|Embellisments||Bibliography||A Selection of Paintings|
went from being close fitting around the year 1495 to the other
extreme in the first quarter of 1500's when limits were set in
Venice to curtail the escalating amount of cloth that was being
used for sleeves. Sumptuary laws were also placed on use of cloth
of gold, silver and silk. Even the use of gold or silver laces
and embroidery was restricted. Venetian officials considered it
was in 'good taste' for a women to wear a plain cloth dress having
little or no embellishments with modest sleeves of brocade or
silk of one color. Any lady caught wearing illegal sleeves was
fined and had to forfeit her sleeves as was the person who made
them fined. To skirt around these laws women would wear their
'plain' cloth dress made with slashes to show off a 'forbidden
The sleeves were where the Italians could add color and variety into their wardrobe. One could give the same dress a different look easily with detachable sleeves made of rich brocades.
Here are a variety of sleeve variations for your Renaissance dress.
Find a pattern that has a close fitting sleeve that does not puff out at the shoulder. This will serve as a guide for creating your sleeves.
You can create a basic pattern by measuring your arm length and the circumference at these points:
shoulder 1/2 way bend 1/2 way wrist*
*(Either use the measurement from around fullest part of your hand or you will have to leave the seam open for about 3" at the wrist and use buttons/lacings to close the sleeve.)
Transfer the measurements to
with the pattern having this shape
Your basic sleeve pattern can be used for a multitude of variations. Use your imagination and/or art and costume books for more ideas. Occasionally it will happen where you will do the embellishment after the sewing, but for the most part, be sure to decorate before you start sewing the sleeves together.
|Gown Construction||Bibliography||A Selection of Paintings|