sleeves: i need remedial help
6 years agocorlee @corlee
i’m sewing the 2+2 blouse again, but this question is a general question: are there any tips on how to pin and sew a sleeve (set-in) to the bodice without using colorful language? it took me 40 minutes to do one sleeve, and then 20 minutes to do the other. pinning takes a long time and then sewing… oh dear. that’s another long time usually because of puckering (and then ripping out the seam and rinse and repeat). i am green with envy at those who can complete entire pieces/garments in an hour. what in the world am i doing wrong in pinning and sewing?6 years ago
I have NEVER made a 2+2 in an hour!
I do mine the same as the instructions, it just one of those steps that takes time.
One little tip: if you use a fabric with a little stretch ie, cotton/lycra or a stretch shirting(not knit), you can omit the easing threads and gently stretch the body as you stitch the sleeve in.
I made my sons Sketchbook shirts that way, it saves some time.6 years ago
Hi corlee! I’m sorry you are so frustrated. The way I do the sleeves is this:
1. Pin from each end to the first notch. In this section, the pieces are the same length so you don’t need to be bothered with gathering in any ease.
2. Pin at center notch/shoulder seam. Now you just have the cap to pin, which is where the ease (extra fabric on the sleeve) needs to be gathered in to fit.
3. Pull the gathering bobbin threads so that the sleeve fabric is a bit shorter than the armhole fabric.
4. Pinch both layers of fabric between your fingers at the center notch (pinned) and the first notch (pinned) and gently pull so that the sleeve fabric and the armhole fabric are about the same length.
5. Adjust the gathering so that it is even. Usually at this point, the sleeve fabric doesn’t even look gathered at all but it has been taken in just enough to fit.
6. Align the fabric edges and pin about halfway between the notches.
7. Continue to add pins, dividing the remaining unpinned edges in half each time, adjusting the gathering as needed as you go along.
8. When sewing the armhole seam, lay the blouse down so that the sleeve piece with the ease (extra fabric) is underneath, against the feed dogs. The feed dogs help to take up the ease without puckering AND since the sleeve is laying flat, this helps you to follow the curve of the sleeve cap as you sew.
I hope this is helpful. Let me know if any of it doesn’t make sense!6 years ago
Yes, Nicole – I love that about fabric with a little give. So much easier than messing with the threads. And as Nicole says, it really does take some time to do the sleeves and you’ll find it easier as you practice more.6 years ago
Please don’t feel bad about the odd tuck in your seam. Nearly every time I set in a sleeve, I do a little unpicking.
Thats why my sewing room has a view(and a comfortable chair)!6 years ago
Good point, Nicole. I usually unpick at least some of each armhole sleeve. I don’t mind it too much because it doesn’t take long and at least I don’t have to re-pin – and I have a window right in front of my sewing machine too.6 years agoKellyNYC @KellyNYC
I have the same problem. Thank you for the great tips! Thought I was the only one who had to unpick a few times due to those pesky tucks. One question…do you just unpick the area with the tuck and resew that, backstitching a few times over the opened threads? Or do you have to resew the whole seam?6 years agosayiamyou @maraya
I get puckers sometimes too, but I only un-pick the area where the pucker is. I do not re-do the entire sleeve!
Don’t get frustrated thinking people finish garments in an hour. I would think that’s pretty rare. Even when I have complete, undistracted time one hour isn’t enough to get fully completed.6 years ago
I only unpick the part with the pucker and back-stitch over the threads like you described. If I had to redo the whole seam each time, I’d probably never get the sleeve one! And I don’t think I’ve ever finished any garment within an hour.6 years agocorlee @corlee
thanks everyone for the tips and the encouragement. i am determined to make my peace with sleeves soon!
on pinning the sleeves, is it supposed to lie flat after pinning? because mine definitely doesn’t – it kind of arcs. the way i pin is to lay the sleeve on top of the bodice, right sides together. then i gather the sleeves, pulling both bobbin threads evenly and then trying to pin the sleeves on, which is a lot like trying to put a square peg through a circle hole at times. maybe would it be easier to place the sleeve under the bodice? so that it is more like an inside out sleeve?
and when i sew the sleeve to the bodice, i do normally put the sleeve side up and will try it out sleeve down next. the feed dogs helping to ease the cap in makes sense to me.6 years agoSarvi @Sarvi
If I understand your question correctly, yes, it should arc, not lie flat. It took me forever to figure that out about curved seams, yet it’s something so obvious once you get it. A lot of times, you’re sewing a 3D shape, and the only flat bit is the bit right under the needle as you’re sewing. Once I made peace with that, sewing tricky curve became a lot less frustrating.6 years agoRebecca W @craftalittle
To those of you who use sergers for sewing- do you use the serger on the sleeve seams? I have had quite a bit of trouble trying to do sleeves on the serger- particularly with the unpicking part and fixing that part.
Any advice?6 years ago
I always baste first and I have been sewing for a while!
Oh on knits? I overlock s l o w l y!6 years agoRebecca W @craftalittle
So you baste on your regular machine? And then you don’t have to worry about puckerimg on the sergeing of the seam? Do you baste on the knits too? When using your serger on knits do you still use ball point needles? What kind of stitch do you use on your serger? (I realize I am getting a but off topic here!)
Rebecca6 years ago
Thats right Rebecca, I baste the sleeves in with my sewing machine,check for puckers,fix said puckers and then overlock(serge) the seam.
I don’t baste with knits attaching sleeves,I usually skip the easing as well as one can stretch GENTLY while sewing to make it fit.
However with the Hopscotch tops,I gather and baste the front yoke to the front,and then overlock.
I buy the recommended needles for my machine and I assume they are ball point …..
As for the stitch,I use the standard overlocking safety stitch.
Hope this helps!
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