Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Sleeves, glorious sleeves!

Dear readers, a question for you: How or when do you start fitting sleeves?

The thing is, as I was working on the couture dress for Susan's class, I realized everyone does it differently
This is how I do it with a new style or pattern:
  • - fit the bodice (shoulders, armscye...)
  • - adjust the sleeve pattern to fit the adjusted armscye
  • - fit the sleeve with the bodice 
I think this sequence shortens the time I spend fitting sleeves, especially if there is no one to help with fitting. Alterations to the bodice can considerable change the shape and the size of the armscye, significantly affecting the fit of the sleeve. Making rough alterations on the pattern helps minimize fitting issues on the body.

So, how do you do it?!


  1. I'd do it in the order you've put in the bullet points.  From the Pattern Cutting courses (x2) I attended last year the tutor (who also teaches the advanced avant garde class for the post-grads now working in industry, and he still works in the retail industry too) said that as far as pattern cutting goes he ALWAYS fits the bodice first, gets that fitting well (inc. the armscye, shoulders etc. etc.) and THEN he drafts the sleeve to fit the arm/bodice/armscye. He literally told us not to bother drafting a sleeve to fit correctly unless the bodice first had been fitted correctly - as changes to the bodice have a knock on effect to the sleeves - and we'd only be creating more work for oursleeves otherwise :)

  2. Agreed:)  When sewing for a client I never cut the sleeve until the bodice has been properly fitted.  When making muslin's , I will cut the sleeve and sew it up but not sew it in.  Then I will set it during the fitting.

  3.  I am glad professionals work the same way I do! Thanks for sharing this!

  4.  Hi Lynne, this is how Susan does it in her class, and generally. I think this method is especially helpful when working with fabrics that need matching. For my Chanel-style jacket I took the fitted muslin sleeve and fitted it once again with the fashion fabric bodice. Only after that I cut the sleeve in fashion fabric. No room for error!

  5. I'm glad you brought this up cause I always ALWAYS have to make my sleeves wider.  I'm still working on my bolero. I did my initial widening on the sleeve but I'm fitting the bodice first and then figuring out what else I need to do to the sleeve.  This is why I haven't tackled anything with fitted woven sleeves yet.  It distresses me terribly. 

  6. And for some reason its not using my blogger profile, ladykatza. :(

  7. great and timely post...i drafted my sleeve for Susan's class last night...maybe I should hold on to cutting it until the bodice is ready...even if it's just muslin 

  8. I follow the same process as you. Fit the bodice, alter and then adjust for sleeves and fit with sleeves. Look forward to see your progress with Susan's class. I'm still marking the stitching lines on the pattern pieces.



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