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Create a Custom Sleeve Pattern

Measure your sloper.
Measure your arm as shown.
Start drafting your sleeve pattern on the fold.
Measure your sloper.

Measure your sloper.

Photo: Scott Phillips

In the SewStylish Fall 2008 issue, we show you how to create a basic shift pattern to fit your body in a weekend (for a downloadable version of the guide, click here).

Want to know more? Here, we show how to draft a sleeve pattern to match your perfectly fitted shift dress.

Adapted from Threads #131 "Add a Sleeve to Your Bodice" by Kathleen Cheetham

sleeves More on sleeves:

• How to Fit Sleeves
• How to Draft a Square Sleeve Cap
• A Forgiving Bias-Cut Sleeve
• Add a Fluttery Sleeve to a Sleeveless Garment
• Add a Quilted, Zippered Cuff


a. To get started, you'll need your draped shift pattern a few arm measurements. Follow the illustration to take the correct arm measurements needed for the sleeve.

  Measure your arm as shown.

Bicep circumference: Measure around the arm, but don't pull the tape too tightly. Measure around the fullest part of your arm, about 4 inches below the shoulder.

Arm length: Bend your arm slightly at the elbow and measure from your shoulder bone to the wrist bone, passing over the elbow.

Length to elbow: Measure from the shoulder to the point of the elbow

Elbow circumference: Bend your arm again. Measure around circumference of the elbow.

Wrist circumference: Measure your wrist circumference.

b. Next, you'll need to add a bit of ease to a couple of your measurements to ensure a nice fit and make sure your sleeve won't be right up against your arm. Add 2 to 3 inches to your bicep circumference, 1 to 2 inches to your elbow width, and 1 inch to the wrist.

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Comments (3)

kirstyb253 kirstyb253 writes: Hi! Glad to have found this post although I'm having a bit of trouble with this - I don't quite understand point g where you draw a new shoulder line between the two points marked when walking the sleeve around the sloper - does this not end up with a big bit of extra material at the top since pinning it up on both sides will have the shoulder point finishing at the two marks made? I have been staring at this for about an hour now and I can't understand how it will work out. I've made 3 sleeves and I've had this extra material on every one. Help I'm so confused!
Posted: 4:36 pm on October 13th

RosaWallace RosaWallace writes: awesome and thanks for share
Posted: 5:11 am on September 10th

10860 10860 writes: nice share information..
Posted: 1:13 am on September 10th

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