

    1. Julianne - it's a silky synthetic. I don't remember exactly what the fabric content is, but I bought it at Joann's! Thanks so much for your kind words.