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Tips & Techniques > Shaped Sleeve Head

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Posted by: Sew4Fun

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Posted on: 7/11/06 9:14 PM
Review Rating: Helpful by 5 people   Very Helpful by 22 people   
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Intro: I have read many home sewing books over the years on sleeve heads. They all give the same instructions, where you cut a retangular piece of fabric (usually lambswool, fleece, tie-rite, etc.) and either attach it when easing in the sleeve or hand sew it in afterwards. While I don't dispute this method and use it myself on hard to ease fabrics, I do prefer to make my own shaped sleeve heads when sewing with natural fibre fabrics. I find it gives more satisfactory results and supports the sleeve cap better.

Shaped Sleeve Head: To make my sleeve heads I use either Armo Fleece or HTC Fleece (both readily available at Spotlight in Australia). Using the sleeve pattern, I cut a shaped sleeve head approx. 2" wide, and as long as I require. After attaching the sleeve, I hand sew the sleeve head to the seam allowance along the stitching line.

It is possible to buy pre-cut shaped sleeve heads (called Boomerangs by Fashion Fuse in Australia) but I find they are too long/big and better suited to men's jackets. Therefore I like to make my own.

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nehmah said... (7/6/09 9:46 PM) Reply
I have forwarded this site address to a friend who has begun sewing outerwear for herself. This will keep her sleeve caps from dropping. Thank you for sharing your knowledge. Cordially, Nehmah
Sew4Fun said... (7/21/08 3:32 AM) Reply
Hi TexasPat, no the garments aren't washed. Sleeve heads are for tailored jackets that are dry cleaned. I'm sure you are right about the sleeve heads disintegrating if you did. :) When I plan to wash a jacket I fuse interfacing to the top half of the sleeve head instead to give the support it needs. HTH
TexasPat said... (7/20/08 6:21 PM) Reply
I have only one question: do you wash the garments with the fleece sleeve heads? I would be afraid that the heads would kind of disintegrate in the washing machine, even on delicate. I love your tips/info!
Moouse said... (9/26/07 12:30 PM) Reply
Thank you so much for this tip. It is excellent. I have been having such a hard time with those sleeves.
nancy2001 said... (8/12/06 11:55 AM) Reply
Thanks, Belinda. I used this method, which I learned from Cecilia Podolak's Easy Guide to Sewing Jackets, on my first tailored jacket a couple of weeks ago. First I eased in my sleeve with a hair canvas bias strip. Then I added a shaped sleeve head made of fleece. It worked perfectly.
regine said... (7/13/06 3:13 AM) Reply
Thanks for the tip. I would like to add that I made shoulder pads from fleece as well in the same way and they also work well. Not as bulky a some of the bought ones and are fun to make.
ChristineS said... (7/12/06 9:21 PM) Reply
Thanks Belinda - very useful tip.
PVA said... (7/12/06 1:01 AM) Reply
I learned to do this from Margaret Islander who also taught me that I could take apart men's ties & use the lambswool interfacing for sleeve heads. It's already cut on the bias & is ideal. Thrift shops are a great source of ties that are well past their prime
Georgene said... (7/11/06 10:49 PM) Reply
Thank you for the graphic depiction of your innovation.
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