I have recently undertaken the making of a delightful cropped jacket using a 1950's vintage pattern. Unfortunately, when it came to sewing gussets for the sleeves, the brevity of the instructions left me feeling somewhat frustrated. I decided to persevere with the task, and share the steps I took to reach the successful making of the sleeve gussets.

For those who may not be familiar with the gusset, it is a piece of fabric (in this case, kite-shaped) inserted where you find the armpit, to give the wearer a bit of room to move. The gusset should be subtle - that is, not bulging out so that it's visible or obvious to the eye.

This is intended as a "sew-along" for anyone who already has their gusset pieces cut and ready to sew into the jacket or blouse.

Technique Materials

kite shaped gusset pattern pieces, remaining jacket, sewing machine, pins, scissors, needle and thread, iron, tailor's ham or bath towel

8 Comments Sign in to add a post

  • Fb14f0e0a3cd24b90ba1ebf128737ea8f1369527_large

    Jun 13, 2012, 06.04 AMby cappucine

    Very perfect !!! Thanks !!!

  • Dscn0826_large

    Dec 22, 2010, 01.13 PMby ruthw

    Your gussets look beautiful!

    Do you think it might also be a good idea to run a line of stitching around the gusset opening stitching line on the jacket body and sleeve so as to reinforce it, and then snip into the corners before attaching the gusset stage by stage as you suggest? That’s the way you usually attach pieces of cloth to angular openings, as in sleeve and neckline plackets. That way it could be a lot easier to match up those circles exactly without so much pulling and tugging.

    In my experience that exactness is essential if you don’t want wavy seams, funny pulls and distortions around inserted pieces (the same exact matching is necessary for inserting triangular gores in flared skirts, as I have learned through experience – never sew past that circle!).

    1 Reply
    • 3044175_l_large

      Jan 21, 2011, 09.38 AMby olystyrene

      Thank you! And thanks for the great tip too! I’ll definitely try your method the next time I construct a garment with a gusset!

  • Dodo_large

    Dec 6, 2010, 11.28 PMby lila-1

    I always have a problem with my sleeves – I can barely move in them! saw your tutorial and tried it on a new blouse im making and WOW! What a difference! Thanks so much for sharing this :) It was really easy to do and soooo helpful :)

    1 Reply
    • 3044175_l_large

      Dec 6, 2010, 11.35 PMby olystyrene

      That’s fantastic! I’m so glad to hear that! :D

  • Missing

    Nov 28, 2010, 07.44 PMby hollyrnstudent

    Thanks for the article, I am going to try this in a couple shirts where the biceps are a pinch too tight. Also, I can try my new 2 dollar garage sale ham. Great technique. Holly

    1 Reply
    • 3044175_l_large

      Nov 28, 2010, 10.14 PMby olystyrene

      Good luck – I’d love any feedback re: whether the instructions made sense ;)

  • Orp_1769_large

    Nov 26, 2010, 10.55 PMby loyl8

    thank you for sharing I have been reading about gussets in my vogue sewing book but it really doesnt tell me how to so thanks a ton. A gusset is also a piece that goes in pants (leggings, work out pants, etc) and also underwear. For the armpit it also is suppose to protect your clothes and be more comfortable. Its considered a couture technique also. good job

    2 Replies
    • 3044175_l_large

      Nov 27, 2010, 08.36 AMby olystyrene

      Thank you – I do hope this helps! I have indeed seen a gusset in pants before – in men’s pants, actually. The interesting thing was that I believe the gusset was in place in the crotch area to allow for greater movement during skateboarding. So practical!

    • Orp_1769_large

      Nov 27, 2010, 10.01 AMby loyl8

      ohh very cool!! good to know!! can’t wait to see the final project

  • Missing

    Nov 24, 2010, 02.55 PMby Gail Thompson

    Love, love, love those close fitting styles of the 40’s and 50’s!!! Who can move while wearing them without a gusset? Very much appreciated!

    1 Reply
    • 3044175_l_large

      Nov 25, 2010, 02.11 AMby olystyrene

      I am so with you on that one! Hope the tute comes in handy one day!

  • 3044175_l_large

    Nov 23, 2010, 10.28 PMby olystyrene

    You’re welcome! I hope this is a bit more helpful than the bare instructions that came with my pattern!

  • Maya_kuzman_large

    Nov 23, 2010, 02.30 PMby sewella

    Thanks for sharing! I will save this technique!

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