A crazy comfortable sleeve in a small armhole.

I traced the weird thing I draped yesterday and cut a new sleeve from it. That’s one weird looking sleeve pattern:
crazy comfortable sleeve in small armhole
With the sideseams closed it is distorted:
crazy comfortable sleeve in small armhole

This is because I matched the points where the ends of the sleeve cap should meet each other, at the underarm. And sleeve seams are perpendicular to the vertical centre line running down from High Point (which is no longer the highest point in my sleeve cap). Width at biceps is 35 cm, at elbow 30 cm.

(I’ll have to do second trial after this one with horizontal lines running horizontal. Letting the guide line around the biceps meet itself at the seam. Or change the direction from the central vertical line, based on where the sleeve cap edges now meet. But first run this trial.)

Into the bodice and onto the mannequin. It fits into the armhole like a glove. It’s nice not having to ease in extra fabric. Still using lots of pins and sewing over them slowly.
crazy comfortable sleeve in small armholecrazy comfortable sleeve in small armhole
crazy comfortable sleeve in small armholecrazy comfortable sleeve in small armhole
crazy comfortable sleeve in small armhole

On me:
crazy comfortable sleeve in small armholecrazy comfortable sleeve in small armholecrazy comfortable sleeve in small armhole

Lots of crumpled fabric in the armpit. Uncomfortable. But very easy to lift my arm. The ease of wearing is amazing.

Front shows vertical line running down from High Point (shoulder) to the front. This sleeve is rotating around my arm:

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I pin away the extra fabric at the arm pit and mark where the biceps guide line now is. Also where the sleeve thinks the vertical line from High Point should run, where it to run straight down instead of coming to the front.

Picture of the sleeve cap with the pinned fabric, the new vertical line coming in diagonally and my biceps guide line which is half moon shaped. Crazy sleeve.

crazy comfortable sleeve in small armhole

Opening it up again and drafting a new cap sleeve based on the pinning. Take away fabric in the left “mouse ear”, the cap part that meets the arm hole at the front:

crazy comfortable sleeve in small armhole

I keep the rest the same. There’s the vertical guide line from High Point (HP) at a diagonal angle.

Trying to match the seam points of the sleeve cap for sewing the side seam:
crazy comfortable sleeve in small armhole

This will be sleeve one (1), based on the pinnings from the previous fit. Throwing grain and common sense into the wind.

I’ll make another one (2) based on the draft from the start but now with new sideseams based on how the new vertical line running from the Highest Point runs:

crazy comfortable sleeve in small armhole

Sleeve 2: I’ve cut fabric away at the left part of the sleeve, adding it to the right. So width of sleeve is 35 cm at (strange half moon shaped) biceps guide line and 30 cm at elbow guide line. At a right angle to the vertical guide line from HP. If this fits at all this pattern should be redrawn on a new piece of cloth, obeying the grain of the fabric.

Fitting:

Sleeve 2, it’s on my right:
crazy comfortable sleeve in small armholecrazy comfortable sleeve in small armholecrazy comfortable sleeve in small armhole

Sleeve 1, based on previous fit, it’s on my left:
crazy comfortable sleeve in small armhole
crazy comfortable sleeve in small armholecrazy comfortable sleeve in small armholecrazy comfortable sleeve in small armhole
crazy comfortable sleeve in small armhole

Crazy amount of movement possible! It doesn’t drag up the shirt. I like it!

Fitting conclusions:
Sleeve 2 sits awful. Lots of fabric in my arm pit yet still there’s tightness there. My wrist doesn’t level out.
Sleeve 1, distorted as it may be, actually sits really nice. So much movement possible!
Still a few tweaks needed though. (is there more ease because it’s a bit on the bias?)

I’ll cut a new sleeve, on the grain, and put it in the bodice of my fashion fabric shirt. Just cleaning up the lines a bit, having high point and its line in check with grain.
The little tweaks I had to do where in the sleeve cap (just a little less drama in the wave at the front and just a little less flair near the end point back). They cause the perimeter of the sleeve cap to be the exact dimension of the arm hole. 20 cm from front to High Point, 21,6 cm from High Point to back.
This fills me with excitement! This sleeve will fit this arm hole perfectly. Have I drafted a sleeve that, while looking ridiculous, might work?

