Pattern Puzzle: Origami Sleeve

I get so caught up in the day to day that I never get around to posting everything I intend. Take the sample of this origami sleeve; I took this photo in Berlin last September! I saw a few things there that would make for an interesting challenge other than that Crines collar I posted way back when which merited a one, two, three, four part argument. Yes, I’m a bit obsessive about pattern engineering. Maybe I’ll get around to those pockets I found too.

There’s one thing that bugs me about this sleeve though. It’s not a whole sleeve -and it could be. No, it’s an artsy fartsy, attached like an epaulet thing just flopping around, exposing your underarm and this thing is wool mind you! If you’re wearing wool, it’s cold out and you don’t need anything breezing acrross your chest via a slash at your armpit. Okay, so I’m a fuddy duddy. I think it’d be just as lovely if not more so as a complete sleeve -meaning it’d sew into the armscye.

I realize you can’t see it very well, I was shooting this through a plate glass window and hoping I wouldn’t get caught but there’s a larger version too. The point is, this is really just a concept, you don’t really need to create this sleeve per se but you can use the concept to create interesting folds and not even just around the bicep. I’d thought to do things like this if I were to ever get around to launching that blouse line but I’d be inclined to do it down near the cuff if not at the cuff. Cuffs these days are superfluous, nobody makes interesting detailed ones anymore. They’re perfunctory, tuck in the blousing of the sleeve into a three inch topstitched band and if you’re lucky, the button is cute but usually not even that. It’s a pity really.

Anyway, play at will. Submit sketches if you like of interesting renditions. If you’re up to a challenge, try drawing out the pattern piece for this sleeve. Bonus points if you can make it a regular sew in sleeve. By the way, this sleeve has a downside. It’ll be hard to press so you can’t use a fabrication that wrinkles in the wash.

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  1. Liana says:

    Elaine’s link is exactly what I thought of when I saw this. The Dior sleeve is almost a flange, and reminds me very much of medieval/renaissance over-bodices.

  2. Kathleen says:

    Ack! As much as I dislike those wool epaulets, I prefer those. I can always wear a long sleeved skin tight black leotard. Those puffy Dior sleeves made me :::nervous::: they’re so big there could be something nesting in there, like honey badgers or a wasp’s nest -knowing my luck.

  3. Donna Sebastian says:

    Well, I like folded oragami anything and think it is especially neat in clothing. And, yes, wool is suppose to be warm. At least that is why I would wear it. If I weren’t sorting out all my fabric from a fallen ceiling, because of a frozen water pipe, I would attempt the challenge.

  4. Elaine Good says:

    Liana is being extremely gracious! I saw the photo posted on her blog right after I saw this Pattern Puzzle, but I totally forgot to give her the credit! I’m sorry Liana.

    Kathleen, I agree with you about the leotard rather than the fluffy sleeves; mine would need to be at least 90% cotton or if I were only wearing it a few hours, silk.


  5. Maura Townsend says:

    To me, it looks like a detail swiped from 1940’s fashion. However, it also looks like it’s only the cap section of the outer half of a full length suit sleeve.

  6. Marie-Christine says:

    Now you’re not being fair Kathleen – a nice crepey tropical wool would be the ideal fabric for something which can’t be pressed easily but can be worn in short-sleeve weather :-). But yes, if it were me I’d still have at least a 3/4 sleeve to go with it. Maybe under it? If you can have flaps on trench coats, surely you can have an artsy-fartsy epaulet thing on top of your sleeve.

  7. Actually, I like this cap-flange thingy. It’s like a cape, which is cool. And you should be wearing something between your skin and a wool dress anyway, to protect your skin and the wool from eachother. Having a flange intead of a set-in sleeve gives you more freedom to pick what to wear underneath: big poofy sleeves? Or a leotard? If it were set-in you would be stuck with the leotard.

    (Sorry I have to be different all the time.)

  8. Grace says:

    I wonder if they are referencing Japanese kimono? I remember reading a Japanese book (perhaps the Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon? or the Diary of Lady Murasaki?) where the narrative goes on and on about color layering of under-kimono, peeking out from the underarm slit when the wearer moved. Imagine the ladies in waiting, all in identical hairstyles and makeup. The only way they showed their individuality was through their choice of colors.

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