There are some amazing examples of historical sleeves styles out there. Put the focus on the arms and shoulders in your creation for this challenge.
There is no way for me to sew any historical fashion with falling down the rabbit hole of research. The time period, the people of that time, their lifestyles, the joys and sorrows are all eventually woven into the final fabric that hangs on my simple dressform. I've heard the names of those famous 19th century and early 20th century fashion designers - Jeanne Lanvin, Madeleine Vionnet, Coco Chanel, Elsa Schiaparelli, Jacque Doucet, Lucy Lady Duff-Gordon, Jean Patou, Louis Vuitton, Charles Frederick Worth, Salvatore Ferragamo. For this Historical Sew Fortnightly Challenge one name came immediately to mind: Paul Poiret.
Paul Poiret (pronounced pwah-rey) was a leading French fashion designer who lived from 1879 to 1944. Recognized as the first "modern" master couturier he had a profound influence on 20th century fashion. Early in his career he worked for Doucet and the House of Worth where he was considered too non-conservative. In 1903 he established his own design house.
His major contribution to fashion was the development of the dressmaking technique known as draping. He is remembered for freeing women from 19th century corsets and modernizing the Victorian silhouette. Construction techniques were along straight lines and made of rectangles.
One of his iconic designs has been brought into a current pattern by Folkwear as their Poiret Cocoon Coat.
The pattern sketch shows the beautiful draped design with a sleeve that is basically an extension of the front and back of the coat looking like a bat wing. Although the pattern is simple, just a single piece that is cut twice and a collar, I am truly confused as to exactly how this is all going to work!
|See the seamline running along the front center of the sleeve where I have the fabric pinned?|
Since I have just barely enough fabric to create this coat and the one-way design leaves some open spaces, I cut appliques from the remaining scrap fabric and work to position them.
The final coat design.
|The interior taffeta.|
Does this coat strike you as a bit Art Deco? Perhaps you know a Russian-born French artist and designer named Romain de Tirtoff. His first employer was Paul Poiret. He was best known by the pseudonym from the French pronunciation of his initials - Erté. Oops, down another research rabbit hole!
Historical Sew Monthly
The Challenge: #7 - Sleeves
Material: Velvet blend, taffeta blend
Pattern: Folkwear 503
Year: 1911 - 1919
Notions: Frog closure, cord for piping
How historically accurate is it? The technique of draping and this style is accurate.
Hours to complete: 27 hours
First worn: Costume College 2018
Total cost: $80