I’m sewing up my new version into the fashion shirt. (My muslin has been so tortured that it won’t hold another sleeve.)

Premature conclusions:
1. I may have DRAPED a sleeve, not drafted on. This method may work for me.
2. I may have forced myself into this ridiculous need because my arm hole is a bit weird (too tight).

Last fit, on the fashion fabric: nice. I can rotate my arm all around without distorting the bodice fabric.

crazy comfortable sleeve in small armholecrazy comfortable sleeve in small armholecrazy comfortable sleeve in small armhole
crazy comfortable sleeve in small armhole

Needs less width on the biceps. I can live with a sleeve like this and be seen in public. I’m sure sewists will cringe when they see how my seam rotates around the sleeve.

Ideas for next time: lower the arm hole at the underside with 0,5 cm. Also 0,5 cm more inward at the front. I need a little more space to tuck all the sleeve folds away.

Last play for the day: just a little more cutting and pasting at that ridiculous shape. Try and put it into a grain grid.
3 versions of the same sleeve.
1. the sleeve I found, with the rotating sleeve seam.
2. the same but straight on the grain. Versie “A”
3. version “B” that has everything transferred onto a proper grain grid.

The found pattern, crazy and comfortable:
crazy sleeve pattern with maximum wearing comfort

Version A = previous version but cut on grain:
crazy comfortable sleeve in small armhole

Version B, trying to match the side seams in length. Having som sort of straight line going from sleeve cap to wrist; cleaning up more lines:

crazy comfortable sleeve in small armholecrazy comfortable sleeve in small armhole
crazy comfortable sleeve in small armhole

end result version B::
crazy comfortable sleeve in small armhole

What do yo know, version B doesn’t look that unlike a conventional sleeve pattern after all. A sleeve block with a fairly squarish sleeve cap. (Back is left, Front is at the right of the picture).

Will have to sew these three up and try them for (final) fit. And then dare to sport crazy sleeves on my fabric shirt.

 

 

some residual notes in dutch for me:
3 versies:
1- m’n gevonden vorm. Met verdraaide achternaad. “versie krulletje”
2. deze vorm maar dan recht op de grain met z’n naad en de voornaad reechtgemaat van pols naar oksel. Wat weggeknipt is is aan de zijkant/andere naad erbij geleged en een beetje opgeschoond en ervoor gezorgd dat beide naden 59 cm lang zijn, net als de rechtgeknipte naad. “versie A”
3 “versie B” heeft de HP-polslijn recht op de grain liggen en een grid dat de grain volgt. Het voorpunt v d oksel is recht naar beneden/de pols geknipt en aan de achternaad is ruimte bijgemaakt zodat de ellebeoog 30 cm breedte krijgt en de pols 25 cm. Dit is een papieren oplossing waarvan je nog maar moet zien of het in 3D mooi wordt.

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Well fitting sleeves that allow for movement: angle of set in.

I cut the self drafted sleeves and put them into the bodice. Looks alright….ish. We’re only looking at the upper part: shoulders and sleeve cap. Shoulder seam length seems ok. (the neck line still has 2 cm seam allowance so … Continue reading

Self drafted pattern for a blouse, with close fitting arm hole and two sleeves, one of them oblong.

A few muslins further and now I’ve got one that works and that I’d actually call a pattern:

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sleeve sleeve cap fitting arm hole

I’ve been playing with sleeves a bit.
I’ve drafted and fitted on that I’m going to use. It’s on the left arm hole of this muslin. It has a biceps width of 35 cm and a sleeve cap matching the armhole exactly at 42,3 cm. It has little gussets at the sides.

On the right shoulder is an oblong sleeve. Just a straight piece of cloth, 42,3 cm in width and some 25 cm high. I wanted to learn how much arm movement it gives. I’ve been reading and rereading Ikatbag’s explanation of sleeves and I wanted to experience it.

