Dramatic bell sleeves are the shape of the moment, and I absolutely adore them, but they aren't the most practical choice when you actually wear the style. Driving, eating, writing, texting -- voluminous bell sleeves can definitely get in the way of these must-do tasks of daily life! So I designed a jacket with a baby bell sleeve -- one that captures the beautiful shape without so much volume that it gets in the way.
Bell Sleeve Jacket: Here's the toile with a paper pattern of the bell-shaped cuff. I played around with different lengths and volumes for the bell shape, and thought this one would be just right. It has a delicately flared shape without too much drama -- definitely has the vibe of an updated classic style.
Shawl Collar: Just to keep things interesting, I added a wide shawl collar, which looked especially cozy (and feminine) in this blush pink textured wool fabric. The raglan sleeves also make it comfortable to wear and a bit casual in vibe.
Buttons: Choosing the right buttons -- the finishing touch on any outerwear garment -- is always challenging. I had four "finalists" for this jacket and ended up going with the smooth silver metallic one on the bottom left. It felt the most elegant of the four and I loved how, in the right light, the button would reflect some of the blush color. Lovely!
Hand-Stitching: I added a line of hand-worked feather stitches that served to hold down the back lining pleat and add a decorative, couture touch. In ready-to-wear, you won't see this detail -- if the jacket has a pleat (which all good jackets should, as it provides extra room across the back to alleviate any stress on the garment), it will be sewn down by machine. I also hand-tacked my label, which is something I like to do with all of my custom garments.
Bell Sleeve Jacket: Here is the finished jacket. The bell detail is demure but still beautiful. It has rounded patch pockets and a two-button closure, complete with bound buttonholes. The length is a bit longer than a typical jacket.
The Bell Sleeve Jacket is one of my current fave styles. The raglan sleeves and longer length make it an easy to wear, "throw on and go" jacket, but it still has a lot of pulled-together style, thanks to the oversized shawl collar and bell sleeves.