Thursday, April 10, 2008

Fun with Sleeves!

A couple of years ago I picked up a book at the local thrift shop on "How to Design Your Own Clothes and Make Your Own Patterns" by Claudia Ein. The book was from the '70s, and though I do not care for the '70s designs, I did glean a lot of good sewing information from the book. I enjoyed seeing and understanding how different elements of clothing takes shape, how the pattern shapes were come by, and how it all works together.

For example, the many ways to make the sleeve of your choice, from one sleeve shape. I thought for fun I would do up some doll samples, and put them on our model, "Clarinda," the Victorian rag doll, and have our photographer take some pictures. That way you could see how fun it can be to experiment with sleeve shapes. I hope that our samples here give at least a vague idea of what all the different designs look like.

It should be said that there is more to the sleeves than these simple shapes; one has to be careful about the differences of the front and the back of the sleeve, markings, etc. when making a real outfit.
Here is the basic sleeve shape, cut from a dolly t-shirt pattern on muslin to make my own pattern to play with.

Above you see I have sliced the pattern piece into strips.

By spreading the strips out in various ways, you can make all kinds of beautiful sleeves.

Here I cut above and below a little more, and rounded it for gathering.

This results in a puffed short sleeve, gathered at the shoulder and into a cuff at the arm.

Or you can leave the bottom un-gathered to make a slight flutter sleeve, in the book called a "butterfly sleeve."Here I have spread the bottom of the pattern out, but left the top plain (for no gathers).


This will be gathered into a cuff at the bottom, but set in plain at the top, for a different look in a puff sleeve. It will be puffy at the bottom only.


This pattern variation can also be made into a fluttery sleeve with no gathers at top.


Now I have spread the pieces with the fullness at the top.
This makes a sleeve that the book describes as "1940's" and is one of my favorites.

The sleeve is puffed at the top but tapered at the bottom, and requires no cuff.


Or you can get really crazy and spread them out like this....


...for a shape like this,

which makes a real "flutter" sleeve, very very fluttery!

Here is a plain long shirt sleeve.



Slashed and spread apart, it can be gathered into a long full sleeve.


Here is the full sleeve gathered on the top and the bottom into a cuff.



Using the principles above with the short sleeve, you can spread the pattern further out, cut the fabric high above the pattern top, and have a really puffed sleeve, like Anne wanted!

Here I have fanned out the bottom of the sleeve, into what is called a "bishop sleeve."


This can be gathered at the bottom into a cuff, for a sleeve that is puffy at the wrist but plain at the top.

Or, as in this sample, leave the bottom open and create a cute "princess" style sleeve, by putting elastic in the upper sleeve to create a small puff. I tied ribbon around it at that point, and it looks like a fairy-tale dress sleeve.

Here is a plain tapered long sleeve.

The book showed how to slash it this way.....
...and spread out the top for a leg-o-mutton sleeve.



Here is the leg-o-mutton sleeve, a popular Victorian sleeve, puffy (sometimes Very puffy) at the top but tapered at the bottom.

Now for some of the fun sleeve variations that the book had: Double sleeves!
Here is a double flutter sleeve. The smaller "butterfly" sleeve underneath, and the really fluttery sleeve on top.



Or pair a plain long sleeve with a flutter sleeve on top.


Or put a short puffed sleeve over a long sleeve to make the "Juliet" sleeve.

Here is a beautiful "Juliet" sleeve, another good one for a fairy-tale dress!

Of course there are a lot more variations to be had with experimenting and designing!

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