The Forces of Madness Over-Reach
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Categories: Medieval, Modern

The Forces of Madness Over-Reach

The unfinished end of the sleeve of a quilted garment against a cloth background
One cuff of the doublet about to be finished by stitching cloth along the raw edges.

The forces of madness have been on an around-the-world tour, but when they got back and slept off the tasty kebabs, weak beer, and very sweet sweets they discovered that their agent in the Alps had over-reached himself. This particular style of clothing was meant to fit very closely in some areas while standing away from the body in others, and in an excess of enthusiasm, their humble servant cut too much away from the opening of the lower sleeve to finish its edges by rolling or folding and stitching down. Fortunately, there are solutions.

A quilted garment against the background of a carpet
The right armpit of the doublet showing the raw edges finished by sewing a band of cloth down the inside with a running stitch, folding it over twice, and sewing it down the outside with a whip stitch.

Finishing the armpits with a band of cloth is a good solution, since it protects this area from wear and the six layers of cloth (plus the cotton) are difficult to fold down in either direction. Finishing the lower sleeves in the same way is not as elegant, but it saves a bit of width and will still allow room to inset eyelets for lacing.

Detail of an unfinished sleeve of a quilted garment
Closeup of the unfinished cuff showing the layers and different stitching
The finished sleeve of a quilted garment against the background of a carpet
One cuff after finishing all the edges

This is not a story like the time that Aristagoras of Miletus forgot to lie to the Spartans about how big the Persian empire was, or the time that the Shah of Chorasmia executed the ambassadors of one Chinghis Khan for looking at him funny. This blunder is smaller and easier to fix. There are still a dozen or 20 eyelets to sew in the sleeves. But the forces of madness have ways of getting what they want.

A quilted garment spread open on a carpet
The doublet, finished except for the eyelets in the sleeves and the points in the waist
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