Title:
Sleeve extension and method of making same
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A sleeve extension to be worn on a particular body part of the wearer having an elasticized upper edge and a plurality of folds or pleats or gathers extending from the upper edge to a lower edge for covering or concealing a portion of the body part.



Inventors:
Horn, Randi (Redondo Beach, CA, US)
Application Number:
14/756853
Publication Date:
04/27/2017
Filing Date:
10/22/2015
Assignee:
Horn Randi
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41D27/10; A41D27/08
View Patent Images:



Other References:
Kasey Kalmar, Fancy Meeting Ewe, “How to make shirred/smocked cuff bracelets tutorial”, March 27,2013, http://fancyewe.blogspot.com/2013/03/how-to-make-shirredsmocked-cuff.html
Primary Examiner:
SPATZ, ABBY M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
RANDI HORN (ASHLAND, OR, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A method of fabricating a sleeve extension comprising the steps of: selecting a flexible fabric material; cutting the fabric material to a preselected geometrical configuration having an upper longitudinal edge and a lower longitudinal edge and a preselected initial longitudinal length and a preselected transverse width between said upper longitudinal edge and said lower longitudinal edge; gathering the cut fabric material into a plurality of folds extending substantially transversely to said upper longitudinal edge and lower longitudinal edge and substantially throughout the longitudinal length of said fabric material; securing an elastic band into said folds in regions spaced from and adjacent to said upper longitudinal edge of the material; cutting the folded and elastic banded material to a preselected finished longitudinal length to provide a pair of spaced apart transverse edges extending between said upper and lower longitudinal edges; and, securing the transverse edges of the elastic banded cut and folded material together to define a generally cylindrical sleeve configuration having a preselected finished diameter in regions adjacent said upper longitudinal edge.

2. The method defined in claim 1 wherein: the step of securing an elastic band comprises the step of securing a plurality of elastic strands in spaced apart relationship and spaced from said longitudinal edge.

3. The method defined in claim 1 wherein: the step of securing a plurality of elastic strands comprises the step of securing at least three elastic strands and positioning a first of said strands in regions about ¼ to ¾ inches from said upper longitudinal edge.

4. The method defined in claim 3 wherein: the step of securing at least three elastic bands further comprises the step of securing said three elastic strands in substantially parallel rows spaced about ¼ inch apart from each. other.

5. The method defined in claim 1 wherein: the steps of gathering said material into a plurality of folds and securing said elastic band is performed by a smocking procedure utilizing a smocking machine.

6. The method defined in claim 5 wherein: selecting said smocking procedure on the smocking machine to provide an elastic band having at least three strands in spaced apart substantially parallel rows extending longitudinally.

7. The method defined in claim 6 wherein: the step of securing at least three elastic strands in said smocking machine further comprises the step of securing said three elastic bands in substantially parallel rows spaced about ¼ inch apart from each other.

8. The method defined in claim 7 wherein: the step of securing the transverse edges of the cut material together to define a generally cylindrical sleeve configuration provides a cylinder of the material having the preselected diameter in the range of 3 inches to 5 inches at said upper longitudinal edge.

9. The method defined in claim 8 and further comprising the step of: selecting an elasticized thread for the elastic strands.

10. The method defined in claim 9 wherein: said transverse edges are secured together by a step of sewing.

11. A sleeve extension comprising, in combination: a body member having an upper longitudinal edge, a lower longitudinal edge spaced a first preselected transverse distance from said upper longitudinal edge to define a body width, and a pair of spaced apart transverse edges extending between said upper longitudinal edge and said lower longitudinal edge to define a body length having a preselected longitudinal length; an elastic band on said body member in regions adjacent said upper longitudinal edge and spaced therefrom and extending substantially said longitudinal length of said body member; a plurality of folds in said body member extending transversely from said upper longitudinal edge to said lower longitudinal edge, and said folds maintained in place by said elastic band; said transverse edges connected together to define a generally circular cylindrical sleeve member having a preselected diameter.