Just a rectangle sewn into arm hole:

sleeve sleeve cap fitting arm hole
sleeve sleeve cap fitting arm hole
sleeve sleeve cap fitting arm hole

sleeve sleeve cap fitting arm hole
Excellent movement! Nice flair…

One day I’d like to take this sleeve (cap) and play with it. See if I can eliminate the flair, reduce the bulk at the underarm but still keep most of that nice room for movement. But not today. (I did start. I sewed some lines into the sleeve, as it was still attached, and see how that influenced fit. And I started to read up on medieval smocks and skirtles. But really, I should sew a blouse now.)

This is the sleeve I’ve drafted. It sits nice. But in unwashed cotton it’s still a bit restrictive. I’m hoping it will be alright in the lighter fashion fabric. If not it’ll be a learning experience.
Muslin looks nice though. See how close to the body the arm hole is. It’s not uncomfortable at all!
And it gives better movement than any other sleeve I’ve made before, in any of my grey blouses.
sleeve sleeve cap fitting arm hole
sleeve sleeve cap fitting arm hole
sleeve sleeve cap fitting arm hole

Here’s the pattern of this sleeve cap, with the dark thread indicating the sleeve cap but without gusset flares at both ends:
sleeve sleeve cap fitting arm hole

I also drafted front panel facings; a collar and a collar stand and plackets for the sleeves.

Now I’m ready to transfer markings to fashion fabric I think…

This is the fabric:

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Grey little flowers blouse: tackling the sleeve

Looking at http://fashion-incubator.com/sleeve_cap_ease_is_bogus/ I realized I had incorrectly lined up the seam of the sleeve with the side seam of the bodice. That shouldn’t be done when you have a rotated arm hole and/or sleeve.

So I folded the arm hole together and found its actual lowest point, somewhere in front of where the side seam is. (seam ripper points to side seam):

I lined up the seam of the sleeve with the lowest point, which is right opposite the shoulder seam. I pinned the sleeve on and sewed it in. (Sewing was very easy since there’s no ease to fidget in.)

The seam of the sleeve is a whole 4 cm (nearly 2 inch) in front of the side seam. In this picture the armhole seam runs horizontal and my fingers are on the side seam and on the sleeve seam:

Fitting: the newly positioned sleeve gives a nice silhouet. No puckering, no folds:

It’s now a bit more wearable but still not very good.

The shoulder seam is a bit to the back. At the front, where I took out the bust dart, there’s too much fabric flapping about, I could hide an orange in there.
In contrast I do not have enough fabric over my biceps/upper arm to move around comfortably. The fabric still stretches over my upper arm. It’s not pleasant to wear:

Suddenly I realize Fashion-Incubator is talking about jackets and her primary aim is to match up stripes between bodice and sleeve. Not so much wearing comfort. I may have gotten off on a false premise…

With the second sleeve I may be able to squeeze some wearing comfort out of the seam allowances. And I’ll use the arm hole with side bust dart this time, to position the arm hole better.

Trying to find the lowest part of the arm hole wasn’t as easy because of the bustdart. (seam ripper points to side seam):

But matching the edges together got me there. I marked the spot with a red pin, this is where I will place the seam of the sleeve.

Off to bed.

Next morning: CHANGE OF PLANS
After again reading the very informative post of Ikatbag on sleeve caps and wearing comfort I decide to do things differently. More thorough.

I rip the seam on the sleeve and look at it afresh as a pattern piece. I don’t press it because I need to be able to see the sewing line/seam allowance.

I measure the length of the sewing line on the existing sleeve. This line is 1,5 cm from the edge. Seam ripper marks the end to where I should measure the piece of white thread:

The thread is 49,5 cm long. This is the length of the sewing line. However I alter the sleeve cap, its sewing line should keep this length if I want a sleeve that will fit into the existing arm hole.

I measure the width of the sleeve, without seam allowances:

This part sits over my upper arm. It’s too tight, as the fitting showed. The thread is 35,5 cm long. The width of my sleeve is 35,5 cm.

I measure my upper arm, right at the arm pit. It’s 33,5 cm in circumference.
A sleeve of 35,5 cm wide at that point gives not a lot of ease but could be enough.

