This pattern started off as an idea for a shirt, but quickly extended into a dress too so it could be a full outfit. The idea was to create something cozy but with a clean elegant look to it. The knit fabric and slightly loose fit provide the “cozy” while the high neckline, bishop sleeves and optional cuff details add to the elegance.
This pattern is available in both our girls and junior miss sizing (with the option of bundling both patterns for more savings). The style, fit and options are the same for both, but the junior miss sizing includes built-in cup sizes for A-D cups.
Two of the most obvious features are the high neckline and classic bishop sleeves with optional ties at the cuff for added interest.
The Caribou shirt has a looser fit that is slightly gathered in at the hem with a casing and wide elastic.
If you don’t have a wide enough piece of elastic for the shirt’s hem casing you can always consider sewing an extra channel in the current casing and using 2 narrower elastics instead. Bernice did just that on her shirt and it worked beautifully!
The dress is a little more fitted and extends to just above the knee with a 1 1/2″ hem fold; deep enough to ensure it doesn’t flip up on you.
The front bodice can be made solid or pieced, with the option of adding a small ruffle into the angled seamline.
This pattern works best with fabrics that have some structure and good recovery. The biggest consideration here is that neckline. A fabric with poor recovery is a lot more likely to stretch out (and stay stretched out) when sewing the neckline. Especially since this area gets “double sewn” through the use of under stitching to hold everything in place. The structure element of the fabric is to help make sure the neckline stands up.
How about a woven sleeve in a pretty chiffon or flowy rayon? This CAN work since this sleeve has a wider fit to begin with, but special consideration needs to be given to the cuff area (where it needs to stretch to go around the hand). The cuff itself needs to be made in a knit fabric and the seamline where it attaches to the sleeve needs to be able to stretch as well. To make sure it will still have the necessary “give” you will need to gather the woven sleeve hem to be slightly larger than the cuff (as opposed to gathering it to be the same size as the cuff like in the tutorial). Then, while attaching the two, stretch the cuff to meet the size of the sleeve hem. The cuff should rebound and pull the sleeve hem in snug during wear, but still have the stretch available that’s necessary to get it on/off.
The Miss Caribou includes cup sizes and because we’re dealing with more body curves in this range we also included a few extra tips for fit adjustments. This pattern uses invisible darts for the bust and includes some simple instructions for checking where your bust apex is in comparison to the pattern and how to easily adjust the pattern if necessary. To move the invisible dart do the following:
Begin by locating the bust apex mark for your pattern size. Draw a rectangle that is 2” tall (it should extend 1” above and below the apex mark), and wide enough to include the apex mark and the side seam. The short sides of the rectangle must also run parallel to the center fold line on the pattern piece. Cut the rectangular section out. (Figure 1)
While keeping the short side of the rectangle parallel with the center fold line, slide it up or down the desired amount. Tape in place and place some extra paper behind the now open/empty section on your pattern piece. (Figure 2)
Re-draw the side seam by carefully blending from the armpit to the bust bulk (in your cut out section) and down the the waist. (Figure 3)
Can’t wait to see what you come up with! Be sure to share your makes with us on Instagram or our Facebook Fan page, and when you do use the hashtags #soficaribou #sofimisscaribou #sofionadesigns so we’re sure to find you.