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Design Room Sketches

Wedding Dress with Short Cape Sleeves

A wedding dress with short cape sleeves. This design was inspired by old Hollywood style seen on Jean Harlow in the 1930s and Grace Kelley in the 1940s.

The bodice of this dress is an empire style modest sweetheart. It has a crossover front with light ruching. Two very long pieces attach to the front bodice and drape over each shoulder, knotted at the center back creating; short sleeves, a cape like back, and a long train ending same length as the gown.

The bottom of this dress is a simple a-line silhouette. Fitted at the waist, draping over the hips and angled like an A to the floor.

The dress style is suitable for several body styles. With a modest neckline and empire style bodice you have coverage and support for a larger bust. With ruching you have added volume for a smaller bust. Short cape style sleeves provide a little upper arm coverage and soften broad shoulders. The a-line bottom is a refining fit on all shapes. With a slimming effect its ideal for large hips and creating an evenly proportioned figure.

I tested this pattern in rayon muslin. This design will work best with lightweight fabric like silks or rayons. A silk blend of charmeuse, wool, or spandex, a georgette, or chiffon.

In the test you will see the drapes and ruching hard pressed, looking flat with hard lines. For the final version I would recommend light steaming and holding the ruching in place with small stitches strategically placed throughout so that ruching remains full with a soft romantic finish.

The length of this cape is shown at seventy inches. This can be customized to any length. The front of the pattern has been reduced to minimize any gapping along the shoulder line. From the front where it attaches to the bodice it is roughly eight inches wide and has that width for twenty inches. This is also where you can adjust to wider or thinner depending on the desired coverage of the shoulder.

The knot – many designs can be formed with knots from simple bows draping down the back to nautical knots or flowers.