…not lamb, definitely not lamb. Not leg of mutton either though.
I decided to pin up as much as possible, and started faffing with the sleeves. these are lovely big leg of mutton, or ‘gigot’ sleeves, like the ones on my ‘cycling jacket’. Or should be. To help the foof, I’ve interfaced them from the top to about 3/4 of the way down the foofy bit. Now according to the rather scant instructions the sleeve should of course be gathered into the armscye and into the cuff. From the size of the sleeve pieces, this looks feasible, doesn’t it?
Until you actually try to follow these instructions.
OK, sez I, let’s fold and put those long curved seams together…
Right. Easing needed maybe? I tried pinning it together, and it all got a bit twisty…plus have you noticed how narrow that top ‘armscye’ gets? Let me show you
So that gets to be ‘gathered into the bodice’ does it? Er, no.
I went to the Reconstructing History page on Facebook and exchanged a few Q&As with Kass, who is always quick to help, and very lovely with it. We didn’t get very far though, maybe I didn’t explain the issue very clearly. She said she’d check with a friend who’d made several of these blouses up for a show. She got back to me later, and apparently the friend could not remember if she’d had any issues. Meanwhile, I’d spotted another oddity.
The long cuff is an unusual shape. In my experience, cuffs are either plain rectangles, or for long ones like this, they are shaped like a sector of a circle with the point cut off…with the top edge a convex curve and the bottom concave. This piece has top and bottom concave. Also, when I cut the first one out, I noticed that the cuff woudn’t quite fit round my forearms, which are quite slim. I made the stripey cuffs a tad wider accordingly.
The sleeve is supposed to gather into the top cuff edge. Er…no
I’d already asked Kass if the sleeve should be a 2-piece, thus accounting for the ‘missing’ underarm extensions, but she’d assured me that they should be one-piece. It then occurred to me that this ‘cuff’ may well be a second sleeve piece, thus explaining that upper concave curve. I didn’t sleep much last night, so had ample time to chew over this between about 2am and 6am!
This is the ‘cuff’ pinned onto the sleev foof and I think it looks like my theory could be correct. I think that most of the RH patterns are either made directly from historical garments or from original historical patterns, which were generally produced as small scale diagrams for the home dressmaker to scale up. A lot of basic knowledge was assumed, and ‘simple’ items like collars and cuffs were not usually supplied in the draft but left to the individual to draw for themselves. Could this ‘cuff’ have been labelled ‘lower sleeve’? I’ve suggested this to Kass, and am waiting for her to get back to me.
This is definitely the right way up according to the writing on the pattern- that ‘straight’ top edge says ‘gather to armhole’ and the bottom diagonal bit says ‘gather to cuff’. BUT. Look at it this way up
What about if that ‘top and bottom’ are actually the underarm seam? They match fairly closely, allowing for a tiny bit of easing. That ‘side’ curve now looks like an armscye, and the bottom would produce a nice puff over a cuff. Have I cracked it?
I hunted about online, but can’t find a single review of this anywhere. Any ideas?