I raise my arm a bit and measure from where a sleeve would connect to the arm hole. It’s 33,5 cm long and I’m surprised. A sleeve in an armhole should be 33,5 cm wide. I probably did something wrong in this measurement.

Here I’m measuring the length of the sewing line on the existing arm hole (it’s 1,5 cm from the edge):

Add front and back. The seam ripper points to the end, I’m not adding the seam allowance. It’s 49,5 cm long. This is the exact length the sewing line on the sleeve cap has and should have. There will be no easing in, it’s just straight forward sewing. That’s good.

But now I do not yet understand why my sleeve (cap) is so ridiculously tight while the numbers fit, in theory. Time to look at the actual arm hole while it is on the body.

The arm hole should be flat against my body and as small as possible (but not as small as you would do for a knitted fabric, says Ikatbag).

It’s not as close fitting as could be:

There’s still room at the front, it could be brought upwards a bit. Also at the back: the edge of the fabric ought to be the sewing line. That’s an 1,5 cm difference.

Lots of room at the side seam too, it could be brought up higher:

I note how the hole should be altered in a next, new version of the paper pattern:

It’s actually quite a bit! 4,5 cm at the front and the side seam (nearly 2 inches!) and 1,5 cm at the back and also take out some of the curve.

No wonder the numbers of the sleeve don’t work at the moment. My armhole is not very good and I need the sleeve to compensate for it which it doesn’t.

I have the choice to draft a new arm hole and sew a whole new bodice. Or draft a new sleeve into this existing arm hole and have a blouse that’s not perfect but might well work. I opt for the second. I don’t have enough fabric nor cheerfulness to sew a whole new bodice. I will alter the paper pattern though, for the next blouse.

For the existing arm hole I take some new measurements. While wearing the bodice I place the cord at appropriate points and raise my arm. To find out how much width I actually want in my sleeve cap for this arm hole to work:

I need a sleeve that’s 38,5 cm wide instead of the 35,5 cm that it is now.

I also note where the tightness is. It’s not (only) at the width of the sleeve, it’s mainly at the sleeve cap itself. It will need another shape. Less curved. But still with a sewing line that’s 49,5 cm long.

I play around with how a thread of this length can yield different sleeve cap forms. Please look at iKatbag’s post for thoughts on how different shapes influence ease of movement.

Playing.

This sleeve is actually 38,5 cm wide when I measure from side to side and include seam allowances. 38,5 cm is the width my new sleeve will have (without seam allowances). I pin the thread with length 49,5 cm to the outer points and play some more:

This will be just about the shape of my new sleeve cap. Lower at the top than the original, bellowing out at the edges. At the sides, where the red pins keep the cord at the right length, it should be horizontal. For logical connection in the round.

On a new piece of cloth I mark in ball pen the new width of the sleeve: 38,5 cm + seam allowance of 2,5 cm on either side. At the sewing line I inserted the red pins holding the thread with the right length (49,5 cm).
I play with the cord until I found a pleasing curve, resembling the one that I found above:

Now I will add 2,5 cm seam allowance around it and then cut.

Cutting the sleeve down wards, towards the cuff, I will make it more slender. Not a straight line to the cuffs. I’m using a method of “slash and spread” which is usually used to make a sewing pattern piece bigger.

Here are the two sleeve caps next to each other:

Wider, less high, less curved and a seam allowance of 2,5 cm instead of 1,5 cm. Sleeve under the cap is a bit tailored, I don’t need all that extra fabric around my arm. My arm is just a size 38.
Sewing line on the cap is still 49,5 cm, it should fit into the armhole precisely.

Staystitching. Sew sleeve seam. Pin it to the arm hole. Sew it.

Fit:

Put in temporarily and in a slap dash manner but the main idea is evident: no stretching anywhere. Fabric bundles up a bit at the arm pit but that’s to be expected with this style. It’s the price for comfort.

Very comfortable forward motion. Enough room at the back. Bit of a wide sleeve at the (lower) arm though (not enough “slash and scrunch”).

I can lift my arm sideways higher and with less restriction on the upper arm:

compared to how high I can raise my arm with the old sleeve (and no bust dart):

It’s not a very beautiful thing, my new sleeve, when I raise my arm. The shoulder bundles up. The sleeve raises the whole blouse at the side. But it’s wearable now. I can move in this one.