12. The arrangement defined in claim 11 wherein: said body member is a flexible material;

13. The arrangement defined in claim 12 wherein: said body member is selected from the class consisting of lace and printed fabric.

14. The arrangement defined in claim 11 wherein: said elastic band is comprised of three spaced apart elastic strands and the first of said elastic strands is spaced in the range of ½ inch to ¾ inch from said upper longitudinal edge and said elastic strands are transversely spaced apart in the range of ⅛ inch to ¼ inch.

15. The arrangement defined in claim 14 wherein: said circular cylindrical sleeve member has said preselected diameter in the range of 3 inches to 5 inches in regions adjacent said upper longitudinal edge.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Field of the Invention

This invention relates to the clothing arts and more particularly to a sleeve extension article of clothing which may be worn, for example, on the upper arm, and the method of making the sleeve extension

Description of the Prior Art

Many persons are often desirous of enclosing a portion of one of their limbs to conceal temporarily certain aspects of their limbs. Such aspects may include, but are not limited to, tattoos, scars, growths, skin discolorations, size, disfigurements or the like. Where such aspects are on one or both of the arms of the person, such person often was required to wear long sleeved shirts in order to hide or conceal the aspects. Such long sleeved shirts thus limited the range of clothing options which could be worn in addition to the long sleeved shirts and prevented the person from exposing other portions of their arms. Other techniques for hiding or concealing the undesirable aspects have involved cosmetics, body paint, bandage wraps and other techniques which were time consuming to apply and relatively costly. Many of such techniques required re-application of the technique on a periodic basis.

Thus, there has long been a need for an inexpensive article of clothing which is attractive, comparatively easy to wear and may be re-used as many times as desired. Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a re-usable article of clothing which is inexpensive, reusable and provides a pleasing aspect when worn by the person.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The above and other objects of the present invention are achieved, in a preferred embodiment of the method of making the attractive and yet very useful sleeve extension by a first step of selecting a desired fabric for the sleeve extension. While the embodiments of the present invention are described herein as applicable to a sleeve extension designed to be worn on the arm, the invention is not so limited as the article produced may be designed for utilization on any portion of the body. The fabric material selected is flexible and may be of any desired design or configuration. Thus, for example, the material may be a cloth with or without a design and of any color or combinations of color thereon. Similarly, a lace with or without a pattern thereon may be selected, or any other attractive material in any color. The material may be, for example, cotton, rayon, silk, wool, linen, pique, crepe de Chine, cashere, plastic such as polyester, polystyrene or the like. Thus, there are many choices of material that can provide the fabric for the present invention.

The second step is cutting the selected fabric to a first preselected geometrical configuration. The first preselected geometrical configuration is a first longitudinally elongated length configuration having an upper longitudinal edge, a lower longitudinal edge and a first preselected transverse width between the upper longitudinal edge and a lower longitudinal edge. The first longitudinally elongated length of the fabric is selected to be the desired circumferential length of, for example, a finished product adapted to be worn on the arm of the user. Alternatively, the first longitudinally elongated length may be multiples of the desired circumferential extent of the finished product. For the embodiment of the present invention wherein the finished product is a sleeve type of garment, the desired circumferential length of the fabric may be selected so that, in accordance with the principles of the present invention, the sleeve will fit snugly on the arm of the wearer.

Whether the first longitudinal length of the fabric is for one garment or for a multiple of garments, the third step is gathering the fabric into a plurality of folds or pleats or gathers. Thus, the preselected fabric may be any fabric as described above or any other fabric that is capable of being configured into the plurality of longitudinally spaced apart folds or pleats or gathers which are aligned transversely to the upper and lower longitudinal edges. The folds or pleats or gathers, in the preferred embodiments of the present invention, extend throughout the longitudinal length of the cut fabric. However, in some applications it may be desired to have one or more longitudinal portions free of folds or pleats or gathers.

