Sleeves and Collars


basic pattern small or large

While the form of a lady's dress was basically the same from the 1880s until 1910, the sleeve changed much during that time. While in the 1880s it was very tight, the upper part became big and puffed in the 1890s and was seen cone-shaped in the early 1900s. If it's a tight sleeve, cloth and lining are cut from the same pattern and can be sewn in one go, i.e. with shared seams. A loose sleeve of any form always has a tight lining sleeve covered by the loose upper cloth. No matter which method you use, the sleeve is done seperately from the taille or blouse. Be sure to squeeze the cloth a bit on the inner side of the elbow and pull on the outer. The wrist end is cleaned up with a ribbon in diagonal grain sewn on right-on- right and then folded to the inside together with about 1/2 cm of the sleeve itself. Or sew on cuffs.

Stitch the upper edges of lining and upper sleeve together. Then you sew it into the taille or blouse. The front seam of the sleeve should be 4-6 cm from the seam of the 1st side part. Try it on before you seriously sew it in.

Puffed sleeves (AKA leg-of-mutton) get a tight lining sleeve, half a tight cloth sleeve on top of its lower part - same pattern - fixed just above the line from where the puff starts. Sew the puff together, make the folds, and sew it on right-to-right or, if you intend to cover the seam with drapery, left-on-right. Sew its upper edge onto the upper edge of the lining sleeve.

Blouse sleeves have a tight lining and a loose cloth sleeve. The outer seam is done separately for each, then the inner seam is done once for both, except if the inner seam is to be very loose.

The most important thing in fashion, my faithful book says, is a well-fitting lining sleeve. Amen.


Basic pattern.

A collar is, of course, a standig collar. And a stiff one at that, which is already the most important observation.

The basic form is cut twice diagonally from stiff linen (or you buy one of the readymade collar supporters). Stitch the two layers together. Then you put the cloth onto it: Cut the cloth like the linen plus seams (straight grain in the front middle), put the linen on the back of it, and fold the surplus around the linen.

Now sew on hooks (left) and eyes (right), three of each, hooks about 1/2 cm from the edge. (Depending on the hair fashion, patent buttons might be better - the hair would get caught in the hooks.)

How the collar is sewn on depends on where the taille is closed. Most dresses were closed in front or just off the front middle, while the collar was closed in back. In this case, sew the right side of the collar onto the right side of the dress, line it, and sew hooks (or snaps) onto the lower edge of the left side and eyes onto the taille. If the dress is closed in back or both dress and collar closed in the middle of the front, sew the collar on all round.

Lace collars don't get a linen lining; little pieces of whalebone are sewn in. At the front, two pieces are fixed diagonally so as not to sit on the larynx: the lower ends towards the front middle, the upper ends farther away from each other. Dresses with lace decolletÚs could be worn with extra collars that were put on before the dress.



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