Owl sweatshirt and dress-form arms

For a bit of fun this week, I’ve been playing with fabric crayons to give a bit of interest to a plain grey sweatshirt.  And I finally got around to making arms for my dress-form.  Something I’ve been meaning to get around to for ages.

Owl Sweatshirt

The pattern for the sweatshirt is McCall’s 6614 which I made last year.  I’m using view A/B again.  It has a darted raglan sleeves with cuffs, side panels for subtle shaping or colour blocking, and a shirt tail hem.

McCalls 6614 (Source: McCall’s)

The fabric is a grey marl French Terry.  Not the best quality.  It looked OK in the shop but pilled after washing.  It’s a bit disappointing as I bought 5m of the grey and 3 of the black to make sweatshirts and sweatpants with.  They will be for wearing around the house and working in the yard, so will get knocked around a lot.  I may be lucky and get 2-3 years out of them.

A plain grey sweatshirt looks a little boring so I decided to add a graphic onto the front.  I could have used fabric paints, but decided to use fabric crayons instead.  The crayons can be blended on the fabric which meant I could add some shading to tree limbs and vary the colour of the iris/moon.  It was very quick to do; just a couple of minutes to draw the design and then heat-set with an iron.  No fuss, no mess.  Yay!!

The armed dress-form

I’ve been meaning to add arms to the dressform for ages.  Lately I’ve been taking more photos of the dressform as it is a lot easier than taking photos of myself and cartooning them.  For some projects, it is worth the time to take a photo of me wearing the garment, but I don’t think it is necessary for everything.  You know I can fit a garment and I’d much prefer to be taking about sewing details than posting selfies.

One of the things that I haven’t liked about my dressform photos is how poorly the sleeves sit, especially those with raglan sleeves.  I had been trying to get away with using foam bra cups to give the sleeve head a bit more natural shape, but arms would be so much better.

The pattern I’ve used is from Cloning Couture.  She did a wonderful post on how to make the arms and generously provides a free PDF pattern.   It goes together fairly quickly, but requires a bit of handstitching to attach the wrist and shoulder.

I’m using a Singer dressform, which has shoulder stubbs rather than a flat plate.  This means that the arm doesn’t fit as well onto my dressform as well.  Removing the cardboard support  for the armhole and using less wadding helped

I modified the pattern to add width to the bicep, as shown in her post, and  but forgot to adjust the length.  The final length of the arm is equivalent to the second joint in my hand.  It looks a little odd with a wrist length sleeve, but has the advantage of being able to tuck the arm into a pocket.

I should correct the length and modify the armhole interface.  What to you think.  Is it good enough or deserves to be redone?

Here is a before and after photo of my recent North Face knock-off showing the difference.



11 thoughts on “Owl sweatshirt and dress-form arms

  1. Love your Owl and for me it would take days and still not look like an owl.

    Love the idea of adding the arms to your dress form, something I want to do even for my Sewing Sister, but I could shorten the arms, you don’t always have a pocket to put the excess into. You do have the skills (well I think so) to get the armhole interface better.


    1. Thanks Sharon. I envy your Sewing Sister. It must make fitting so much easier.
      I think you are right, in that I should make some adjustments to the sleeve. I’ve been giving the armhole interface a bit of though and starting to hatch a ‘cunning plan’


  2. Very clever and creative addition to the sweatshirt. I didn’t know fabric crayons existed either. I will have to look into this sweatshirt pattern. It looks so much better than a formless, baggy sweatshirt. Your dress form looks good. You are a busy lady!


    1. Thanks Becky. Please do look into this pattern. Very easy to put together and easy to adjust . It’s unisex sizing so the hip measurements are narrower than normal


  3. You’ve inspired me to buy some fabric crayons, but sadly I do not have your artistic ability so will need to stick to very simple designs!


    1. Thanks Ruthie. I’ll be watching your blog to see what you make. Simple designs can often be more effective. The engineer in my likes to over-complicate things with too much detail 🙂


  4. Great idea for using fabric crayons and your design looks great. Thanks for the reference to my blog and happy the arm form was useful. My dress forms don’t have the bump out shoulders so the cardboard at the top will sit flat against the form. With the bump out shoulders you are right that removing some of the stuffing at the very top would get the arm to sit better on your form.


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