"Slash and Spread" (it's not what you think!) | Week 23 | #52wonderfilledweeks

My new dress and a cluster of power lines...gotta love living in the city!

I am "fluffy".  I love that term, though I don't particularly love actually being "fluffy".  I've been every size under the sun, from a tiny size 4 to, well..."FLUFFY".  I have had three pregnancies and have two beautiful babies and I will get back "there" someday, but in the meanwhile I love that I can make clothes that fit me...in all my "fluffiness".  This week I had planned a woodworking, outdoor related project but it got side lined when we decided to 'shop' for the requisite wood in our stash and ended up organizing under the back of our house.  It really needed to be done and as it turns out we didn't have what we needed so now I can (with a clear conscience) go to the hardware store and buy the needed wood - but the project will have to wait another week.  In the meantime I had a brunch date with some old friends and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to try a new pattern and go a little out of my comfort zone.  

I have had the LDT (Laundry Day Tee) from Love Notions for over a year but was hesitant to try it.  It's easy to get lulled into a comfortable zone using patterns from the same maker over and over and it's always a gamble on how something will look on a "fluffy" figure.  All that aside I decided I really wanted to try a summer dress.  I figured I would  start with something light and casual and then I could work my way up to something more formal.  I also decided quite literally at the last moment that I'd like a flutter sleeve.

Now I thought the pattern CAME with a flutter sleeve option but it didn't.***Note: If you join the Love Notions Facebook Page you can get a code that will allow you to download the LDT for FREE!! And it isn't just a dress, but a tunic and shirt with several different neck, sleeve and hem options.*** Anyhow, back to the flutter...I had already dreamed up the dress in my mind and when I realized it didn't come with the flutter option I started searching for easy flutter sleeve hacks.  I have heard of the "slash and spread" technique but have never tried it.  (No it doesn't have anything to do with a horror movie!)  It's really just a simple technique to give fullness to an area of clothing without tampering with the actual seam line (because that would start to interfere with the pattern itself). I followed this simple tutorial for the idea and then dived in.

First I traced out my pattern from the original onto my freezer paper.  I also did some reading on the Love Notion FB page and read that since the pattern was drafted for someone 5'5" I would need to take some of the length out.  The pattern comes with an indicated line where you can add or remove length.  For every inch difference you need to remove 1/2" from your pattern (or add if you needed the length).  So since I am 5'2" on a good day I have a difference of 3" from the drafted 5'5" pattern so I need to remove 1.5" from my pattern.  I drew a line 1.5" down from the line indicated in the pattern and folded the paper so the lines met, therefore taking out the extra length.  I had my doubts that this would indeed make the pattern length fit me correctly but it worked perfectly! I actually didn't hem my dress (more on that later) but had I folded up an inch and top-stitched it would have still be fine and hit exactly where the dress was drafted to fall.  With the length situation fixed it was time to dive into the sleeves.  

I was using this soft double brushed poly from Knitpop (see their current selection here) left over from my Mom's v-neck she made back in Week 18 and I had to do some finagling to make sure I could get what I needed out of what was left.  Making the sleeves "flutter" does take a bit more fabric so keep that in mind when you're planning your make. I would encourage you to read the above link regarding the flutter hack but basically you want to take your sleeve piece and slash and spread it to create the fullness in the sleeve WITHOUT messing with the line of the seam where it will be attached to the garment (also known as the arm-sync).  It was suggested that you leave 3" at the edge (underarm area) and then mark every inch or so.  Now I was lazy and I did not trace out my original pattern without the fold and I am glad I did.  In the example I linked to above they drew out the whole pattern piece (ie you don't place anything on the fold, but the cut the piece in it's entirety).  I think it was WAY easier to make my sleeve even dealing with only half.  Because when you finally do cut your piece out on the fold both sides will be exactly the same.  I marked one inch sections and sliced from the bottom of the sleeve up to but not through the top of the pattern piece.  This was a suggestion in the tutorial so you don't have to worry about making sure your pattern pieces are in the correct order.  Once you've made your marks and cuts use a grid ruler to spread the bottom of the slashes apart about one inch.  You can go more, up to 2", it will just create a more full flutter.  (I plan to experiment with this on my next one.) Again because I am a little cheap and lazy I just used tape (on both sides of my pattern piece) to hold the spread slashes in place.  You'll notice that the shoulder seam (arm-sync) has not changed by much, if at all, and that's the whole point of this technique.  It will still fit in your original pattern's arm-sync.  Also notice because I did not trace out my new pattern piece when I placed it on the fold to cut I angled and "spread" the bottom out 1/2" from the folded edge to keep with the 1" spread of the other slashes.  Because we're on the fold the 1/2" gap will really be 1" when we open our piece up.  

The sleeve worked perfectly.  I actually cannot believe how well it worked.  I have some ideas for my next one where I plan to make the sleeve almost elbow length and much more full, but this was exactly what I had envisioned and how often does that happen?  I mentioned earlier that I didn't officially hem the dress.  Because I was on a time crunch and I didn't want to deal with hemming flutter sleeves and a hi-low hem (high in front and lower in back) I decided to do a quick rolled hem on my serger. I will write more about this in the future but it was a perfect fit for the style of the dress.  The best part is that I felt so great in this.  I think people think I am this super confident person but I am far from that, especially when I am at my "fluffiest".  Walking around all day in the dress (yah, I kept it on all day long!) I felt comfortable and pretty.  I haven't felt like that in a dress in years...and years...and years... I have plans to make a few more (maybe one or two) for the rest of the summer but am already thinking of some of the other awesome dress patterns and fabrics I have been hoarding, scared to jump into because I didn't think "fluffy" could do dressy and well...that's just not true!

Every week I learn something new about myself doing this challenge.  I am introduced to new concepts, nudged to go outside my box, jump sometimes blindly into projects and it's just been fabulous. I am almost halfway through the year and I gain a little bit more confidence, tell a few more people about what I am doing, stand a little taller.  


In other news I helped the hubs (aka Super) make a hilarious mug for his administrative assistant who is leaving for a new position. She loves Koalas and just returned from a trip to Australia. 

He found the image he wanted and tweaked it a bit.

All cut out and figuring out the right placement.
First time using contact paper as transfer paper and it worked great.


So proud of himself.

And P was asked to decorate her graduation cap for her upcoming ceremony.  We took the opportunity to try out 3D rolled flowers on the cameo.  They came out great!

Gluing the letters down.

Adding pops of color!

I found it was easiest to weed the actual flower from the mat than the reverse.

How cute!

Decorating the flowers with glitter paint.

All the flowers glued together.  Hot glue makes short work of this part!

All done.  We love Portage Park and want everyone to know it!


  1. Dress looks great. I thought the fabric looked familiar.


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