Bishop Sleeve with Cuff

1 sarah sleeve with buttons and loopsI met a bishop once.  In his ecclesiastical robes, he was grand yet unexpectedly

1 lilli ann bishop sleeve

Lilli Ann Bishop Sleeve (click for source and more info)

approachable – but I wouldn’t have called him stylish.  Yet the sleeve taking its name from the venerable office – which is long and widens towards the bottom then is gathered into a cuff – can result in a very feminine and elegant look.  On this garment by the vintage clothing label Lilli Ann, the style is taken to an elaborate extreme.  I can just imagine it on a statuesque diva like Rita Hayworth.

1 the sleeve ready for cuffOn little short me, it’s advisable to keep the volume of fabric subtle.  While remaking my Faith Top* in silk chiffon, I remodeled the bodice to eliminate the raglan and grafted on the sleeve of the Sarah Shirt (Variation 1).  It widens out gently, has a bound slit and is then closed with a cuff and snaps.  Here it is before cuff application.

This is how the cuffs are supposed to look: th1 Sarah Variation 1 sleeve cuffese sleeves are from the BHL Sarah Shirt Sewalong.  Sewing on the snaps will be a nice, snug solution but I’m not keen on snaps (they remind me of nappy changing). As I need to practice sewing delicate fabrics and couture techniques, and being a sucker for covered buttons and loops that I am, I decided to extend one side of the cuff and sew rouleau strip loops to the other.  You can do this to any sleeve with a similar cuff.  As long as the sleeve is gathered, you can make it fit a cuff cut to your own wrist size.   My formula for the width of the rectangle (the part that wraps around the wrist) = wrist circumference + 2.5cm ease + 2.5cm button tab projection + 2cm seam allowances (1cm each side).  Height is 4.5 cm (though if you’re tall, 5cm might be more in proportion with the length of your arm) + seam allowance of 1.5cm.  So for a 17cm wrist, the rectangle will be 24cm x 6cm.

Cut on fold (long side).  You can use the original pattern piece from Sarah Shirt but unless you have small wrists, you’ll need more fabric for the protruding tab.

Notes:

The most tricky part is remembering that the loops belong to the front sleeve and the protruding tab with the buttons to the back sleeve.  To avoid the annoyance of making the same cuff twice, cut both left and right cuffs at the same time and work them as mirror images.   Here goes:

1. Prepare covered button, cuff pattern and rouleau strip. I immediately press under the 1.5cm seam allowance on the part of cuff that will form the inside. This is to be able to tell the wrong and right sides apart.

1. Prepare covered button, cuff pattern and rouleau strip. I immediately press under the 1.5cm seam allowance on the part of cuff that will form the inside. This is to be able to tell the wrong and right sides apart.

1 Decide on the placement of the rouleau strips

2. Fold cuff in two, wrong sides together, and press. Open and press again. Using the fold line you created, decide on the placement of the rouleau strips by placing the buttons where the loops will go and mark.  I marked the seam allowance with some chalk – this is to avoid being too close to the stitching.

 

1 Stitch rouleau strips to the Seam Allowance. The length of the strips is tricky to determine but you need 2 seam allowance and 2 widths of button, then minus some as the rouleau strip is on bias and will stretch. I recommend doing a practice out of some spares

3. Stitch rouleau strips to the Seam Allowance. The length of the strips is tricky to determine but you need 2 seam allowances and 2 widths of your button, then minus some as the rouleau strip is on bias and will stretch. I wish I’d made mine a little bit tighter which is why I recommend doing a practice out of some spares.

4. Stitch the short sides of cuff, allong seam allowances. On the tab side, stitch an L-Shape, making the projection 2.5cm

4. Stitch the short sides of cuff, right sides together, along seam allowances. On the tab side of cuff, stitch an L-Shape, making the projection 2.5cm.  Press, clip and press right sides out.  Now sew the cuff to the gathered sleeve, right sides together.  Sew the inner cuff (pressed in) to the wrong side using the the stitch in the ditch method (i.e. stitch from the right side, erring on the side of the sleeve not cuff ).  Sew the buttons in a position so the slit is almost closed when the buttons are  closed.

1 loop and buttons

*I will cover the Faith Bodice another time.

13 thoughts on “Bishop Sleeve with Cuff

    • Thank you Kim.

      Not sure I’ve cracked the pintucks but am looking forward to getting the benefit of your experience when I blog about those in the future.

  1. Look at you with your gorgeous pin tucks, covered buttons and loops. Beautiful peacock blue colour too. I like the vintage top but you could get a bit chilly if you forgot to put your vest on couldn’t you?
    I also prefer the button and loop closure. Snaps are for baby clothes aren’t they? – and maybe gussets on body suits.
    I like your furry gadgets that measure out rouleau loop placements. I think I might have some of those around here somewhere.

    • My very pretty and gentle-natured blogstalker who led me to believe with 100% certainty that he was a she when we first met.

  2. And covered buttons too! I’m so impressed with your pin tucks and sewing with chiffon. I have 1.5m of v.expensive silk from Joel and Sons and am so frightened to cut into it.

    • V. expensive 😯 From Joel and Sons… Gulp. I dread to think but really, really want to see 🙂 You’ve got to make a muslin and at least half the fear will be gone.

  3. You and Peter Lappin will convince me that making the cuffs and then attaching them is the best practice – especially making sure that you have one of each.

    And that they are not identical twins…..
    (erm, yeah)

  4. Very smart rouleaux Marijana. Snaps might be okay for ‘western’ shorts or something, but definitely not on silk chiffon! One of your commenters spoke of a gadget for measuring rouleaux loops – any idea about that? I do find them so fiddly. Oh whoops, she was referring to the kitty feet – I am so slow!

  5. Ooh I love these cuffs. I always felt that these sleeves were too generous for my frame but then I made up my 1930s blouse that has full sleeves (though French closures rather than your lovely rouleau loops) and I love them. They do feel elegant and lovely. I’m also so impressed that you managed all of that magic in silk chiffon. The shame of my recent sewing life is the beautiful silk I bought to make a dress for my brother’s wedding last year. As I cut the pieces I realized I had a few problems – would need to underline; would need to sew by hand given lots of fraying – and I abandoned the dress. It sits sadly in a bag and needs to be made up this summer (even though the colours are also too bright for me..maybe a reason to actually make it). Good for you! Also, as always, the colour is divine on you. I don’t know why I don’t make more green things as they always make me swoon.

    Incidentally, I know what you mean about the robes of religious figures. I took some photos of a priest outside of San Miniato (cathedral) in Florence last year. He was tall and handsome and wearing full, flowing white robes that were flapping in the breeze. Something about the whole outfit struck me as beautiful. The Cardinal of Florence lives close to Gianni and so I see him often, although the only thing I like about his outfit is the colour!! That said, I’m also amused by his armoured car…

  6. What a stunning blouse in every way, from the beautifully made pintucks and covered buttons to the dreamy, sunshiny photos. I look forward to reading the next instalment.

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