Threads Logo Threads Logo Facebook Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Headphones Icon Favorite Navigation Search Icon Forum Search Icon Main Search Icon Close Icon Video Play Icon Indicator Arrow Icon Close Icon Hamburger/Search Icon Plus Icon

Sign in or become an insider to access this story

Sign In

A Shortcut for Easing a Sleeve Cap

Kenneth D. King reveals a time-saving trick for easing the seam allowance of a sleeve cap before inserting it into the armhole.

Contributing Editor Kenneth D. King reveals a clever method of easing the seam allowance of a sleeve cap before inserting it into the armhole. This no-sew technique, which Kenneth calls “cheater’s ease,” works best with crisp fabrics like cotton shirting. It involves manipulating the fabric to crimp the seam allowance, which builds shaping in the cap. Cheater’s ease is a time-saving trick that’s worth mastering.

Become a Threads Insider member for more expert technique videos and articles. Try a 14-day Free Trial.

A related video, How to Sew a Sleeve, may help you complete sleeve installation.

Sign up for the Threads eletter

Get the latest including tips, techniques and special offers straight to your inbox.

Sign Up

About This Video Series

Fitting Tips with Professor King is a 13-part video series that will teach you valuable techniques and skills to help you sew better fitting garments. Threads contributing editor and sewing expert Kenneth D. King covers test garments, creating symmetry on asymmetrical body types, tips on fitting arms and skirts, how to pivot darts, reducing cap ease, and much more. Follow along as Kenneth walks you through these lessons excerpted from his 3-DVD workshop Smart Fitting with Kenneth D. King. In this DVD box set,…

More About this Video Series


  1. Theresa_in_Tucson | | #1

    You can also do this on an unthreaded sewing machine by running the needle close to the stitching line and "ease-stitching" with your finger behind the presser foot bunching up the fabric. If you need more crimping you do it again.

    1. User avater
      AlainaZ | | #10

      Oh my goodness. That's such a good idea.

  2. maguertae | | #2

    Brilliant, I am going to give that a try.

  3. User avater
    wingthorn | | #3

    Brilliant! I've been wrestling with setting the sleeves into a linen dress with uneven results. This technique should make it much more serene!

  4. User avater
    sunnylutz | | #4

    Sounds interesting and worth a try.. I would love to see the video taken so we can more easily see what Kenneth is doing with his thumb.

  5. User avater
    MauraRicketts | | #5

    Brilliant! Many thanks for this tip and the others. I love sewing but HATE pinning — takes up so much time without much value (except matching seam intersections). A little washable fabric glue plus experimenting/learning about careful management of the fabric with one’s hands goes a long way I think. Do you have any “do/don’t do” about pinning?

  6. User avater
    Barakasews | | #6

    I'd seen this video a while back, and my schedule for today is to cut out a crisp cotton shirting for a shirt I patterned off one of my son's favorites. Such perfect timing for this to come up in the Threads insider email today, so it's fresh in my mind for this project!

  7. user-7225691 | | #7

    Very practical. Thank you for sharing.

  8. user-6905624 | | #8

    Great top cotton duck on surface for grip is that tape I wonder?

    1. CarolFresia | | #9

      Cotton duck is a heavy, plain-woven fabric typically used for hard-wearing applications like work clothes, utility bags, awnings, and slipcovers. Lighter versions are good for durable, casual pants. This textile has a slightly rough texture, so it provides friction for the crimping technique Kenneth demonstrates in the video.

      Carol Fresia, Senior Technical Editor

  9. user-6894301 | | #11

    Nice tip! Thank you!!

Log in or become a member to post a comment.

Videos in the Series

More Video Series

View All
  • Embroidery 101: How to Sew 5 Basic Embroidery Stitches

  • Bound Buttonholes

  • Industry Insider Techniques | Vol. 8

More From Threads

Discussion Forum

Recent Posts and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |

Threads Insider Exclusives

View All
View All


  • Sign up for the Threads eletter

    Get the latest including tips, techniques and special offers straight to your inbox.

    Sign Up
  • SewStylish


    Take a look inside the pages of SewStylish Spring 2017.

  • Threads Insider

    Threads Insider

    Get unlimited access to, the online archive of past issues, member-only newsletter, and more.