Sunday, July 5, 2009

Do I Spy a Leg O' Mutton Sleeve in the New SewStylish Magazine?!

In this post, I made fun of the leg o' mutton sleeve. It's just one of those vintage styles that I can't imagine coming back into fashion. I mean, the name alone is ridiculous. What woman wants her arm compared to a cut of meat? We might as well call it the ham hock sleeve.

So imagine my surprise when I received an e-mail from Taunton Press with the image above. It's a sneak peek at some of the looks in the SewStylish fall 2009 issue. That clearly appears to be a leg o' mutton sleeve on the model. She's ready to party like it's 1899!

Will any of you be sewing a look like this? Am I alone in my feelings about the leg o' mutton?

I have mixed feelings in general about SewStylish magazine. There are usually a lot of "what were they thinking?!" styles in each issue. Exhibit A: the cover of the upcoming fall issue.

What is that on her head? A turban? A kerchief? And let's talk about that jacket. Actually, let's not.

But then there's always something that keeps me buying SewStylish. Exhibit B: skirt #2.

I was a finalist in SewStylish's Spring Fashion contest, to a bit of infamy. I'm hoping they'll have another contest in the Fall issue. You know I can't resist a contest.

What are your thoughts about SewStylish? Will you be buying this issue?


  1. I'm in the UK so I haven't seen SewStylish so I can comment but that jacket is awful!
    As for the leg o mutton, only ever acceptable in historic reproductions....

  2. I agree with you completely regarding their questionably stylish fabric and embellishment choices, but I think that Sew Stylish contains some good tips for beginner home sewers.

  3. Yes, I totally agree, Olga. There are some great tips for intermediates too! I'm always referring back to their "red carpet issue." I think it was the second issue they published.

  4. A late comment, but I just discovered your blog last night (via BurdaStyle) and have been reading through it from the beginning. Anyway, I got my latest Burda pattern magazine in the mail over the weekend, and they actually featured a blouse with a leg o' mutton sleeve. (Which looked nice in the photo because of the photography, but it's definitely too old-fashioned for me. Too bad, because I like the blouse otherwise...may have to see if I can come up with a different sleeve.

  5. Oh, the poor, much-maligned leg o' mutton sleeve!

    As I'm posting here way-late, I have that sewstylish issue. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who wondered what they were thinking with that cover photo jacket. However, I do like some other stuff, and I want to support sewing magazines, so I buy them.

    I actually tried out one of those skirts - the balloon-ish one. IT turned out alright, it's loverly fabric (rust-coloured lightweight wool twill), but I fear I might be just a tad too curvy for the style to look quite right.

    And a for the mutton sleeve, I've actually been planning for some time to make a late 1890s-reminiscent wool plaid/glencheck jacket with them. I think they just need the proper context, and maybe a little toning down. I do not, in fact, wish to look like I've got balloons inside my sleevecaps.

  6. It's not a sleeve for everyone or every kind of garment. But I've seen some super cute t-shirts feat. LOM and some little cardigan sweaters, too. I made one once on purpose from a regular sweater. I like it:

    For all of us with less than skinny arms, a moderate LOM sleeve can help camouflage... But on a jacket?

  7. My mother was a bridesmaid to her sister in the mid-70s, and their dresses involved voluminous leg o' mutton sleeves and tan and cream stripes. I have to say, though, a small shameful part of me rather likes this Sew Stylish jacket! Though the red dress from the same article is a step too far.

  8. I know it's been a while since this was first posted, but every time I see the words "Leg of Mutton Sleeve", I laugh. Not because the idea is silly, which I think it is, but because my Fashion History instructor back in college always called them "Leg o'Muffin Sleeves"

  9. The look shown is faux leg o'mutton [lamb dressed as mutton, perhaps?] as true leg o'mutton sleeves are in four pieces with the nasty pouffy part cut as two bias pieces -that's what makes them pouf- and the lower sleeve cut as two close fitting, shaped pieces. I am an old hand at sewing and rarely look at mags, but one of my fashiony friends said we could expect to see these excrescences all over the place in 2011. The thought makes me shudder.

  10. I totally agree with you guys--mutton/ham/meat sleeves are yucky! (And I don't say that about very many things in fashion.)


Thanks for your comments; I read each and every one! xo Gertie

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