Pleating a sleeve for a 15th C doublet

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Aitken Drum
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Pleating a sleeve for a 15th C doublet

Post by Aitken Drum »

Hello yes it's me again... wouldn't ya know it.... :roll:

Currently hand sewing 15thC doublet for hubby, but my brain is already thinking about fitting the sleeve before I've finished the body!

Have sleeve block sorted and tested so I know it fits perfectly, but I wondered how one went about allowing for the pleats at the top of the shoulder that have that 'puffy' effect? - I'm sure you all know what I mean. I can't really find the answer in the MTA or TT. Does a doublet have to have the puffy shoulder bit? Does it really matter? Can a doublet have a plain sleeve?

Do I just cut the sleeve wider at the top and pleat to fit? Is it that simple? Could I possibly ask any more questions in one topic? :D

Cheers ears - you're patience with me is a virtue - and I have many more questions up me sleeve I tell you - oh yes, you'll be sick of me yet! x

seamsmistress
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Post by seamsmistress »

Gosh - what a lot of questions!

No, doublet doesn't have to have pleats/puff and lower orders probably wouldn't anyway.

If hubby is a little more upper crust than that, then puff is definitely an option. Are you perchance looking at pages 98 &99 MTA?

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Aitken Drum
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Post by Aitken Drum »

Hi Seamsmistress, thanks for replying so quickly!

Yes, that fellow on page 98/99 is rather dandy isn't he? :D We are definately not upper crust though - rather we are part of a 15thC household.

Does this mean I don't have to do pleats!? - just that having looked at a few examples they have all actually got puffy pleats - even though they're worn by lower crust types and certainly not fashionable....

Do the pleats aid movement of the arm at all? Hubby has rather large muscles :wink:

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Post by seamsmistress »

Does this mean I don't have to do pleats!? - just that having looked at a few examples they have all actually got puffy pleats - even though they're worn by lower crust types and certainly not fashionable....

How curious. I'd be interested to know which examples you're looking at, as everything I've seen points towards puffed upper sleeves as seen in MTA being fashionable or pointing towards some status.

whatever the case, I'd keep it plain, especially if this is your first one. The pleats as seen in the puff won't aid arm movement at all, as the puff is mounted on top of the lining which is cut to the basic block pattern.

If you're concerned about movement and upper arm muscles, you could increase the sleeve head by aprox 1.5. To do this, you draw a line straight down the sleeve block from centre top to cuff line, slash along the line and spread the head by the increased measure, but don't add anything at the cuff line. This will make the upper arm a little roomier. The head is then eased in over the shoulder, which should give you a slightly more pronounced rise but no pleats. You can also add extra to the upper arm by swelling out the sleeve seam from the sleeve head to the elbow.

Sleeves were occasionally made separately and pointed to the doublet through eyelets. Particularly useful on hot summer days and increases arm movement no end.

Finally, I have seen doublets on the field with pleats to the sleevehead - basically a one piece sleeve but cut much wider at the top. However, I haven't found any evidence that this was done in doublets, although plenty of evidence for houppelandes, livery coats and paltoks which are all worn over doublets.

Hope this helps. Keep going.......I'm off to cut an 1870's bustle skirt. Variety is the spice of life, dontcha know :wink:

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Annie the Pedlar
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Post by Annie the Pedlar »

Some people advise stuffing the top of puffed sleeves to keep their shape but the following works well ......
Cut an interlining - thin calico/cotton/linen to the same pattern as the woolen part of the sleeve.
Cut another piece out of stiffer stuff: heavier weight calico/cotton drill - think of new crisp jeans - the shame shape as the top of the sleeve without the seam allowances but only 4 to 6 inches tall/high/long (the same amount as you want to puff).
Sew the stiffer stuff onto the thinner stuff. The seam allowance should only be the thin stuff.
Lay on the wrong side of the woolen sleeve. Sew together near the edge. These stiches must be hidden inside when the sleeve is finished so as I do half inch seam allowances I sew a quarter of an inch in from the edge.
If you want a puff ball effect (1) then the lining needs to be like an ordinary sleeve. If you just want a generally puffy looking shoulder (2)the lining can be cut like the top fabric.
So assemble your sleeve - sew up the length of the arm, wool and lining.
Sew the two together at the wrist (or do it by hand at the end).
For (2) pull the lining inside the sleeve, line up the sleeve heads, I machine or tack them together so they don't wobble.
Pleat up your sleeve head.
A tip: keep the finished sleeve hole/armseye/armscye a smidgeon larger than the armhole and ease the extra into place especially at the top back of the garment so your hubby can move.
For (1) you pleat up the top fabric with attached interlining and stiffening, then pull the linen lining through and match up the sleeve heads. If your puff ball is flopping stitch it in place to the lining. Actually, for this style, I find it easier to make the sleeve in two pieces. A crisp puffy top and nice smooth lower bit and sew the two together.

