27 Sept 2013

Phillipa jumper: 9. Oh, those 40's sleeves!

Well, we are getting there, there will be one more post on the making of the Phillipa jumper before the big reveal! For now, let's talk about the sleeves.
did you know...
...that before the 1990's revival shoulder pads were very fashionable and widely used throughout the 1940's? Just look at those extended shoulder lines of old pictures, you often can spot the outer edges! 
Exaggerated shoulder lines were the rage in the first half of the 40's. By the end of the 1930's the sloping the shoulder lines were horizontally extended and got more and more accentuated with pleated or gathered puff sleeves, supported by shoulder pads. By the end of WW2 the shoulders became more angular by the end of the 40's with just a little upwards puff to finally become flat again in the 50's.

source images here

The sleeves of 1940's sewing and knitting patterns often have extended sleevecaps which are either gathered or folded into pleats when setting in the sleeves:

Below one of the finished sleeves of the Phillipa. The fullness of the sleeve cap is folded in 6 pleats, two on the top and two on the left and right side:

You really need to check the instructions or pictures of the pattern to see how many folds you are supposed to make or how the gathering should look like. My mistake: I assumed there were 2 in the front and two in the back, but according to the instructions there are 3 in the front and 3 in the back. Suggestion: focus!

Sewing the pleats:

First try (left) no success and a 'deflated' looking puff, second time (right) with 3+3 pleats much better and the pleats even support themselves for fullness:

shoulder pads
In contrary to the big, rounded, prefab foam shoulder pads which we all know from the 1990's the 1940's shoulder pads were triangle shaped and knitted for knitted garments. The pattern below was published repeatedly throughout the 1940's up to the 50's by the Australian Women's Weekly. This pattern makes triangle-shaped shoulder pads and is suited for fingering weight yarn.
shoulder pad pattern
- Using no 10 needles cast on 24 stitches.
- Work 24 rows in stocking stitch.
- Cast off.
- Fold in half diagonally, pad with cotton-wool and sew up edges.
To stuff the shoulder pads you could use synthetic fibres (like filling from a cheap IKEA cushion) instead of cotton or wool to add less weight. You can fix the shoulder pads with press-studs to the garment for easy removal when washing.

Next up the last pattern notes: crochet finish of the neckline.
Previous posts in the Phillipa jumper series:
1. introduction
2. yarn an gauge
3. fit an ease
4. pattern charts an diagrams
5. knitting in round &stitch markers
6. methods to increase
7. my seamless pocket lining
8. my version: back neck opening

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