Sunday, August 16, 2015

18th Century Pleated Cuffs--A Tiny Tutorial!


Cuffs were popular on late 18th century dresses, and are extremely easy to make. Some cuffs were gathered, some tacked down in a pleasing manner, and others, like the cuffs on my piemontaise, were pleated.

Here's an example of a pleated cuff that matches the dress, and here's a sheer cuff in a fashion plate. Here's an amazing set of cuffs--separate from the dress--that have been tacked down. I haven't seen an extant dress with sheer pleated cuffs like these, but I decided that pleating would go best with my trim, and is plausible with what might be happening in some fashion plates, including the one I linked which shows definite pleats on the top portion of the cuff. The middle section, as seen in the picture of me wearing my cuff, does puff out with wear.


The cuff is added to an otherwise finished sleeve. I hemmed a tube of silk organza (similar to 18th century silk gauze) about three times as wide as my sleeve bottom. It was slightly longer in back than in front to account for the elbow shaping in the sleeve seam. I then pinned the center front and center back into place.


Then I box pleated it. Since it was divided in half, it was a very small area to work with and quite easy. The only thing left was to tack the pleats down with two rows of running stitch, a little ways from the edge so as to form a small ruffle, on both the top and bottom.


  1. oh you and your hand sewing! Hates it we does :p

    Though the result is wonderfuly cuffs to envy

    1. Hee. Yeah, there really isn't another way to do these, is there? Unless you added more trim to cover the machine stitching :)