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So I’ve been sewing for a couple of years now, and in all that time I have only managed to make sleeves that are barely tolerable. Barely.

I just cannot get sleeves to fit properly: I’m lucky if I can get 45 degrees of vertical movement out of them, and don’t even think about trying to give someone a hug or changing a lightbulb.

I have investigated tutorials, but none of the ones I have found really seem to address my issue. So, I am clearly missing some very important part of the process; could any of you lovely people suggest what that could be?

By the way, I have tried several different styles of sleeve, so I don’t think the issue is with the patterns themselves. The sleeves have also been for number of people so it’s not just that I have deformo-arms growing out of my head or something. I suspect that part of it is that I normally use heavy woven fabrics with nooooo stretch whatsoever, and also I’m a little bit of a naughty slapdash measurer (but I’m working on that, I promise!).

Help? Please?


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    Oct 7, 2014, 10.19 PMby Dissylu

    Hi MissRitchie!

    I feel your pain. I always used to have sleeve issues until the day I realized I had football shoulders. I kid you not, my bony shoulders allow for no slope. Now, I adjust accordingly.

    But since you’ve already checked out the tutorials online and can’t find any help there, my suggestion to you would be to check for the following:

    dropped shoulders or high shoulders, width from shoulder to shoulder and back width, and check to make sure you’ve altered your model’s cup size vs measurement on pattern (a lot of times poorly fitted sleeves are due to this oversight) and add to the pattern by slash and spread.

    And you wouldn’t think that the bust would have anything to do with it, but it does; especially if you need to add fabric on the bodice to amply cover the bust dart area where the sleeve sets. This is what it sounds like to me by the way you say you can’t raise your arms. I would definitely check your slope and your bust.

    Also, check your armhole depth. Not everyone is built the same. I have learned to add about a 1/2" rise to my armhole when I raise my slope. Works like a charm.

    Hope this helps.


  • Profile_pic_16th_octoer_2016_large

    Oct 8, 2014, 10.29 AMby Sabrina Wharton-Brown

    You might find these interesting (most are from my blog):


    I wouldn’t necessarily say that 0 ease was universally correct (it might be, but I don’t know). The important issue here is that of the sleeve cap shape, the armscye shape, and the size of the armscye; a smaller armscye will often allow you to raise your arm more.

  • Missing

    Oct 9, 2014, 09.50 AMby agolasz

    wow really nice!!

  • Missing

    Oct 13, 2014, 03.51 AMby motera

    My suggestion- need more room across the shoulders, and/or across the chest, possibly larger armhole. Perhaps you should make a muslin, and then experiment with it , slashing it and inserting mosre fabric in strategic places until it fits. Then you would know the mods you will need on other patterns. Best of luck .

    • This is a question
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