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Sewing sleeves – how to sew

Sewing sleeves here how to sew it. Here is an example I have made on a wrap-around stretch fabric dress. Bias cut. There are many types of sleeves in a pattern. Roglan, puffed, ordinary shirt sleeves. The type of fabric used will also determine the outcome of the final look of the sleeve. Below I am sewing sleeves onto a slightly stretch fabric on a wrap around a dress. For tips on sewing stretch fabric here is a previous blog post on it.

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wraparound dress with sleevs
wraparound dress

Recently over time,  I have also made raglan sleeves onto a wool coat. The basic concept of sewing sleeves does stay in place. Always make sure to get the pieces correctly. Some sleeve pieces come in two pieces which need to be sewn first before setting on the main garment. In means that there is a front and back piece of the sleeve. I will help to mould the garment onto the body. This commonly seen in coat and jacket patterns. So do be surprise to find that there are so many variations.

Cutting the pattern

Trace and cut the pattern out on the fabric. Normally I always cut the sleeve pattern last. As if I am short of fabric the first thing that will the first pattern I will modify. By shortening sleeves, one can save some fabric. Either that or one might have joined the fabric together.


If it has busy patterns it is not that much noticeable if one has to join sleeves together. Failing that one can also make a design or binding out of the joints. (Meaning at sleeve length joints).  Sleeves also use a bit of fabric as due to the grain and how the sleeves are cut on the fabric.

Sewing sleeves – how to

Once the fabric is cut and pattern transfer it is time to set the sleeves on the front side and back of the garment. One tip to remember which bit goes where is to look at how the pattern. As on the back of the sleeve, there is always more room than the front portion. It is drafted to give more room for movement.

Look at the picture on top when the sleeve is folded into half there is always extra room where the portion that goes on the back of the garment. This to give more room for movement.

sleeve pattern from outside

So when setting the sleeve in it is the other way round. If one sleeve is the other just on easily. Pin the shoulder and side seam first. Ease in at the curves. Like the picture below.


sleeve pattern

Just pin and adjust as you go along. Easing will help to set the sleeves onto the garment.

setting sleeves before sewing

Then start sewing the sleeves together. The finish sleeves should be free from the fold. If there gathers in the pattern there should only gather on the sleeves, not on the body of the garment. If so unpick and set it again. It’s the curves of the pattern that can be tricky.

sleeves sew in place

Press and set the sleeves.

side view wraparound dress

sleeves sewn on dress

how to sew sleeves

1 thought on “Sewing sleeves – how to sew”

  1. Pingback: Mary Quant Mini dress pattern free to download - Maker gardener

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