A Look Within

Timothy Long is the Curator of Fashion and Decorative Arts at the Museum of London. He also posts wonderful glimpses of garments he encounters in the process of his work on Twitter. His address is Timothy Long @Fashion_Curator.

Timothy Long is also on Instgram and the first video is from Instagram on Dec. 1, 2016.

“An Early 18th Century Bodice” features short sleeves. Instead of sliding the hand first through the sleeve opening, the sleeve had an opening in the underarm seam. Hooks and eyes kept the sleeve fastened around the upper arm.

That was pretty exciting for me since I had been thinking about just that method for a short sleeved bodice. My pattern has front and back darts and a kimono sleeve with a five sided gusset. I later determined that a left side closure of zipper or hook and eye would probably be sufficient. Still it was great to see a construction detail from 300 years ago that could still have relevance today.

The next video that caught my eye was the bodice of a lovely blue Victorian wedding ensemble from his Twitter feed of Nov. 21, 2016. The long, full sleeves are darted at the elbow and the dart is obviously pleated. The sleeve is not broken into two pieces–above and below the elbow–rather the fullness of the sleeve is manipulated into a design feature at the elbow and the sleeve is all one piece.


I have seen a similar technique from the early 1900’s, but with gathers rather than pleats, and I believe it was called a gathered pleat.


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