Saturday, July 7, 2012

Sleeves On Saturdays

 The Cowl Sleeve
I am in love with this sleeve. It is so pretty and so graceful, just a perfect accent for anything from a t-shirt to an evening gown.  
 In this picture you can see how the side seam has a curve which allows for the cowl draping.
The shoulder seam extends for the arm opening.
The sleeve is very easy to draft. 
 Begin by drawing a guide line on your paper.
Place the center grainline of your sleeve on the guide line. Don't worry about the entire sleeve being on the guide line as you will not be using the entire sleeve.
 Now take your front and back bodice pattern pieces and place the edge of the shoulder on the guide line and the edge of the armhole should touch the edge of the sleeve.
Draw in the slash lines. This is a little different from other slash lines that we have drawn in the past. These slash lines have curves. Don't let this intimidate you. It's much easier than you might think. The first slash line is approximately 2" over from the edge of the shoulder on the bodice. It comes straight down and curves into the bodice side seam about 4" from the bottom of the armhole.  
The second slash line begins right at the edge of the shoulder and curves down to the side of the sleeve as you see above. 
The final line is not a slash line, but the line that will be the extension of your shoulder seam and where your arm opening will be. This line starts on the guide line and curves down to approximately 2" down on the sleeve seam. 
 To cut the pattern, begin by cutting on the guide line and then follow all the way around the pattern piece.
 Now the pattern piece is cut out.
I always like to number my pieces before I begin slashing.
Cut on the slash lines to the shoulder line and spread them equally. I spread mine approximately 3" between each slash line.
The red line shows how you will connect your slashed areas. This will become your side seam. Also note that I straightened out the shoulder line.
The final pattern. The sides of your front and back should be exactly the same.
The shoulder and the armhole opening will need seam allowance of course as will the rest of your garment. I added 1 1/2" to my pattern for the shoulder line seam allowance.
I did this because I wanted a clean finish to show when my arm moved.
And finally, me in the top with my crazy lemon pants. A hippy never dies!
The back of my top is cut out. Finally, we have a breeze and the temperatures are supposed to drop tonight. Hallelujah!!!!!

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  1. It's perfect! And you is great! It looks so comfortable.
    You are the best teacher.

    María José

  2. in the line drawing the shoulder appears to be long and curved, but when you wear it, it appears to be a very short shoulder seam. can you show the garment laid out flat with the arm opening showing better?

    1. Hi Barbara, I see that I failed to tell you in the instructions that the notch that you see on the shoulder line is where you will stop sewing for the shoulder seam. So you would sew from the neckline to that notch and stop. The rest is open for the arm to go through. I'll do another small post and try to explain a little better, but in the mean time, I hope this helps.

  3. Great sleeve for mature women in summer. Covers the right bits.

  4. These are wonderful sleeves! (Perfect for catching a cooling breeze?) And love those lemon pants.

  5. I really like the sleeve. I will have to try it.

  6. Love your outfit ! And you look awesome

  7. Just beautiful I tell you. Love the color and it looks fabulous on you. Thanks for sharing your technique.

  8. Love, love the cowl sleeves. The whole outfit is super cute. Okay. I see yellow in my future.

    I second that emotion! Hallelujah! It has cooled off in Chicago!

  9. Wow! Great detailed explanation!

  10. Me encanto¡¡¡¡¡ que bonita blusa gracias por este tutorial, Saludos desde Mexico¡¡¡¡

  11. Tank u!, I just tried it n it was perfect!