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Tips & Techniques > Managing sleeve head fullness

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Posted by: FreyaStark
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Posted on: 3/31/14 6:40 PM
Review Rating: Helpful by 3 people   Very Helpful by 11 people   
To reduce fullness at the top of a sleeve, stitch your gathering thread between the notches on the tissue, not between the dots (which are placed higher up). This method spreads the gathering rather than concentrating it, and avoids that "puffed sleeve" look while retaining ease in the sleeve head.

Second, attach the sleeve to the body of the blouse BEFORE stitching the side and sleeve seams rather than after, regardless of what the instructions say.

Third, stitch the armhole seam with the gathered (sleeve) side down and the smooth side (ie the body of the blouse) facing you. This makes it easier to manoeuvre over the gathers.

Fourth, stitch the side and sleeve seams in one action, from hem to cuff. (This method also makes stitching french seams at the sides and on the sleeves easier.)

I have made many shirts this way with good results.

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sewtofit said... (5/7/14 0:41 AM) Reply
This is an interesting concept, sewing on the flat for sleeves. Something I will seriously try. Thanks for the tip.
sewme47 said... (4/4/14 12:28 PM) Reply
Thank you. I'm definitely going to try this!
ColorFiberTexture said... (4/1/14 9:00 AM) Reply
I much prefer sewing sleeves flat. I always thought I was just a renegade about not following the pattern instructions for setting sleeves. Nice to know I'm not alone! Thanks for sharing this - I feel so liberated from the rules!
SewLibra said... (4/1/14 0:37 AM) Reply
I also prefer to sew sleeves in flat. Usually I alter the sleeve cap to remove the gathers because I like very smooth sleeve cap. But next time I have a gathered sleeve I will try sewing it with the gathers at the bottom instead of the top. Thank you for your tip! :-)
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