Learn How SIMPLE
Digital Patterns Really Are!

Sign Up to Receive
The Ultimate Guide to Digital Sewing Patterns eBook + a FREE Skirt Pattern!


Is your sleeve a little tight? Simply add a little fullness to the upper area – we will show you how and exactly where! Read on to see…

V-Neck Plus Size Dress #118B 02/2017

We all hate when it is uncomfortable to move around your arm in sleeves that are too tight. Luckily we as sewers and can custom the clothes that we make. So grab your tight sleeve pattern, a pair of scissors, some tape, and paper to get started!

step 1

Draw a vertical line from the seam mark on the sleeve cap to the hem edge, parallel to the straight grain, and a horizontal line approx. 1 1/4" (3 cm) below the underarm edge.

step 2

Cut along these lines, ending shortly before the sleeve cap and the side seam edges. Pull the upper pieces apart to add the needed fullness. The original straight grain line no longer applies.

step 3

2-SEAM SLEEVE: On a 2-seam sleeve – as found on many jackets and coats – add fullness in the same manner, but only to the upper sleeve piece. The under sleeve remains unchanged!

step 4

To make sure that fullness is really added to the sleeve only in the area of the upper arm, glue the pattern halves together again at the hem edge. This makes the edges of the horizontal cut automatically overlap – make sure that this happens evenly. The new straight grain line runs from the cut at the sleeve cap to the hem edge. Even out the hem edge, to remove the “bend”.


  • Missing

    Jul 5, 2017, 07.56 AMby presstoplay

    Fabulous post – thank you!

  • Missing

    Jul 4, 2017, 07.19 PMby Kathy Miller

    Great explanation! I always have problems with this fit on commercial patterns, and even ready made clothing, I have to take IN at the wrist area, but need the fullness on the upper arm. Thank you for all your great instruction

  • Missing

    Jun 25, 2017, 01.16 PMby Nelly DeCaesteker

    How do I widen sleeve at the shoulder seam and about 2 inches at top of sleeve. This is a item that was bought.

  • 03003e1f_2_large

    Jun 24, 2017, 09.07 AMby sewing fanatic

    Interesting to learn how x

    • This is a question
  1. Sign in to add a post


  • Editors' Pick
  • Pattern Collections
  • BurdaStyle Academy
  • Burda Challenge
  • Backstage Report
  • Fashion & Trends
  • DIY to Try
  • Tips & Techniques
  • Member Highlights
  • Sewing Projects
  • Outta Town
  • Contests & Competitions
  • Archive
  • Guest Columns
  • Videos
  • Meg's Magazine Mash Up
  • As Seen In
  • Podcast
  • Holiday