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 Arrow Down Icon Video Guide Icon Article Guide Icon Modal Close Icon Guide Search Icon

Conversational Threads

Easing sleeves in tailored coat

Pam_Sherwood | Posted in The Archives on

*
I recently made my first tailored garment, a coat (Burda 10/99 pattern) of a heavy wool (14 oz) cavalry twill, mainly following the instructions from the Singer tailoring book. The fabric is fairly dense, although it did hold a crease with steam pressing. It was pre-shrunk with steam and hot water.

Although overall I was pleased with the results, the sleeve caps were not all that they could be. Even after much gathering and steaming, they were still not perfectly smooth, but instead have a faint “gather” look. Also, after being set in, there is not a smooth line from shoulder to sleeve, but a small “bump” of maybe 1/16″ at the top of the sleeve.

What can I do in my next coat project to correct this? Fiddling with sleeve heads and shoulder pads only helped the problem a little bit, so it seems to stem from the initial easing and setting in.

Replies

  1. Martha_McKeon | | #1

    *
    Pam - it sounds like your sleeve cap has too much ease in it. I've found this the case with several of the Burda mag patterns. On a yoke style shirt I made up a couple of years ago, they put over 2 1/2" in a cap for it, and it was a slightly extended shoulder!

    You can take out the ease a number of ways, but I would do it in muslin first, to determine which method will work the best.

    1. Noreen_Huber | | #2

      *I've had similar problems with a tightly woven fabric, such as wool gabardine. I attended a Sandra Betzina workshop recently and she says pattern companies put too much ease in the sleeve cap. She recommends 1 to 1 1/2 inches and suggests you measure the sleeve opening and the cap to see how much ease is there. If it's more than you need remove it from the cap. I haven't tried this yet but it makes sense to me.

      1. Pam_Sherwood | | #3

        *Thanks! I assumed it was my technique, but there was quite a bit of ease in the sleeve. Now I will have to figure out how to make the alterations . . . maybe the new Armstrong book will be on my Christmas list this year.

        1. Bill_Stewart | | #4

          *Pam, the denser or more tightly woven the fabaric, the harder it is to ease it in. The remedy is to remove some of the ease. You can try a simple experiment. Unsew the sleeve above the notches front and back. With a contrasting color thread - preferably white - it won't crock on the fabric - trace the seamline you just used on the sleeve notch to notch. now gently press the sleeve top back flat. measure down front and back from the top center mark of the sleeve and thread mark a new line 1/4 " down from the original for 2" on either side of top center. blend each side back to the original seamline at the notches front and back. HAND BASTE the sleeve back in the armhole using the origianl seam allowance for the body, but the new lowered line of the sleeve cap. see if this solves your problem. you can adjust the new seamline either way +or- another 1/8" BUT NO MORE without recutting the whole sleeve. the 1/4" should take out enough ease. If it looks too tight in the armhole use a line only 1/8" lower than the original. Ps, be sure your armhole is stablized to keep it from distorting.

          1. Joanne_Meierhofer | | #5

            *Hi Pam, I do a lot of tailoring and I've learned 2 things. Most of the time the sleeve has too much to ease in (except for Vogue Mens) and you never gather the sleeve as directed in the instructions. If the pattern has more than 11/2 in I make a small cross wise fold in the cap of the sleeve on the paper pattern BEFORE I cut it out(above the notches). I then sew on the seamline with a regular straight stitch from notch to notch. When I sew the sleeve in I have it on top,pin at the two notches the two dots and the top and bottom. As I sew I ease the cap in by placing both index fingers infront of the foot and pushing outward. I use sleeve heads and press carefully. It takes a lot of practice and a good pattern. Joanne Meierhofer

This post is archived.

Threads Insider

Get instant access to hundreds of videos, tutorials, projects, and more.

Start Your Free Trial

Already an Insider? Log in

Conversational Threads

Recent Posts and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |

Threads Insider Exclusives

View All
View All

Highlights

Shop the Store

View All
View More