I’ll take it out now and tweak it some more. The drag lines show where a bit more fabric would be nice. It’s at the point where the bust dart meets the arm hole. The arm hole has a dent there, it’s not a nice oblong.

I’d sewn in the sleeve observing all the original seam allowances: 1,5 cm for the arm hole and 2,5 cm for the sleeve.
I’m going to resew it and try to give it a bit more fabric at that dent, using the seam allowance. I’m also going to try and raise the arm hole at the side seam as much as possible.

If it sits better I’ll trim the seam allowances. This will help with the bundling up at the shoulder.

First I’ll take out the sleeve and trace it on paper. Also make notes on the paper pattern of the bodice.

New Sleeve and Armhole for Burda 6909 Blouse

Here is a RIDICULOUS GOOD EXPLANATION for why and how armholes and sleeves should be shaped: Ikat bag and her Kleenex box.

 pic by Ikat Bag. Go read the post, it’s truly excellent.

How I got to A NEW ARMHOLE.

Pinning the two side pieces together at the top of the sideseam, allowing them to pivot.

Alining them with a piece of rectangular paper, making sure that the grain lines run perfectly perpendicular. Secure with tape:

The resulting new armhole:

It’s more rotated forward than the original Burda armhole. The side seams are brought up higher, the whole is brought forward, with less curve at the back and with a shortened shoulder seam.

The idea is that the arm hole sits good and well against the body, it’s the sleeve that will do all the movement.

A NEW SLEEVE:

taking a piece of cord that matches the length of the armhole, 49 cm. That’s how long the upper curve of the sleeve must be. Not longer, not shorter.

I’m pleased to see it will bring the top of the shoulder cap down because a high shoulder cap might look stylish on a shirt but it’s meant for people who only keep their arms hanging down. Stylishly.

Boldly drawing the new shoulder cap. Freehand, based on the cord.

I went for width of sleeve of size 42, hoping to get more movement at the biceps. It didn’t. I could have gone with the 38 I originally cut and sewed. But then the cap would have come a tad higher too.

Notches were transferred too. I guessed that the top notch, indicating the shoulder seam, should remain in the same position. After attaching the sleeve I’m not so sure though. It was difficult fitting the sleeve in the armhole when insisting the top notch should be at  the shoulderseam.

SEWING the NEW SLEEVE inside the Burda bodice.

I couldn’t change the armhole of the Crazy Cat Lady Blouse, that was cut from the Burda pattern with a 1,5 cm seam allowance. But I could change the sleeves because I had a bit of fabric left and could cut a new pair of sleeves from it. The cats wouldn’t sit right side up but I prefer wonky cats over restriction of movement at the arms.

I took out the wrong sleeves and put them aside. They’re back in the fabric stash.

For the new sleeves I first traced the sewing line that fitted the armhole best, in orange thread:

the Backside:

Put in the first sleeve following these orange lines. Looks alright:

Still a bit restriction but better than the original sleeves:

Below is a comparison of both sleeves.
On the left the new sleeve, on the right still the original: straining around my arm. Even though, with the orange threaded stitch lines, the armhole is at a slightly better position than the Burda 6909 pattern prescribes:

Endresult for two new sleeves, after much difficulty putting in the second sleeve. (In the end I stitched it in by hand. It’s great how many times you can stitch and rip out this cotton fabric. It holds well.)

I lack the experience of easing in sleeves.

With another fabric I tried the whole new combination: new armhole, new sleeves.

The new armhole sat fantastic on my body!
When putting in the new sleeves I ran into trouble. The cap of the sleeve was bigger than the armhole. I thought I could work with this by making it less high, less curved. Because I had learned that the flatter it is, the more arm movement it gives.

This worked for one sleeve:

But with the second one I again had really difficulty easing it in. Changing the curve of the cap I followed a faulty line, now there’s a strange angle in there. The sleeve is not as comfortable as the other one. (But still better than Burda 6909).

I should probably take it out and resew it. And learn more about sleeves and about easing them in. Best would be to see someone doing it, watch some videos.