Sunday, March 20, 2011

Short Sleeves

Well, I told you I would give a tutorial on sleeves. I decided to make L a shirt from the purple I made mine from. You can see the neck is too wide. I made the shoulders a little too narrow. Now you can see what a mistake does.

It is such a pretty fabric, but very thin. That combined with L's clothes being tiny made it a little more difficult. But I will go ahead and show you what I did for the sleeves. Long sleeves are easier to explain, so, I will do a tutorial on that next. I have a long sleeve shirt I have been wanting to make anyway.

Here we go... This is what you need.

To trace the shirt part see this tutorial. I did the same thing here, I traced the front and back of the shirt. Don't forget the allowance for the hem.

When I got to the sleeve, I tucked it in the shirt and traced the curve as best I could.

I did that for the front and back. Don't forget the shoulder and neck line. The back shoulder edge was thick enough, but the front was too skinny. I took a short cut and widen the neck of the back of the shirt to fit the shoulder of the front. Not a could choice. Short cuts are NOT good in sewing.

When tracing the neck line, trace under the neck edge at the seam because you will be adding that edge at the end. I hope that makes sense, if not, leave a comment and ask a question.

Ok, now the sleeves. Measure the curve of the front and back. They should be about the same. You will need this number to help with your sleeve curve.

Now, take the sleeve and lay it with the folded part on the fold of the paper.

Trace the edge, don't forget hem allowance. Trace the inside of the arm to the armpit. Make a mark at the top of the shoulder where the sleeve meets the shirt. That will be the top of your bell curve.

Next move the shirt off the paper and draw this shape (half a bell) from the top to the bottom of the armpit.

Measure it. If it is too big (I needed 5.25 inches) then flatten out your curve. If it is too small make it more curvy. Mine was too big. I could kind of tell before I measured because it was very curvy.

The first time wasn't enough so I had to flatten it more. Now it's good, I cut it out.

Time to trace the pattern onto the fabric. Remember if you are using knit, put the fabric on something it can slip on so the fabric doesn't stretch. I use my kitchen table. Here are my pieces. Pin right sides together. Sew the sides and shoulders.

For the sleeves, fold them in half, right side together. Sew the bottom of the bell, that becomes the inside (underarm) of the sleeve.

Save any little scraps you may use them later. I used this for the neck edge.

Once you have those pieces sewn together, take the sleeve, flip it right side out. Slip it inside the armhole matching the underarm seam with the side seam of the shirt. Also, match the center top of the bell with the shoulder seam. Pin all the way around and sew.

L's sleeve hole was so tiny that I just had to hold the other side of the sleeve out of the way of the needle under the fabric.

Now sew your bottom and sleeve hems. Make sure to do a zig zag on the hems and don't pull stretching the fabric as you sew.

Last we have to do the neck. You know how t-shirts always have that edge around the neck? Well, I used that little strip I showed you earlier, folded it and cut 1/2 an inch 20 inches long. (A little more then enough for the neck. I kept it folded, pinned the open part to the right side of the shirt at the neck and sewed all the way around.

After I sewed it, I top stitched it so the seam was up on the inside.

You can see how the shoulders aren't wide enough and the neck line goes a little to far out.

That's ok, L loves it and the sleeves look good.

She even had to wear it to church tonight and told me to wear my purple shirt too. Then she made sure she was wearing black shoes with her jeans because I was.

Happy Sewing!

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  1. I have wondered how to measure a curve like that. Now I don't. Thank you!

  2. so adorable, especially the model ;-) thanks for linking this up with my Show and Share party. Love the detailed tute!!

  3. Cute! I became a follower of your blog! :) Erin