I met a bishop once. In his ecclesiastical robes, he was grand yet unexpectedly
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.
On 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: these 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.
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:
*I will cover the Faith Bodice another time.