Saturday, 12 January 2013

Mid Victorian engageantes (undersleeves) - Part 1

I must admit to having a particular liking for Victorian undersleeves or engageantes - pronounced  "on-gah-jhant" (thank you sewing academy!)  .  Often made on the finest cotton lawn and with delicate embroidery and/or lace for me they sum up the elegance of the crinoline era.  They also have the benefit of being quite small which makes them good for collecting :)  

 These undersleeves (the latest addition to my collection) are a little different to the others I own.  Most of them are full sleeves made from straight tubes of fabric gathered in at the wrist.  This particular pair however are cut shaped and while not what I would call tight fitting they are certainly not as "poofy" as your average engageante.  

The whitework embroidery is designed to be seen from one side and they have a simple lace trim on the cuff to finish them off.  

The seam allowance is pretty much non existent, the sleeves are sewn raw edges together 1 millimetre from the edge.  Only on the top edges are turned under.  There is later and much coarser stitching running down both sleeve lengths and for some reason this later stitching puts a large seam on the outside of the sleeve, perhaps an emergency repair?  Possibly due to the lack of seam allowance one of the sleeves came to me completely unstitched (though there is evidence of it being made up).  

Whilst a shame this does make them perfect for study.  I'm currently in the process of making up a pattern from them, which when I get chance I'll hopefully post on this blog. 

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