Saturday, May 19, 2012

Sleeves On Saturdays

Last Saturday I showed you how to do the Squared Shouldered Sleeve. You can see those instructions here. In my attempt to kill two birds with one stone last week, (get a pair of pajamas made for summer and get the pattern ready for you) I was not happy with the outcome because it was difficult to see the lines of the sleeves due to the daisy print of the fabric.
We are going to revisit this sleeve today. I am showing the sleeve in muslin as I think you can see it a little better and I am showing you how you can take the basic sleeve once it is drafted and combine it with other techniques. Today we will add tucks to the sleeve. I especially like the tucks on this sleeve as they hang so nice and straight.   
My sleeve for the example is a short sleeve, but this can be made into a long sleeve as well. You can also combine this with a sleeve that has fullness at the cuff and sew the tucks down to just about the elbow and then release the fullness which makes a beautiful sleeve especially in a soft fabric. 
 Begin with the basic drafted square shouldered sleeve.
Draw in the lines for the tucks. Number each section. This is very important as once the pieces are cut apart it can be very difficult to tell which section goes where.
Draw in a horizontal line that intersects all of the lines that have been drawn in for the tucks. This is also important as this will give you a guide for lining up the pieces once the pieces have been cut apart.
Draw in a horizontal line on a new piece of paper.
Cut the pieces apart and then decide how deep you would like your tucks to be. I would recommend 1/4" for this sleeve. Just remember that if you want a 1/4" tuck, you will need to spread the pattern pieces twice that amount, so the space in between each section will be 1/2". In the above photo you can see that the sleeve has been cut apart and spread.  
Now fold the tucks in the direction that you would like for them go. If you look below, 3 tucks are folded towards the front, 3 are folded towards the back and the center tuck is folded to lay flat in the middle.
Once you have folded the tucks, cut the sleeve cap while the tucks are still folded. Once unfolded, the top of your cap will look like the sleeve cap below.
In order to know where to fold the tucks once the sleeve has been cut out of your fabric you will need to add notches to the tuck lines as you see below.
Be sure to add the notches to the top as well as the bottom of the tuck lines.
 Your final pattern will look like this pictured below.
 The picture below shows the top of the sleeve. It is very flat.
 In the pictures below you can see just how flat the sleeve hangs.
Next week I will show you one more alternative to this sleeve, we will add gathers.
I hope you're enjoying Sleeves On Saturdays. I know I do.
Hope you're having a wonderful weekend! It's bright, sunny and hot here in Chicago. I'm off to work in my garden.

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  1. This just keeps on getting better!
    These posts remind me of pattern-making class, drawing little pattern pieces and "playing" with them to come with endless "variations on a theme". So much fun. I could do this for hours, just to see "what will happen". Unfortunately, playing around with ideas doesn't get clothes sewn and into the closet, which is what I need at the moment. ...but I do so enjoy reading your posts!

  2. I spied a woman on the train this morning wearing a jacket with squared sleeves. Typical sewer - I was stealing glances to try and work out wear the seam lines went. She probably thought I was a crazed stalker!

    1. So funny! I did the same thing at church last night. As we were sharing the sign of peace, I noticed the top that the woman had on who was sitting behind me. I just couldn't help myself and told her that I loved her top. After the service finished I turned around again and said, "I just have to get a better look at your top." It was a great inspiration piece and I think it really made her day to know that someone really liked what she was wearing.

  3. This is excellent Rhonda. I've posted a link to it on my business Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Contemporary-Fashion-Education-Inc/151215644907805?v=wall&ref=ts.

    1. Hi Laurel, Thanks so much. I did try to go to your Facebook page to see the link, but I couldn't find it. Maybe I did sometning wrong, not sure, but I really appreciate the link.

  4. Rhonda, Just type "Contemporary Fashion Education" into the Facebook search box at the top of the page and it will take you to Laurel's page. The link is there on her timeline. It posted to all of us linked to her page. You can also check her site at www.laurelhoffmann.com

    Praise, indeed!

  5. Rhonda, just type "Contemporary Fashion Education" in the Facebook search box at the top of you page. It will take you to her timeline. Her post linking to your post is right at the top. It was sent to all of us who have 'liked' her page. Praise, indeed! Nice job on the tutorial!

  6. wonderful sleeve and with spring threatening to come at last (well, three years later) i have this earmarked for a lightweight jacket, long sleeved, no pleats. how do you press these sleeves?

    1. The pleats are stitched in place, so you won't need to worry about pressing in the pleats after the garment is washed.