three reasons to split your sleeve into two pieces

Hello friends!

Just for the fun of it, here’s a fun, quick little post and video to inspire you the next time you get ready to cut a pattern that includes sleeves.

A while ago I purchased a knit top that had a seam down the center of the sleeve, and it got me thinking about all the reasons you might want to do the same. Here are a few ideas:

  1. For design reasons. Use the seam to color block or to add a decorative seam. Hand embroidery, entredeux (here’s another nice tutorial for it), a fancy stitch on your machine to decorate the seam, or even a slot seam would all be fun ways to use this idea.
  2. If you’re running low on fabric and need to squeeze the sleeve out of smaller pieces. Sleeves take a lot of fabric, so you might be able to conserve fabric by dividing the sleeve into two smaller pieces.
  3. And maybe most important, if you want to add room for a full bicep a seam can allow you to widen the sleeve to add that extra room.

Here’s a little video to show you how to make these changes.

I hope you enjoy! If you’ve had experience with splitting a sleeve piece, I would love to hear about it. Share what you’ve done in the comments.


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  1. Maryam

    Woo hoo I love the shirt. The color blocking looks so good and sophisticated. Please gift me one 😉

  2. Liz N.

    Ah, thank you for the tutorials! I’ve screwed up the two-piece sleeve a time or two (or three or…)

    1. Glad you like it! To be clear, a two-piece sleeve is usually different than this, with more natural shaping to give a bend through the elbow. Cutting your sleeve into two pieces is different, but still a good option to have in your back pocket!

  3. Susan Wolnik

    Thank you so much for this suggestion and the practical how to video. It looks very do-able. This is a wonderful way to add a design feature and I know that I will be using it to adjust for full bicep.

  4. Rebecca

    Thanks for your video on splitting sleeves – reasons why & how to do, Very understandable. Will attempt this after the holidays.

  5. Ava

    Excellent video. Really appreciated the explanation of seam line vs center sleeve notch

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