decorative binding for kirtle sleeve [Kentwell 1559]

I usually wear my kirtle sleeve ‘revers’ – ie the cuffs turned back, which shows the linen join to the wool inside. This is neat enough but not particularly sewn with the intention of being viewed, and having heard other people talk about binding hems instead of sewing, I discussed with the ‘elves’ at Kentwell whether I could bind the wrist and cuff edges of my sleeve. There is plenty of pictorial evidence of binding for sleeves and bodices. The answer was yes.


I matched the wool to the guard of the kirtle – very easy to do, as these were scraps, and having been advised to make this thin – ideally 1/4 inch though mine were a cm – i cut out and pinned with a turnover as this wool frays as a looser weave. This was also what led me to make the binding slightly thicker as it looked too bulky. I think 1cm looks appropriate to the sleeve. I pinned and stitched on the wrist slits first, making sure they looked even, and then did the same for the cuff itself.


It was a pretty quick job, each sleeve taking a short portion of the evening whilst multitasking. I think the results are fabulous and am very happy with the finishing touch they add.


SO I would recommend for anyone with time!

I have also taken the tabs off my sleeves, and they are currently partly stitched to the kirtle bodice. As they weren’t cut to be sewn in, I can’t do that, and the current Kentwell direction is against pointing, so on discussion with elves, we felt this to be a good compromise currently.

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2 Responses to decorative binding for kirtle sleeve [Kentwell 1559]

  1. TBird Anni says:

    that really does add a lovely finishing touch to the sleeves

  2. Helen says:

    thankyou Anni, I was really pleased with the finished look – more so than expected.

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