Oliver + S

Sewing in the Sleeves – help!

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    Jaime Laugelli @Jaime Laugelli

    I am sewing a 6T Fairy Tale Dress with the sleeves. I just tried to sew one in and found it very difficult – it barely fit around my sewing machine and then it was really difficult to keep all the layers smooth. I am going to have to rip it out, b/c one edge of the crossover part did not get sewn in and then I also sewed over a part of the sleeve lining. Does anyone have any tips on how to sew this more easily?

    thanks!

    Jaime

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    Jennifer1568 @Jennifer1568

    You should Google a tutorial about how to sew in a sleeve. I bet Motherof5 has made one. You make sort of a tube out of the sleeve and then put the foot inside of it. Don’t try to put the sleeve around the machine. I basted the Fairytale sleeve before I sewed it. There is a front and back; look at the notches. Make sure the sleeves mirror each other. The sleeve lining and the sleeve are sewn as one, together. They are sewn to the lined bodice; these 2 layers also treated as one. And then they are trimmed close and finished.

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    Nicole @motherof5

    Thanks Jennifer xx

    Jaime if you scroll down this post a wee bit http://fiveandcounting-motherof5.blogspot.com.au/2013/02/puppet-show-tunic-part-two.html it shows how I sew in a tiny sleeve.

    I hope this is some help.

    ~Nicole~

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    Jaime Laugelli @Jaime Laugelli

    wow! Thanks so much for these quick replies! You can tell I’ve mainly made sleeveless dresses! I can’t wait to check out your tutorial, that should be such a help.

    Basting is a good idea too.

    thanks again!

    Jaime

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    Jaime Laugelli @Jaime Laugelli

    Nicole – I just read through your tutorial, which was really helpful. One instruction you give is: “Check for tucks and remove them(if you find any).” How do you remove the tucks? Do you have to rip the seam at the tucks, tie off threads and then resew? Or is their an easier way?

    thanks-

    Jaime

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    Nicole @motherof5

    I unpick a few stitches either side of the tuck,smooth the two seams and just re-sew that little bit.

    I reverse over the loose stitches either side and as I go onto to neaten the seam it seems to hold fine.

    Does that make sense?

    Always happy to help(if I can,he he)

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    brenda1652 @brenda1652

    Another approach is to hand sew the sleeves. (gasp !..LOL). If you ever get the chance to examine a couture apparel item you will be surprised at how much is hand sewn, both modern items as well as vintage. As a child (going waaay back) we learned to hand stitch before going to the sewing machine, at about 5-7 yrs old or so (while I was still legally blind in fact from congenital tumors). There is nothing as relaxing as doing hand sewing. For sleeves I use single thread, Coats duel duty regular apparel weight like 50 or even 60, is a good one (never use cheap thread) and a running straight stitch for baby sleeves and doll clothes and a back stitch for kids and adults. The trick is to practice a bit to make your stitches TINY, uniform, and in a nice line. It is not hard, just practice a bit. The back stitch is very strong so there is no worry about your stitching coming out. Also, since you are holding the work you will not mistakenly sew in parts of the item that do not belong in the sleeve seam. Without struggling with the machine you will find the sewing to be much more relaxing. I have made many items entirely by hand, sitting quietly, relaxing. After doing some types of sewing by hand you will have figured out the way you want your sleeves to go in and the next time you decide to use the machine it will make sense to you. However the first time you catch some unwanted fabric into the sleeve, or flatten some nice gathers, you will be glad to go back to the hand needle. It is easy to work in some ease as well as gathers with hand stitching and the result is so nice. Try it for yourself and see. Personally I get bored sewing hems by hand, but all the rest of it is much more interesting and the control you have when hand sewing is a real treat.

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    needlewoman @needlewoman

    Brenda, thanks for all of above; a great reminder that this is exactly how women had to do all their sewing before the domestic sewing machine was a. invented; b. affordable. I taught myself to follow a pattern/construct a garment by sewing the whole thing by hand when I was in my 20’s. After about 9 mths and quite a few garments later, the mother of a friend gave me her old Princess (related to a Singer, I think) sewing machine which I used for approx 12 yrs, before I bought my first basic Janome. I can certainly vouch for the strength of backstitching seams, especially if you use the thread doubled. With some new babies to sew for now, I must remember these old skills for the very fiddly bits.

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    Brittney @georgeandizzy

    The method Nicole showed you is the one I always use, it works great! Especially for those itty bitty 12 month sleeves:)

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    bren5kids @bren5kids

    You can always sew sleeves “in the flat”, ie. before you sew the side seams. I know it’s not considered the proper way to do it, but it’s the way I always do it and I can’t tell the difference. And I defy anybody else to spot the difference without closely inspecting the seams.

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    meleliza @meleliza

    I don’t put the sleeves around my machine (they don’t fit that way) I put them on top. It’s a little fiddly with small ones for sure. Sometimes, I hand baste first to get the pins out of the way. I’m not sure how to desribe this without a picture, but probably you can find a pic if you google it.

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