Sewing in a sleeve

Whatever style of sleeve a garment has, it is sewn in after joining shoulder seams but before joining side and sleeve seams.

Dropped shoulders On garments with dropped shoulders there is no armhole shaping to sew the sleeve into. Bind (cast) off the sleeve top in one row. Lay the joined front and back pieces flat, measure half of the top of the sleeve measurement (information found on the size diagrams) down from the shoulder seam on each side edge and place a marker Pin the centre of the bound (cast) off edge of the sleeve to the shoulder seam. Pin each end of the top of the sleeve to the markers. Pin the rest of the sleeve top between the markers and sew evenly in position, making sure the seam is straight.

Square set-in sleeves The sleeve top is bound (cast) off in one row like a dropped shoulder but a square armhole is created by casting off a few stitches. Match the centre of the sleeve top to the shoulder seam. Pin each end into the corner of the armhole and sew the sleeve top into place.Then sew the ends of the sleeve horizontally against the bound (cast) off edges of the armhole.

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ADAPTING A PATTERN

Not everyone is a standard size but knitting patterns assume they are and that by following the instructions slavishly the garment will fit perfectly. It is disappointing to spend time knitting a sweater which you never wear because the sleeves are too long or the body just that bit too short to be comfortable. Many patterns provide a diagram of the knitted pieces with measurements. Check these carefully against your own measurements to ensure a perfect fit. If the pattern doesn't have a diagram you will need to draw your own. It is worth the effort for a sweater that fits.

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