Kampfrau (Trossfrau)

Blue and Black Sleeves

Hunting near Hartenfels Castle, 1540, The Cleveland Museum of Art


What I see
Blue and black sleeves.
The blue matches the dress and the black appears to be the same as the guarding on the bodice.
The blue is slashed and bubbles along the arm.
White (probably linen) pokes out of the slashing in the blue.
The black is tight to the arm.
Right arm has 7 bubbles(4 below the elbow, 3 above). Left arm has 6 bubbles(3 below the elbow, 3 above).
Sleeves are tight at the wrist and end with a section of black the same width as the other sections of black. There are no cuffs over the hands.
There’s also something gold and round(?) at the front of the left shoulder. Maybe a pin or a button? It’s at about the place I’d expect it to be if the sleeves were removable and attached with loops/buttons.

My plan
I plan to do 6 bubbles per arm (the asymmetrical bubbles bug me and I’m going to just close my eyes and pretend that it’s an accident by the artist and do the same number of bubbles on each arm).

I’m making these sleeves removable and have them attach with a loop and button.

I’ll start with my normal sleeve pattern and make sure it fits tight to the arm below the elbow.

The black sections (except for the one at the shoulder) will be 5/8″+1″ (black velvet ribbons are 5/8″ wide and 2 1/2″ seam allowances).
The black section at the shoulder will be a bit wider as I want all of the rise/fall of the armseye to be black. So it will be wavy at the edge where it attaches to the dress and straight on the edge where the blue is attached. This will be slightly wider than my 1 5/8″ in order to make it easier to piece.

The sleeve pattern will then be into 6 sections for the blue.
The divisions will be placed as follows:
– At the armseye exactly
– At the wrist exactly
– At 5 places along the arm evenly (centered at remaining length of the arm / 6) making sure that a division falls close to above the elbow point.

For each blue section I’ll double the length of each section and cut this out along the grain of the blue wool.

I’ll leave the blue whole until it is initially attached to the sleeve. After it’s attached I’ll then split it into 1.5 inch wide strips or as close to that as I can come for the width and keep it even(I nip it with scissors and then tear the fabric to keep the cut on grain). I want to keep the blue splits along the grain of the fabric since I don’t plan to finish the edges (if it become an issue over the long term I may do singling on them).

The white inside each bubble will be 4x the original length and 2x the original width(ie, the white sections are twice the height and width of the blue sections). I’ll put a simple rolled edge on any raw edges and then these will be pleated into each black section with little tiny knife pleats which will be hidden on the inside.

Hidden Ribbon:
Inside the sleeve I’ll permanently attach white ribbons to hold the black sections at the correct intervals. I’m planning to run one ribbon along the inside of the elbow, one along the bottom of the arm and another along the top of the sleeve. I will NOT run a ribbon along the seam line (over the back of the elbow).

After fiddling with this for a while I decided the ribbon will be attached on the inside of the sleeve and will only be encased in the black sections for the wrist and the shoulder. On the rest of the sleeve the ribbon will be attached to the inner surface of the black section.

Method in detail

For the “top” of the blue section:
Pleat white linen to fit the width of the blue/black sections (I used the divide and conquer method to place the pleats and then smooshed them all to one side to get knife pleats)
Stack fabric so you have bottom black section, white, blue. Stitch to connect these pieces.
Hand stitch the other black section onto this to finish it.
Split the blue fabric into 1 1/2″ width strips.

For the “bottom” of a blue section:
Pleat white linen to fit the width of the blue/black sections.
Stack fabric so you have bottom black section, white, blue, top black section. Stitch to connect these pieces.

Repeat until you get to the end of the wrist section. Then fold the black linen edges in and hand-finish.

Appliqué black velvet ribbons on top of the black sections.

Flip sleeves inside out. In white thread stitch the white sections together. In black thread stitch the black sections together. The black seam should be on the inside of the sleeve.
Anchor white ribbons inside the sleeve(permanently attach to the bottom black piece) at proper interval to hold the bubbles at the proper spacing.

Bind black seams on the inside of the sleeve.


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