Anyway the stiff stuff inside holds the puff out nicely and should your clodhopping man crush a pleat or two you have an excuse to pull the pleats back into place and gereally preen and caress his manly shoulders/purr over your wondrous handiwork - take your pick.....

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Colin Middleton
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Post by Colin Middleton »

From reading the MTA and what I can remember of the doublets course we went on, the puffy sleeves are actually 'fitted puffs'. That is to say, you make a normal plain sleeve, but before you fit it, you make a separate 'puffy bit', which you sew on at the bottom of the puff (somewhere around the bicep) and put padded rolls (2 on each arm) round the upper arm (to support the puff). You then pull the puffy bit over the rolls and fit it into the arm hole when you fit the sleeve. There's also a style with a stood up roll on the shoulder, but I'm not certain who to do them.

I would say that a puffed sleeve will not give you more bicep room, to do that, enlarge your pattern over the bicep. It isn't going to improve your mobility much, as that comes from the high shoulder point (i.e. the sleeve joins the body where the arm actually articulates, 3 or 4" higher than on a modern shirt), so the body stays still when you move your arm.

Good luck
Colin

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kate/bob
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Post by kate/bob »

I thought that the puff was for "stuffing" the top of the sleeve of the gown worn over the dublet.

anyhow, don't do it unless you really have to as I said "of course I'll make you one that looks like that" to MooseAbuse and it nearly drove me potty!!

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Post by BrendanGrif »

I think that I spent about 30 hours (That I will admit to) getting the puffed sleeve bit to work (many itterations and hand sewing)

Brendan

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Aitken Drum
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Post by Aitken Drum »

Ooooh lots of help, thanks everyone! Have finished sewing the body tonight so I can now concentrate on the sleeve. I'll let you know how it all goes, but don't hold yer breath!

Ake x

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Colin Middleton
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Post by Colin Middleton »

Colin Middleton wrote:That is to say, you make a normal plain sleeve, but before you fit it, you make a separate 'puffy bit',
:oops: Oops, I re-read this last night and you guys are correct, you make up the lining and interlining for the full sleeve as normal, then fit the puff separately (though it has it's own interlining too) as I described.

Sorry :oops:
Colin

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James Bretlington
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Post by James Bretlington »

Just a thought, but as servants in a household, wouldn't your lord want you dressed as well as possible?

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Colin Middleton
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Post by Colin Middleton »

The lord will want his messengers and others who are seen out and about for him well dressed, though not necessarily fashionably dressed (remember how much the Church frowned on many fashions). The spit boy, on the other hand will be dressed in soething cheap and durable as he's not going to be seen much.

Further, if a lord is dressing his servants better than the local knights, that's when people start taking umbrige and pushing for the sumptuary laws to be enforced against him.

Station is everything in medieval society.
Colin

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Aitken Drum
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Post by Aitken Drum »

Hello everyone.... :oops: ya know what?... in the end I just made a plain sleeve... :oops:

But it looks bl@@dy brilliant! I'm sure I can use all your advice in the future when I make posher clothes. Ta very much :D

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Post by James Bretlington »

Colin Middleton wrote:The lord will want his messengers and others who are seen out and about for him well dressed, though not necessarily fashionably dressed
Found a good one in Vaughan's book on Charles the Bold. At his father's funeral, his attendents and household were given 8 ells of black cloth, with the value of the cloth falling as you went down the social scale. Ranged from 50 shillings an ell for Chaplins to 12s an ell for the servants.

The goup I'm with tends to go finer looking for 'upstairs' servants compared to the normal kitchen staff.

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Colin Middleton
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Post by Colin Middleton »

Wow, what's the reference so I can get hold of a copy?

We're Howards and his accounts show a big purchase of blue wool in 1483. Apparently he bought blue liveries for the men who attended his Ducal coronation.
Colin

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James Bretlington
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Post by James Bretlington »

It's 'Charles the Bold' part of The Dukes of Burgundy series, all by Richard Vaughan. Published by Boydell and Brewer, ISBN 0-85115-918-4

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