Monday, January 28, 2013

Moving a Sleeve Seam is Easy

Moving a sleeve seam to avoid a continuous placket in a long sleeve is easy!
Why would I want to do this? Well it is a very neat way to create a sleeve placket in any long sleeve and avoid stitching a continuous placket - a job that makes many a sewer cringe!

Printing restrictions being what they are, the sleeve I wanted to use in the Tuxedo Jacket pattern wouldn’t fit onto the pattern sheet. Even a plain sleeve pattern had to be split into two parts – something I really hate to do!
So here I want to show you how to take the plain tuxedo sleeve and move the seam from under the arm to the back quarter.
You would follow the same procedure for most long sleeves.
                                                                 Here is the plain sleeve as in the pattern.
Trace off the original onto a clean piece of paper to preserve the original pattern piece.
Fold the pattern in half and mark the fold line. This should be the centre of the sleeve.
Draw in the stitching lines on both the vertical seams.
Draw in the hem line.
Fold the Back Sleeve stitching line onto the centre line and mark the new fold line.
You now have divided the back of the Sleeve in half.
Now trim away the Underarm seam allowances.
Cut the pattern apart on the line which divides the Back Pattern in half.
Position the Sleeve pieces so the original Underarm seams match up.
Place your new pattern piece on a new large piece of paper.
Add back the seam allowances to the New Sleeve seams.
Smooth the lower edge to form a gentle curve. (You can do this free hand or with a French curve or even use the edge of a plate to get a nice line.)
Now add a seam allowance to the lower (wrist) edge.
To finish this Sleeve you will need a Facing.
Draw a line about 1¼” up from the seam edge. (See the green line in the diagram.)
Trace off your new Sleeve pattern and then trace off the Sleeve Hem Facing.
Transfer all markings and label each piece.
If you were doing this with a blouse sleeve, the new seam should fall near your wrist bone on the outside of your arm.

To create the Placket, you would stitch down the sleeve seam to within approximately 3½” to 4” from bottom of the sleeve. (Check your original pattern to see what length it calls for.)
You can clip the seam at the point where the stitching ended. Turn lower portion of this seam (which will form the placket) twice and slip stitch or machine stitch to each side of the sleeve.
Finish the remaining sleeve seam allowances and press the seam open.
Carry on with your garment construction.
Hope this gives you food for thought the next time you are faced with stitching a Continuous Placket!!
So till next time, keep stitching…..

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