Some of the things about 60s clothing tend to catch my eye when trawling through Pinterest or Tumblr. Certain elements that you begin to notice as integral parts to the look that was being worn by the Dolly Birds and Dandies of the time
In this set of blog posts, I want to explore the different elements of clothing that we often associate with or were popular in the 60s
I'll try to explain the construction of these elements and show some examples of these styles
There are many features that became popular in the 60s - most of which already existed in some form and were adapted for modern youth wear, or were invented from scratch through the genius of designers like Mary Quant or André Courrèges
This week we are going to have a look at Bishop Sleeves. Read onto the end for a little tutorial.
This particular type of sleeve is distinct in shape - a long sleeve, fuller at the bottom than the top, and gathered into a cuff, similar to some Church Bishops sleeves - hence the name.
Bishop Sleeves have been in use intermittently since the 6th century in the Byzantine era and were common during the 1830s to 1860’s.
|Civil War couple - Bishop Sleeves with smocking|
They were also featured in the 30s and 40s from suit jackets to silky nightgowns.
|Vogue 9872; ca. 1943; Blouse. Gathered tuck-in blouse. |
New deep drawstring neck-line adjusts fullness front and back.
Full bishop sleeves, or very short puff sleeves
Vintage 30s Hollywood Claire Dodd Balloon
Bishop Shirred Sleeve Blouse Sewing Pattern 982 B34
The style became popular again in the mid-60s and was popular on dresses and blouses and later became an important part of the hippy look.
They were often paired with a puffed shoulder like in the Biba example below, or with a simple set in sleeve.
It can also be broken up half way down the arm with a seam to create more emphasis on the shape.
|Bishop Sleeve on Left|
The "hippy" look joined bishop sleeves with peasant blouses in light cotton or linen which made them soft and added to the ethereal nature look.
They continued to be popular into the 70's and 80's in Lycra and polyesters which suited the softness of the style
70s Vogue Paris original Pattern 2444 Guy Laroche Dreamy Evening Gown Plunging To The Waist Neckline Full Bishop Sleeves Slim Underdress Bias Over Dress Beautiful Design
Bishop sleeves balance out a silhouette and make the shoulders look smaller in comparison
The cuff can be as simple as elastic, decorative smocking, a bias casing, or a full buttoned cuff with placket
|The girl on the left with metallic shift - placket Sleeve with 3 button cuff|
|Britt Ekland - Luce cuffs|
|Jenny Boyd at the Apple Boutique|
|Fashion Illustration showing cuffed sleeve with decorative trim|
|Left - Bias band cuff, Right - Buttoned cuff|
|Pattie Boyd. Sleeve with Elasticized cuff|
|Coleen Corby - Sleeve with banded cuff|
They can be constructed in most fabrics from velvet to cotton, but look especially idyllic in soft fabrics like chiffon, silk or a light jersey - as it allows the sleeve to billow over the wrist and move freely.
|Penelope Tree - Smock in textured velvet|
Cilla Black on her wedding day to Bobby Willis. Cilla is wearing crimson velvet with puffed bishop sleeves
|A red crepe dress showing its Cosack inspiration by Jean Patou, Vogue Pattern Book April-May 1969|
The pattern for bishop sleeves can be a single piece or a 2 part piece. This 2 part piece allows the back part of the sleeve to be longer than the front. When the arm is hanging straight down, the sleeve will be obviously longer at the back and the cuff will be pulled up slightly at the front. This is done so that when the elbow is bent, the cuff becomes straight and doesn't restrict movement in the elbow.
And now a tutorial for a basic Bishop sleeve with bias case
Start by cutting the sleeve and cuff from the fashion fabric
Run a basting stitch along the bottom edge of the sleeve and pull to gather
Take your cuff and iron in the two long edges (Ignore the short edge crease...)
Pin the bias onto the sleeve - pulling it around so that it all fits on
Sew the first layer of the casing
Fold it over and sew the bias closed
Stitch the inside of the sleeve to close
You can also do the sleeve in reverse to keep the seams neater - Arm seam first, then attach the cuff.
Are you a fan of the bishop sleeve? Do you have a favourite garment which features this type of sleeve?