How to sew a sleeve in flat

How to sew a sleeve in flat

Posted by Helen | March 31, 2017 | Blackwood Cardigan Sewalong
Sewing a sleeve in flat

Sewing a sleeve in flat

There are two ways to sew in a sleeve. You can use the classic set-in sleeve method where the sleeve is sewn first and then set into the armhole.  This is most common for woven garments. For knits, sewing a sleeve in flat works really well and is a faster way to complete this process.

This is the third sewing step in the Blackwood Cardigan Sewalong


Let’s get started!

You should be at the point where your shoulder seams are attached and your seams are pressed toward the back of the garment. Spread out your project so you get a nice ‘C’ shape where the sleeve should go.

Sewing a sleeve in flat

Place the sleeve right side down on the Make sure you have the correct sleeve by checking that the notches are going to line up correctly before proceeding.  Two notches for the back and one for the front. Place a pin where the top notch and the shoulder seam meet.

Sewing a sleeve in flat

Next, bend the left side down and place a pin on the end.

Sewing a sleeve in flat

Anchor the notches together with a third pin.

How to sew a sleeve in flat

Fill in the remaining space with pins until you feel comfortable sewing.

How to sew a sleeve in flat

Next, bend the right side down to meet the edge and place a pin. This is a bit awkward and you will need to move project around to make it happen.

Sewing a sleeve in flat

Again, anchor the spot where the notches are and fill in the remaining side with pins.

Sewing a sleeve in flat

Your pinned sleeve should look something like this:

Sewing a sleeve in flat

Sew the sleeve in using a small zig-zag stitch.

Sewing a sleeve in flat

If you like, you can finish the seam with a serger before pressing it toward the sleeve.

Sewing a sleeve in flat

Pin the side seam and sleeves together all at once. Sew up from the bottom to the end of the sleeve.

Sewing a sleeve in flat

That’s it! Sewing in a sleeve flat is a bit easier, faster, and it works great for knits. For more structured garments like jackets and coats, setting in the sleeve works much better because it gives the armhole a nice, round shape.

Do you like sewing in your sleeves using the flat method? Any tips are welcome!


 

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