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Tag: sleeves

Homework 31: Shaping and finishing the sleeves

I used the shaping I had done on the calico sleeve as a guide, but tried moving the pleats from the top so that they were round closer to the body. The shape definitely looks better when the arm is curved towards the body.

Shaping the sleeves. The right side pleats are further round to the top than the left side.q

Shaping the sleeves. The right side pleats are further round to the top than the left side.

When it was all pinned in place, I fitted the bodice to check that the elbow or lower arm would not pull or get caught when flexing. It all seemed to work well.

Once I was happy with the shape I had sewed the pleats and cuff folds in place and then finished the facing.

Homework 30: Period bodice – setting in the sleeves

This evening I put the sleeves in to the bodice. I tried doing the right side without using easing stitches, but it didn’t look so good pulling across the head of the sleeves. You can see the difference between the right and the left in the pictures below. In the end I reset the right sleeve using easing.

Before sewing in the sleeves, I folded pack and pinned the vertical seams that joined the armhole so that they would be in place for when I finished the seam neatening.

Right sleeve back

Right sleeve back

Right sleeve front

Right sleeve front

Left sleeve side

left sleeve side

Right sleeve side

Right sleeve side

Left sleeve front

Left sleeve front

Left sleeve back

Left sleeve back

Homework 30: Period bodice – sleeves

First I added the facing. I used some scraps left over from my quilted petticoat fabric, but it should have really been cut on the bias.

Measuring up the facing

Measuring up the facing

I machine sewed in the facing, but didn’t want to finish the facing until I had put in the sleeve and set the cuff.

Facing, machine sewn in

Facing, machine sewn in

After adding the facing, I used my rolling pin to press the seam flat before neatening.

Using a wooden rolling pin to press the seam

Using a wooden rolling pin to press the seam

Grading the seam by cutting back the layers

Grading the seam by cutting back the layers

Seam pinned back ready to slip stitch in place

Seam pinned back ready to slip stitch in place

Class 30: Period bodice – sleeves, piping, seam neatening, and fastenings

Sleeves

Today Claire checked the calico sleeves we had fitted, and explained when we put in the real sleeve we should mount the top fabric on to lawn to stop it from stretching and add a facing on the cuff using a 2-4 cm bias strip. Remember to always set the sleeve in to the bodice, not the bodice in to the sleeve.

The sleeve seams can be overlocked if they need to be finished quickly or seams can be turned back and hand slip stitched for a better finish. The facing and the seam neatening should be done before fitting the sleeve to make it easier to handle.

Claire also gave us instructions for seam neatening on the sleeve and the bodice, and what we had to do for the piping that would go round the top and bottom of the bodice, and what fastenings to use. I spent the rest of the class helping with fittings, and cutting out the sleeve layers.

Seam neatening

For the vertical seams:

  1. trim seam allowance
  2. grade under layers
  3. turn back top layer
  4. and slip stitch.

For the armholes:

  1. trim to 10mm seam allowance
  2. pin
  3. hand tack in place

Piping

This would be used on the top and bottom seams. It helps to reinforce these edges and having the cords in the piping, allows you to ease in the the neckline if it slightly gapes or does not sit flat against the body.

  • use 00/01 cotton piping
  • pipe all the way round from edge to edge
  • for lighter fabrics double up by folding in half. The folded edge will give a nicer finish on the inside.
  • do not under cut the cord, leave long to give you something to grab
  • to finish unpick slightly, turn back the bias fabric and then resew to the edge

Fastenings

My bodice will have a centre front opening where the two centre front edges meet,  so I will just be using hooks and eyes up the front. There openings could be laced or where the fabrics overlap, hooks and bars would be used.

Buttons were rarely used as funtional fastenings in this period. As buttons were often used on military uniforms and so were considered quite unfeminine.

  • hooks should be placed on the left side as the actress would be dressed by someone else
  • placing should be roughly 25mm apart. Close to the edge, but set back slightly.
  • for fittings, use 5 stitches around each ring of the hook or loop to hold in place
  • once position is correct, stitch firmly in place covering the whole ring with thread. Use a stab stitch to firmly hold in place.

Homework 29: Setting in the sleeve and gathering the overskirt

Today I set the calico sleeve in the bodice shoulder. This toile was based on the basic sleeve block we had cut in January. I wanted to see how it fit and what adjustments I would need to make.

Setting the sleeve

To make the period shape, there needs to be two pleats on the back of the join. I tried very hard to make the pleatsline up with the seams joining the bodice pieces.

Calico toile sleeve set into the bodice with two pleats.

Calico toile sleeve set into the bodice with two pleats.

Unlike most sleeves today which are usually straight tubes or funnels, 18th century sleeves that went below the elbow had tucks or seams to bend the sleeve in to a gentle L shape. Often they would also have large cuffs.

Sleeve pined to make a bend at the elbow and folded back to make a cuff

Sleeve pined to make a bend at the elbow and folded back to make a cuff

I played around to see if I could get the ‘look’ as the toile had a fair amount of fabric to play with. If I had cut the sleeve differently, or used a separate piece of material, I could have made the cuff bigger, but I was planning to have slightly gathered lawn cuffs showing from the sleeve too.

Gathering the overskirt

Previously I had agreed with Claire that I would gather rather than pleat the overkirt. At this point I was  happy to do it this way as it was quite quick, and as the fabric is fairly light, it ruffled up well. As the left and right vertical edges were on the selvege edge, I was able to turn over 15mm and then 15cm to make a self facing and tacked them in place before gathering the waistband.

Front edges turned in to make facing

Front edges turned in to make facing and tacked in place

The overskirt was starting to fray heavily, so I zig-zag stitched the bottom to try and keep it under control until I could get around to hemming it by hand.

Zig-zag stitching the edge to stop the hem from fraying

Zig-zag stitching the edge to stop the hem from fraying

As with the under petticoat, I gathered in sections to help avoid the threads breaking and then I machine stitched on to a petersham waistband  which was the waist measurement plus 70mm extra on each side, so that the overskirt could be fitted.  In the picture below you can see how much the fabric is fraying.

Gathers sewn on to petersham waistband

Gathers sewn on to petersham waistband

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