Sewing sleeves without pattern

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I have a sleeveless top pattern that I like to use for my daughter.
However, I want to make a long sleeved top using that pattern. If I
follow the arch of the arm hole, add seam allowance and cut the fabric
for sleeves, will that work?


Re: Sewing sleeves without pattern wrote:

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Do you have another pattern that has long sleeves?  I have used this cheat
before many times.  Take the sleeve piece and the front and back pieces;
lay them out next to each other and measure to see if it will fit.  If it
does, then you don't have to draft a sleeve pattern. :)


Never try to teach a pig to sing.  It's a waste of time and just annoys the

Re: Sewing sleeves without pattern
On Sep 28, 4:13 pm, wrote:
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I don't have a long sleeve pattern. I only have other long sleeve rtw
blouses. Thanks.

Re: Sewing sleeves without pattern
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Tagging on to Sharon, there are a couple of things to consider:
1) there's a little less ease over the upper front bodice in a
sleeveless pattern than a sleeved one (or there should be).  Putting sleeves
in a sleeveless pattern can make the garment feel tight sort of right
across the collarbones and upper chest (this is also the reason that you
need to fit a muslin of sleeved garment with both sleeves in it!)

2) I find it easiest to borrow both the sleeve and the armscye of the
pattern I'm stealing from.  With a sleeveless "master" that you're going
to put sleeves into, I'd specifically look for a set in sleeve and armscye
pair to steal.


Re: Sewing sleeves without pattern
Dear Janes,

I can help you to draft a sleeve.  There's more to it than following
the shape of the armhole.  If you do this, the sleeve will come out
too tight.

If you want instructions for drafting a sleeve, please let me know.


Re: Sewing sleeves without pattern
On Sep 28, 7:13 pm, wrote:
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OP here. Yes, I'd appreciate instructions. Thanks.

Re: Sewing sleeves without pattern
Dear Janes,

Ok, here goes.

First, measure the armhole along the seamline, not the raw edge.  You
will need to deepen the armhole by 1-1/2 inches for a set-in sleeve.
Measure down on the pattern's side seam 1-1/2 inches, and draw a
gentle curve into the existing armhole, front and back.

  Now, measure your daughter's arm.  Length from shoulder hinge along
her slightly bent arm to her wrist bone.  Underarm length as far up
under her arm (where the side seam would be, to her wrist.  Deduct
1-1/2 inches from this measurement.  Measure from her shoulder hinge
to the point of her elbow on her bent arm.  Measure her bicep ( the
widest part of her upper arm), and add two inches.  Measure her elbow
circumference over her bent arm, and add one inch.  Measure her hand
circumference over the thickest part of her hand.

OK.  You now have all the measurements you need to make the sleeve.
Begin by taking a large sheet of paper (newspaper will do if that's
all you have for this first draft).  Fold the paper so that you have
plenty of room to make a line along the fold the length of your
daughter's arm.  Make a tick mark at the top and bottom of this
measurement.  Label the top mark Cap, and the bottom mark Wrist.  From
the wrist, measure up and make a tick mark for the underarm.  Label
this Bicep.  Measure down from the cap along the fold, and make a tick
mark for the elbow.  Label it Elbow.  Divide the Bicep circumference
in half.  Draw a line out from the fold at the bicep and put a tick
mark at this point.  Divide the elbow circumference in half.  Measure
out from the fold, and put a tick mark for the elbow.  Divide the hand
circumference in half  and measure out from the wrist and put a tick

Before going any farther, compare the armhole measurement with your
daughter's bicep measurement.  They should be pretty close.

OK, now connect the lines.  Straight across the top of the pattern
(cap), and along the bicep, elbow, and wrist.  Cut out the pattern.
Leaving the pattern folded, fold it in half lengthwise again, matching
the cut edges to the folded edges.  Now, unfold the pattern from the
fold just made.  This gives you accurate quarters for your sleeve.
Leave the original fold in place.  On the bicep line measure in one
inch from the cut edge and make a mark.  At the top edge, measure in
1/4 inch from the fold and make a mark.  On the next quarter down and
over one quarter, make a mark 3/8 inch from the folds for that
quarter.  What we are doing now is creating the cap for the sleeve,
and we want it to be gently curved.  These marks are only guidelines,
but will help in shaping the sleeve.  Draw a curved line connecting
the marks for the sleeve cap.

Open out the pattern, so that you can see the whole thing.  At the
elbow line, cut the pattern all the way across.  Keep the right sides
of the pattern together, and open the other side 1-1/2 inches.  Tape a
piece of paper under this open space.  Measure from the side, center
of the opening 3-1/2 inches, and make a dot.  Draw lines from the left
side at the upper cut edge of the opening to the dot, and from the
bottom of the cut edge of opening to the dot.  You have created a
dart.  (Note:  It is not necessary to sew a dart into the sleeve, but
you need the extra space for comfort.  Simply use a gathering stitch
to ease this extra fabric in).  Add seam allowances to the outer
edges.  Make a muslin first, before using this pattern in your good
material.  You may need to adjust the ease.  Measure the completed
pattern along the seamlines and compare to the armhole of the
garment.  There should be no more than 1-1/2 inches ease in the sleeve
cap.  If there is more or less, adjust by slashing and spreading or
overlapping the cap.

Good luck.  Let us know how you do!!

Re: Sewing sleeves without pattern
On Sep 29, 10:41 pm, wrote:
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Thank you so much!
I'm planning to finish this by the end of the week. I'll post again
once I'm done. Thanks for the detailed instructions.

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