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The tailoring of the grande assiette

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Description La grande assiette is a term for a tailoring method used in the mid/late 14th century and throughout the fifteenth century in which a sleeve was inserted into a deeply-set arm hole with the assistance of triangular gores or trapezoidal gussets. A freely moving sleeve piece set deeply into the body of the garment allowed full and unconstricted movement of the arms, chest, and shoulders while maintaining a relatively fitted appearance. When moving one's arms in a windmill fashion, the bottom portion of one's garment would remain stationary, adding a degree of comfort and convenience for laborers and the martially-inclined. The historical use of gores/gussets instead of large, mushroom-shaped sleeve caps probably assisted fabric conservation as well as the ability to fine-tune the tailoring with bias-vs.-straight-grain combinations, different angles and points of 'flare', and varied sizing of the inserted gores.
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Submission Date 09/04/06

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