1895-97 Ladies’ Leg-of-Mutton Sweater



Knitting pattern for a Ladies’ Leg-of-Mutton Sweater c. 1895-97

SKU: RR120 Category:


This is a PDF pattern for a ladies’ leg-of-mutton sweater based on a pattern originally printed in an 1897 issue of The Delineator magazine. Casual sportswear such as sweaters were still relatively new at the time, and this pattern reflects the height of fashion. This sweater features dramatic shaping at the waist and sleeves, keeping with the silhouette of the era.

This sweater is stitched primarily in rib knit of various sizes, which creates the dramatic shaping at the waist and sleeves. The hem, waist, and shoulders are accented in a “fancy” staggered rib knit. The turtleneck has buttons along both sides, arranged so that the buttons are visible when the collar is folded down. The large leg-of-mutton sleeves taper into fitted lower sleeves that are folded back into a cuff.

For more information about this sweater and for historic examples, please see our blog post.

This is a pattern for the advanced knitter. While some suggestions have been provided, this is a vintage pattern and you will need to do  calculations for gauge and size before starting your project.

  • The pattern lists a 34″ bust, but gives no other size measurements or the necessary gauge.
  • Victorian knitting needle sizes are indicated by the material they are made of rather than the standardized sizes we have today.
  • The original pattern should fit someone with the corseted measurements of 34″-22″-26.5″, which is roughly a modern size 4-6.
  • If you are not planning to wear this sweater with a corset, you will need to calculate adjustments to the waist measurement.
  • Multiple swatches will be necessary to calculate needle sizes and gauge, especially if sizing up.

The PDF includes directions for 2 different sizes of leg-of-mutton sleeves. The body of both views is the same.

  • In View 1, the puffed portion of the sleeve is 120 stitches wide and 16” long.  The decreases occur only at the underarm seam. The tight portion of the sleeve continues for 8” after the fullness is decreased.
  • In View 2, the puffed portion of the sleeve is 150 stitches wide and 17” long.  The decreases occur evenly at the base of the puff, as well as at the underarm seam. The tight portion of the sleeve continues for 6” after the fullness is decreased.

The PDF includes the original instructions for a leg-of-mutton sweater, as well as directions in modern knitting terminology. Some calculations about gauge and sizing are provided as a starting point to help you calculate gauge and sizing changes.

This file will be available for immediate download once payment is processed. All digital sales are final and cannot be refunded, so please check your purchase carefully. If you have any questions about the suitability of this design, please ask before buying.

Note: This is based on a vintage pattern. You will need to do measurement calculations and swatches before starting your project. Romantic Recollections is not responsible for errors or lack of complete information that may be present in the original pattern. 

Unless otherwise specified in an individual listing, the purchase of a Romantic Recollections, LLC needlework design grants you a single-user license. This means you can use our designs to create items for personal use or to sell. You may not sell, share, trade, or give away the PDF or design files themselves.

All designs, patterns, instructions, and photos are copyright Romantic Recollections, LLC.


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