Sew Along #6 Inserting the Sleeves

27 Dec

Has the suspense killed you yet? Sorry for leaving you all hanging for so long but Christmas is a mental time of year for me! I hope you all had a fabulous Christmas and ate your weight in festive treats? Thankfully we have not got round to doing any fittings otherwise I fear I would be taking some seams out rather than in! So where are we – sleeves! Sleeves can be a bit tricky. You almost always need to ease them in which basically means stretch the fabric to fit however the Great British Sewing Bee have decided to gather their sleeves slightly which will make life a little bit easier anyway.

So instructions say “Gather between the notches” but you might notice that there is only 1 double notch(triangle things) how helpful! Instead I am going to gather between the circles. There is 3 sets of circles one I think it to tell you where the top of the sleeve is, I’m gathering between the two outermost sets of circles. Please excuse my terrible chipped nail varnish. I won’t let it happen again!

Unintentional rock and roll sign here

The book tell you how to gather by hand but life is too short for that so I will be doing it on the machine. Set your machine to a straight stitch length 4. This is a very long stitch. Small stitches will not work they need to be free to move like a drawstring. Stitch 2 stitches parallel to each other between the circles. It is really important to leave a nice long tail of thread at either side with absolutely no backtacking/backstitching.

Now separate the top threads from the bottle threads as shown below.

Pull one set of threads(top or bottom) to gather your fabric. Imagine it is a little drawstring if you are struggling. Gather this as much as you like as you will have to pull it out a bit when fitting it into the arm hole anyway.

With right sides together match up the double notches and start to pin in the sleeve from the underarm upwards. It is important to match the notches here in case you put the left sleeve in the right armhole!

Now start to pull the gathers out until the sleeve fits in the armhole. Put your machine back to a stitch length 2 and get stitching. You may have a removable arm on your machine which will make life a lot easier.

Once your sleeve is sewn in you might want to do the other one for practise but you don’t have to. I think my blazer looks like it would benefit from a wee shoulder pad so i’ll bear that in mind when making the real deal.

Try it on, how is it looking?

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