Separate undersleeves were often worn with short sleeved dresses. Sleeves that revealed the elbow ere initially shocking to contemporaries; undersleeves preserved modesty, protected the arm from sun, and could make a dress go from day (long sleeves) to night (short sleeves). Wearing different undersleeves with a dress, like changing the chemisette, also gave variety to a limited wardrobe. These undersleeves were given a crude drawstring casing at a later date, leaving wrinkles when the stiches were released. The maker chose to simply add a strip of fabric to simulate a cuff, rather than gather both ruffle and sleeve into a real cuff.
Undersleeves, cotton, 2000.42, Friends of the Museum Purchase.