Yesterday, I showed you how I took the sleeves off my daughter-in-law's dress, so she would be able to lift her arms to dance at the wedding she was going to soon.
This got me to thinking about how the sleeves in modern clothing have very high caps, which make the underarm curve very deep. This make the sleeve look really nice and smooth when your arms are down, but when you lift your arms this lifts the rest of the garment, or if the garment fits tightly, sleeves like this prevent you from being able to lift your arms at all.
Sleeves weren't always like this. Until about the 1920's sleeves had lots of extra fabric under the arms that allowed people to lift their arms easily. Dresses during this time fit very tightly and ladies wore tight corsets. I think sleeves changed around the 20s, because all of a sudden dresses were loose so sleeves didn't need to have that extra armpit fabric for mobility. And the look of the sleeves when the dress was simply being modeled was more important than the look when arms are lifted.
So, today I'm going to give a quick overview on the evolution of sleeve caps in European clothing for the last 400 years.
All my example are from Janet Arnold's books.
I always make a period pattern with the correct kind of sleeve and often raise the underarm for other costumes just to make wearing more comfortable. I do the same for my personal clothing sometimes, too.
How can we start a new trend??????