Monday, 16 March 2015

Sleeves on My Brain

I can't sleep. Those darn sleeves are keeping me awake.  

Twisted Poppy offered the idea of reducing the sleeve cap which I think will work but I'm concerned with how it will affect the sleeve hemline which has already been interfaced and sewn. I might have to resort reshaping the sleeve cap but I'm going to give something else a try, easing.

Yes, I did ease stitch my sleeve but I did it as a single line of ease stitching on the seam-line at four stitches per inch.  

And then I found this online,
Easestitch as indicated between the small dots. As is my usual habit, I do not easestitch along the seamline, but rather just outside of it (closer to the raw edge). This way, my easestitch doesn't peek out from my seam in the final product. I would only increase the standard stitch length by 1 (e.g, if you normally use a stitch length of 2, switch it to a 3 for the easestitch). This ease stitch should not result in a visible gather, and we're going to need a very light touch with this one as we go forward.
This comes from a well-written blog post over at Stitching in the Ditch called Putting in a Set-in Sleeve (version 1). And there is more, 
Use the easestitch that is closest to the the raw edge to gather the sleeve between the small dots so that the fabric can lay flat. This isn't tricky, but there are two things to remember here. First, you want to make sure that the gather is very evenly distributed and that you don't have bunches--those are going to translate to unsightly wrinkles and puckers in the final product. Second, you want to transition the gather to your seamline by using your interior easestitch: Gather half as much along this interior line as you did along the exterior line, and your ease stitch will even out at the seamline to a nice, clean line without any folds or puckers. 
It can't hurt, right? I'm back at work tomorrow but I'm coming straight home to give this a try. Fingers crossed.  

Happy Sewing!  

1 comment:

  1. I always hold my breath when tackling set in sleeves. A couple of thoughts that might be helpful: I went back to your earlier blog post when you described the coat fabric you are using - "cotton sateen with a little stretch". Cotton sateen is a pretty firm woven which can be challenging to ease in, and in my experience, lycra makes it even harder. I know this doesn't help, except maybe to shift some of the blame to that "dang cotton!" Here's something that might help - most of the sewing instructors I've read recently advise using three rows of ease stitching and making sure that you are pulling on the bobbin threads as you ease. (Also, the conventional instruction is, indeed, to not do ease gathering an inch either side of the shoulder point. I'm actually kind of impressed that the pattern instructions included that information.) Good luck with your coat...the color is beautiful!


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