The fourth step is securing an elastic band into the folds or pleats throughout the longitudinal length of the fabric and adjacent to an upper longitudinal edge of the cut fabric. This process is similar to the smocking process that has long been utilized to make various types of garments. However, the introduction of an elastic band in place of non-elastic threads that have heretofore been utilized in smocking has provided a new and novel garment which may be worn on, for example, the arm of the wearer and yet be securely retained thereon.

In preferred embodiments of the present invention the elastic band is comprised of a plurality of elastic threads extending through the folds or pleats or gathers. It has been found that three such elastic threads in spaced apart relationship extending the longitudinal length of the fabric through the folds or pleats or gathers allow a single garment to fit on and be firmly retained on the arms of users wherein the arms may be of different circumferences thereby making one finished product usable by a plurality of different sized limbs. In preferred embodiments of the present invention the insertion of the three elastic threads into the folds or pleats or gathers is done by a smocking machine, though if desired, the insertion of the elastic threads may be done by hand.

In the process of making the finished garment according to the principles of the present invention wherein the first preselected longitudinal length of the fabric is provided in multiples of the desired finished product, the fabric with the folds and pleats and the elastic band therein is cut to the finished garment desired longitudinal length. Each individual finished garment length of the fabric is thus provided with a pair of spaced apart transverse edges extending between the upper longitudinal edge and lower longitudinal edge.

The final step in preparing the finished garment fabric is coupling together of the spaced apart transverse edges of the finished garment to provide a generally cylindrical finished garment configuration. The coupling together of the spaced apart transverse edges may be done by any desired method such as sewing, heat sealing, or the like as applicable for the particular fabric chosen.

In smocking as heretofore practiced, the final preselected longitudinal length of the fabric for a single garment is selected to be on the order of three times the length, that is the circumferential length, of the finished product. However, with the utilization of the elastic band of the longitudinal length of the finished garment may be selected less than the more conventional three times the non-elasticized longitudinal length.

In the practice of the present invention wherein a smocking machine is utilized to provide the folds or pleats orf gathers to the fabric as well as the elastic band, it has been found advantageous to have the first preselected longitudinal length of the fabric many times the final desired longitudinal length so that multiple pieces of the fabric may be cut therefrom in the final desired longitudinal length. In such an embodiment utilizing a smocking machine the first preselected longitudinal length need not have any relationship to the final longitudinal length for a single garment.

In a preferred embodiment of the present invention wherein the elastic band is comprised of three elastic threads, the threads are arranged in a spaced apart parallel alignment in the range of about ¼ inch apart with the outermost thread in the range of ¼ inch to ¾ inch from the upper longitudinal edge of the fabric. After the transverse edges are coupled together the upper longitudinal edge may have a diameter on the order of 3 to 5 inches. The transverse width of the fabric may be on the order 4 to 6 inches although greater or less of a width may be utilized as desired for particular applications. When such a finished fabric sleeve is worn, for example on the arm, the sleeve will form a generally conical configuration with the upper longitudinal edge and the elastic band holding the finished garment in place on the arm and the lower longitudinal edge of the garment flared out as allowed by the folds or pleats or gathers.

In the practice of the present invention, the order of the performance of the above set forth steps may be varied as desired for particular applications.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

The above and other embodiments of the present invention my be more fully understood from the following detailed description taken together with the accompanying drawing wherein similar reference characters refer to similar elements throughout and in which:

FIG. 1 is a flat plan view of a longitudinally extended length of fabric useful in the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a flat plan view of the longitudinally extended length of fabric having the plurality of folds or pleats or gathers therein extending transversely to the longitudinal length;

FIG. 3 is a view along the line 3-3 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a flat plan view of a fabric useful in the practice of the present invention in making a single garment in which an elastic band comprising three substantially parallel rows of elastic thread are placed adjacent a top longitudinal edge on a selected portion of the fabric shown in FIG. 2;

