Sewing Sleeves for a Better Fit

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Duration:   10:57   mins

When it comes to garment construction, sewing sleeves can be one of the most intimidating parts. Jill Case shows you how to achieve a better fit and get a smoother sleeve cap when sewing sleeves by removing some of the excess ease built into patterns.

Different Types of Sleeves

Whether you are making a shirt or a dress, it is important to understand the different kinds of sleeves that can be used and how they are constructed or inserted. Jill shows many different kinds of sleeves that can be found on garment patterns and explains how they can be grouped into two different categories. When learning how to alter sewing patterns, it is good to know what the end product looks like as well as what the pattern pieces look like that make up a garment section. This can give you a better idea of where to start your alterations. While most of the sleeves shown in this video were for sewing projects for women, sleeve adjustments can be made on men’s sewing projects as well.

Pattern Alterations

When making alterations to pattern pieces before sewing sleeves, it is important to know what the markings on the pattern pieces are for. Jill shows where the important dots and notches are on the pattern pieces and explains what they are used for. Jill then explains the math behind how much ease you can remove from a sleeve cap and why. She shows how to measure both the sleeve pattern piece as well as the front and back sleeve opening sections. After those measurements are recorded, she explains how to determine the maximum amount of ease you would want to remove from the sleeve cap to achieve a smooth look, but still get a comfortable fit. Once that has been determined, she demonstrates how to use a curved ruler to create a new cutting line for the pattern piece. She explains where to start and stop the new line as well as how far away from the old cutting line it should be.

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