Easy Sleeve Installation?
I am making a shirt out of a polyester chiffon which has been a challenge and to make things easier I put in the sleeves using the flat method ( can’t remember the proper term for this)and closing up the sleeve seam and garment side seam in one go.
It seems to have worked okay but there is surely a good reason for setting in sleeves by sewing the sleeve seam and then gathering the sleeve cap, etc. Can anyone enlighten me?
I only do the traditional set in sleeve method with a two-piece sleeve. I set in all other sleeves using the flat method - hardly any pins with the sleeve side down against the feed dogs of the machine. I would never go back to the old way!
Learned this technique from Margaret Islander tapes and a book on industrial techniques.
*It has to do with how steep the curve of the sleeve cap is and how high the sleeve rests in the underarm of the body. On a drop-shoulder style where the sleeve cap is very shallow, (and the underarm is low), it is easy to set the sleeve before doing a continuous undersleeve/side seam. For one thing, it is usually not necessary to trim the seam allowance in the underarm area if the underarm is low. However, on a traditional, very steeply rounded, sleeve cap it is easier to control the ease by setting the finished sleeve into a finished armseye. This type of set-in sleeve is more likely to have an underarm that sits closer into the armpit. For comfort, you would want to trim away some of the seam allowance after sewing and reinforcing - something you can only do if the sleeve is sewn in the round. This is particularly true if the garment has a "European" silhouette where the underarm is quite high into the armpit.
*Another reason for setting a sleeve in in the round is that it fits better and is more comfortable. When you sew the sleeve and side seams in one operation the edge of the seam allowance is shorter than the seam in the underarm area and this can be uncomfortable. It works on a flat cap sleeve because the armhole is so big. Even when I use the flat method of sewing in a sleeve I usually leave the last 3 cm or so unstitched until after the side seam and sleeve seams are sewn and then finish the underarm section. The same is true when sewing pants. The crotch seam should be sewn after the inseams, center front and center back seams. If ready made pants keep coming apart in the crotch area it is probably because these seams are sewn in the opposite order which creates stress as the edge of the seam allowance is shorter than the ctotch seam and pulls.
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