FIG. 5 is a view along the line 5-5 of FIG. 4; and,

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the fabric shown in FIG. 4 with the transverse edges coupled together to define a completed sleeve extension according to the principles of the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring now to the drawing there is shown in FIG. 1 a section of an elongated longitudinal length indicated by the letter L1 on FIG. 1 of a fabric or cloth generally designated 10 useful in the practice of the present invention. The length of L1 may be any desired length for fabricating the one or more sleeve extensions according to the principles of the present invention. The cloth or fabric 10 may be a cloth with or without a design and of any color or combinations of colors thereon. Similarly, a lace with of without a pattern thereon may be selected, or any other attractive material in any color. The material may be, for example, cotton, rayon, silk, wool, linen, pique, crepe de Chine, cashmere, plastic such as polyester, polystyrene or the like. Thus, there are many choices of material that can provide the cloth or fabric 10 for the present invention. In the embodiments of the present invention the cloth or fabric 10 is illustrated as a lace fabric, but as noted above, any other cloth or fabric or material suitable for use in the present invention may be utilized. The cloth or fabric 10 has an upper longitudinal edge 12 and a lower longitudinal edge 14.

The transverse width W is selected to conform to the desired use of the product fabricated according to the principles of the present invention. Thus, for example, where the finished product may be a sleeve extension fitting on the arm of the wearer, the transverse width W between the upper longitudinal edge 12 and lower longitudinal edge 14 may be on the order of 3 inches to 5 inches though smaller or greater transverse widths W may be selected as desired for particular applications. As shown in FIG. 1 the upper longitudinal edge 12 and lower longitudinal edge 14 are illustrated as scalloped, though any other configuration, such as linear, jagged, or the like may be selected for any desired attractive appearance.

Referring now to FIG. 2, there is shown a portion 16 of the body member 10 having a longitudinal length L2 The longitudinal length L2 , as shown by the dotted lines 19 on FIG. 1, a portion of the body member 10 and the length L2 is selected for the print particular body part to which the finished product of the present invention is and for the number of sleeve extensions iot is desired to fabricate. For convenience of illustration herein the process of fabricating the sleeve member according to the principles of the present invention is described as fabricating a single sleeve portion from this portion 16. However as described below in greater detail various steps in the manufacture of the sleeve member according to the principles of the present invention may be accomplished before the body member 10 is cut into the appropriate longitudinal lengths L1 and L2.

The body portion 16 has transverse edges 18 and 20 extending between the upper longitudinal edge 12 and lower longitudinal edge 14. The body portion 16 is folded into a plurality of substantially parallel “folds” or “pleats” or“gathers”as illustrated by the lines 22. The folds or pleats or gathers shown by the lines 22 extend from the upper longitudinal edge 12 to the lower longitudinal edge 14. Stitching such as cables stitching is applied to the upper longitudinal edge 12 and lower longitudinal edge 14 as may be required for various types of materials or fabrics utilized to make the finished sleeve extension according to the principles of the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a view of the body portion 16 taken along the view line 3-3 of FIG. 2. As shown on FIG. 3, the pleats or gathers 22 overlap each other. As shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, the pleats or gathers 22 need not be uniform in longitudinal width or they may be uniform in longitudinal width depending upon ornamental configuration desired.

As noted above, the body portion 16 is folded into a plurality of substantially parallel “folds” or “pleats” or“gathers”as illustrated by the lines 22. The folds or pleats or gathers shown by the lines 22 extend from the upper longitudinal edge 12 to the lower longitudinal edge 14. Stitching such as cables stitching is applied to the upper longitudinal edge 12 and lower longitudinal as may be required for various types of materials or fabrics utilized to make the finished sleeve extension according to the principles of the present invention.

An elastic band 26 is inserted into the body member 16 in regions adjacent the upper longitudinal edge 12. The elastic band is applied to the body member 16 in preferred embodiments of the present invention by a process called smocking. As such, any desired type of stitch may be utilized for the smocking to gather together in overlapping configuration the various folds or pleats and gathers in regions adjacent the upper longitudinal edge 12. When done by hand, the smocking stitches may be a cable stitch, stem stitch, outline stitch, cable flowerette stitch, wave stitch, honeycomb stitch, trellis stitch, vandyke stitch, bullion stitch, or the like as desired for particular applications. A smocker's knot may also be applied to finish the body member 16. Any other desired stitch may also be utilized as desired for particular applications. The stitches, regardless of what type, are elastic and therefore gather together the folds or pleats or gathers in regions adjacent the upper longitudinal edge 12.

