Mutton Dressed as Lamb – Sleeves of the 1830’s and 1890’s – Part One

The big mutton sleeves first began to take shape in the late 1820’s with a thin gauze fabric overlaping the shorter sleeve, meeting at the wrist, creating a large mutton shape.

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Then at the beginning of the 1830’s the undersleeve began to expand rapidly, enlarging the overall size. Dresses meanwhile still had the short puffy sleeves of 1820’s, just much larger at the start of the decade.

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The large sleeves took over the 1830’s, becoming the infamous mutton sleeves that were also so recognisable of the 1890’s.

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A top layer of fabric othen overlapped the large sleeves, extending the length of the already deep shoulders.

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As the decade came to a close the sleeves began to take on a different, more structured shape and were scaled down in size and focused more on a strict structure that represented strongly womens place in society at the time.

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Downton Abbey Season 3 Episode 2

A little teaser from Sunday’s episode.

This second episode was filled with as much drama as the first; Mary and Matthew are back from there honeymoon and the first topic of discussion is Downton’s money worries. Lady Mary and the Dowager Countess aren’t as willing to give up as the Countess is and are determined to ‘flinch’ (i think was Matthew’s word) money from Mary’s grandmother Martha. While this goes on upstairs, downstairs Mrs Hughes has her own worries as she finds a lump which the test results later come back as inconclusive, suggesting it could be cancer?

Poor Edith has her own troubles when Robert steps in and asks Sir Anthony to stay away, Sir Anthony agree’s, believing he’s no good for Edith. Of course Edith is not going to give up that easy and finally breaks down her father with the time honored technique, crying and Sir Anthony is aloud to come to the very important dinner Downton is holding, the same dinner Mary and the Dowager are hoping to corner Martha for her money and show her how important Downton’s traditions are.

This all important dinner eventually goes to the pot; Robert ‘loses’ all his shirts (or O’Brien hides them to get back at Thomas for giving poor Alfred the wrong powder and ruining Matthew’s coat), Matthew’s coat doesn’t come in time form the tailor so he and Robert and both improperly dressed; the oven claps out leaving no cooked food, resulting in Martha creating an impromptu picnic around the house, with a bit of singing from herself as well.

In the end Mary and the Dowager don’t convince Martha to give her money up, or really she can’t as her late husband tied the money up to tight, but i don’t think they are going to give up that easily. Edith finally gets what she wants, the proposal was no where near as romantic as Matthew’s but i think their happiness will definitely equal.

From the trailer i think we definitely have a wedding on our hands in the next episode which i can’t wait for, they have leaked a few photo’s which is disappointing, but they are lovely.

A little teaser from episode 3, they mention leaving, WTF!!!

Size Charts

Something which was really important for me to get right was the size charts i will use to measure my patterns from. It was actually a really painful experience that i am so glad i never have to do again (I hope). Turns out that not only do every shop in the world have different measurements they follow but every country is different as well. I’ve kept it simple though, as this would make using the patterns to complicated and of course as long as people are more than generous with the fabric hopefully there won’t be a problem.

I found this brilliant page by the American’s which was so useful for the basic start and made little simple diagrams for me to use in future. I’ve made small, medium and large sizes for women, haven’t done men or children yet.

I keep adding things as i go so this will probably be just to start with. If only cloth sizes were more universal….

Did you know………..

Apparently a crinoline could be as wide as 225 inches …. HUGE yet the average 1860’s ones i am looking at were between 90 and 105 inches. While there is also some complicated math equation to work it out, for example, if your waist is 28 inches you X that by 90 which is 2,520 which you then divide by 26 which gives you 96.9 meaning the width of your crinoline will be 97 inches. I have no idea how this works, does make me want to learn maths though. The impressive page is here.

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