Friday, November 4, 2011

Sleeve Ruffles

On Mrs. P.'s recent journey to study all things 18th century, she spent many hours in many places looking at many things, but also chose to focus and ask to examine certain things.  One of which was sleeve ruffles.

Those necessary and yet so often overlooked accessories that can often make or break an entire impression.  I saw a large number and variety of ruffles.  Plain, laced, dresden work, simple and fancy whitework of all sorts and one pair that had a lovely array of eyelets worked around the edges!  Fabrics were muslin, linen, dimity and net, and yes, I said net.  (the net pair will probably be the first that I will try to reproduce).  Loved, Loved Loved!

Antique Textiles
This example from Antiques Textiles is very similar to those plain muslin ruffles that I examined.  The construction is as I have always thought and use today when I make sleeve ruffles, the fabric is gathered with whip gathers, and attached to the linen tape.  That was the universal way of attaching the fabric to the tape regardless of the style of the ruffle.  Not up for discussion, incontrovertible evidence of a sewing stitch not previously thought to be used in the 18th century.   Whip gathers allow the fabric to actually be hinged to the tape, which lets the fabric flair out and stand proud of the tape.  It is always nice to be validated, but it is more important is to find documented evidence of a useful technique.

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