First the caraco--it's JP Ryan's pattern, and it went off swimmingly, as I had anticipated. My by now well-worn copy of her pattern seems to only get better with age. Differences from hers: The sleeves, clearly. And I didn't reinforce or use hooks and eyes in the front. I found that simply pinning the front closed over stays did just fine, thank you much, and leaves the garment quite a bit more adjustable.
And a quick note on the fabric--it's a block print cotton procured from Heritage Trading Company on Ebay. It's actually done by hand, which you can tell if you get a close-up look--the borders are imprecise from one layer of printing to another. This family has been printing cottons in the same village in India for over two hundred years, and their stuff is not only beautiful but priced very well, too.
But what you all really came for--the sleeves. They're two layers of linen and one layer of printed cotton. They start out looking like this (general shape nipped from Patterns of Fashion by Janet Arnold):
Then I hemmed them (by hand, natch, while watching terrible SciFi channel original movies with my husband...did I say terrible? I meant gloriously bad), and pleated them so that they looked like this:
I then set the linen pieces into the sleeves (faked the piece out thinking I was just going to hem the lining and shell together then wham! linen engageant between the layers) and tacked the cotton on the outside of the sleeve. Then the piece de resistance: the border of the cotton was a strip of contrasting print, which I pinked and box pleated, then tacked it on top of the whole business.
Quite a bit of work for a bit of sleeve fluff, but God is in the details (wait, or is it the devil is in the details? Which is it? Anyone?) and I'm pretty pleased with the result.
Now, looking forward to wearing this when the weather turns sweltering this summer--the cotton is wonderfully lightweight, which will be a welcome change from my midweight linen work gown. Fan, hat, and shade, and I shall be quite pleased to be a lady of leisure...until the dishes need to be washed and the stew put on for dinner.