In preferred embodiments of the present invention, the elastic band 26 is applied by a smocking machine utilizing elastic thread. Further, it has been found that in utilizing such a smocking machine it is preferred to have three separate strands of elastic threads 30a, 30b and 30c as illustrated in FIG. 4. Because of the elastic nature of the elastic band 26 the upper longitudinal edge 12 is brought to gather to a smaller longitudinal length than the longitudinal with L2 shown in FIG. 2 and the lower longitudinal edge 14 may be expanded to a longitudinal length greater than the longitudinal length L2 shown in FIG. 2. In preferred embodiments of the present invention, wherein a smocking machine is utilized to apply the three elastic strands 30a, 30b and 30c of the elastic band 26, the upper strand 30a is based in the range of ½ A inch to ¾ inch from the upper longitudinal edge 12 and the elastic strands 30a, 30b and 30c are spaced approximately ⅛ to ¼ inch apart in the transverse direction. In utilizing a smocking machine in the manufacture of the sleeve extension of the present invention, the elastic strands 30a, 30b and 30c are lionearf and more fancy stitching as described above is not utilized.

Referring now to FIG. 6 the transverse edges 18 and 20 of the body member 16 are sewn together by any conventional stitching desired to provide a generally circular configuration of the body member 16. The diameter shown in FIG. 6 as D at the elastic band 26 is in the range of three to five inches, though larger or smaller diameters may be selected as desired for particular applications. It has been found that the diameter D in the range of 3 to 5 inches has general applicability for the body member 16 configured as shown in FIG. 6 6 to be inserted over the upper arm of the wearer.

Thus, the process of manufacturing the completed sleeve extension is illustrated in FIG. 6 is comprised of the following steps:

step one: selecting a particular desired flexible fabric material;

step two: cutting the selected fabric material to a preselected geometrical configuration having a first preselected longitudinal length and having an upper longitudinal edge and a lower longitudinal edge and a preselected transverse width between the upper longitudinal edge and the lower longitudinal edge;

step 3: gathering together the fabric material into a plurality of folds or pleats or gathers extending from the upper longitudinal edge to the lower longitudinal edge and the folds or pleats or gathers extending throughout the longitudinal length of the material;

step 4: securing an elastic band into the folds or pleats or gathers in regions adjacent to the upper longitudinal edge and spaced a preselected distance from the upper longitudinal edge;

step 5: cutting the folded aned elastic banded material to a preselected finished longitudinal length to provide a pair of longitudinally spaced apart transverse edges extending from the upper longitudinal edge to the lower longitudinal edge;

step 6: securing the transverse edges of the elastic banded and folded material together to define a generally cylindrical sleeve extension configuration having a preselected finished diameter in regions adjacent the upper longitudinal edge.

Depending upon the method of manufacturing of the finished sleeve extension, the order of the above steps may be varied. For example, if only a single sleeve extension is to be manufactured at each time, the material may be cut to the desired first longitudinal length before the elastic bands are applied to the material. For those applications where a smocking machine is utilized, the smocking machine gathers the material into the folds or pleats or gathers as the elastic band comprising the elastic threads are attached thereto and the longitudinal length L1 may be many times greater than the desired longitudinal length L2. In such a process, the desired longitudinal length L2 for the finished sleeve extension may then be cut from the elastic banded material.

Although specific embodiments of the present invention have been described above with reference to the various Figures of the drawing, it should be understood that such embodiments are by way of example only and merely illustrative of but a small number of the many possible specific embodiments which can represent applications of the principles of the present invention. Various changes and modifications obvious to one skilled in the art to which the present invention pertains are deemed to be within the spirit, scope and contemplation of the present invention as further defined in the appended claims.