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August 2010
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How To Make A Proper Fitting Sleeve

Proper Sleeve Fit

(A)   The shoulder line is an important matching point for the sleeves.  Unless you have an “off the shoulder” pattern, the shoulder line should sit exactly on top of the shoulder.

(B)   The armhole size should be large enough that it will not bind the arms when moving the arms back and forth, but not so loose that it will appear to be baggy. 

(C)   The upper arm part of the sleeve must have sufficient ease round it so that the sleeve can hang smoothly from the shoulder, and the arm can move freely.

(D)   The lower arm section of the sleeve should fit comfortably without being too tight.  The lower arm section can vary depending on whether you’re making a fitted sleeve or one that will be gathered at the wrist.

(E)   The sleeve length should be appropriate for the design of the garment as well as for the individual figure proportions.  The sleeve length could be a long full sleeve, or a ¾ length sleeve, depending on the style of the pattern being used.  In addition the wrist measurement must be taken into consideration as well – if you have a long full sleeve such as a bell shaped sleeve, the wrist measurement is not a problem. However, if you are making a fitted long sleeve or a long sleeve with a cuff, you’ll need the measurement of the wrist for correct fitting of the sleeve.

Next week we’ll talk about how to sew a sleeveless armhole finish.

These “how to” tutorials are an excerpt from our book “Basic Clothing Construction”.   This book is a handy addition to have in your sewing room, so you can refer to the various sewing tips and tutorials at any time

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About The Author

Pattern Maker, Instructor & Author


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