Back in 2016 I made a Byzantine costume for an event/competition (where I won first place in the advanced category!) and part of that was a pair of beautiful red silk cuffs.
As you read in my earlier post, when I made the teal hat, I also made a pair of teal embellished cuffs.
I was gifted this amazing teal top embellished with silver beads, sequins, and French wire… and the ONLY thing I could see in my mind’s eye for this were elements for another Byzantine accessory.
My two existing costumes:
These are the existing cuffs I made – block printed and beaded red silk, lined in a heavier fabric. These have a cone shape, which I wasn’t able to do with the hem trim on the top I was cutting up.
These cuffs aren’t necessarily historically accurate. In several period images, you can see a much more fitted sleeve edge under the wide sleeve. In all that I could find, these narrow sleeves have reasonably wide decorative contrasting trim along the edge. Proportionately, one appears to be about 2″ wide, whereas another is much wider and might be 3-4″ wide.
Since I originally wanted to wear my existing inventory of fitted underdresses with this costume – I opted to make these cuffs to go over the sleeves to give the illusion of a trimmed sleeve.
I didn’t measure the teal ‘trim’ – I just used what I had available to me.
Not really part of the plan….
Now…. when I did my Byzantine Capsule Collection wardrobe inventory I didn’t plan on making any more accessories, nor did teal play any part at all. However… this fabric…. it called to me!
(And.. if I do ever make a red or purple Byzantine gown to expand this wardrobe… teal is going to fabulous with both…)
Cutting up the top
The neckline of the top would become the hat which I previously blogged about, but the hem of the top would become the cuffs. I trimmed off the fabric, and cut the section in half which was just enough to fit over my knuckles.
I would have liked to use the more angled pattern as I had for my red cuffs, but the decoration here just wouldn’t work for that. If this were an overall embellished fabric it would have been ok… but ultimately I am pleased with my final result all the same.
The embellished teal fabric was finished on the inside with a light cotton gauze, and since I was using the hemmed edge as one edge of the cuff – I just left this on and treated the two fabrics as one.
First I cut the strip out, and then in half (and measured it), which would dictate all of my other measurements.
I used the sleeve material (with cotton lining used as one) to cut out two cuff linings, and then pressed the hem into place on all sides and laid the lining out on some buckram leftovers to cut out the interlining. The lining coordinates but is a slightly different shade of teal. I think in retrospect the embellished fabric is ‘stiff’ enough that I could have just used a cotton canvas, but since these are still small items, and things like my veil etc could be packed inside – I think they’ll still be packable.
Because of how heavily these are embellished (and since the trim goes all the way to every edge) I had to construct these entirely by hand – however it didn’t really take too long. I stitched the buckram into place on the lining by stitching hem to hem across the buckram, and then used small hand stitches to attach the fashion outer fabric to the structured lining. Both were assembled flat, and then I used a ladder stitch to sew them into a ring. I also added fray check to the edges and did some minor reinforcing of some of the beading on the edges where the embellishment had been cut.
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