Flat Assembly Method for Attaching A Sleeve with a Cuff: If a cuff and sleeve placket are involved you have to construct a set-in sleeve. So I have been told.
Rebuttal: No you don’t.
Others who love to set-in a sleeve can do so to their hearts content, but for me, it is flat assembly whenever possible.
My hatred of the set-in sleeve engendered this little brainstorm. Those of you handy at sewing blouses may already be doing this, but if you are, then there are a lot of us home-sewers at our machines using this technique and the pattern companies and sewing manuals are completely in the dark.
1) I sew my bodice, but of course, do not sew up the side seams.
2) I take my sleeve and sew the placket.
Now here is where I part ways with most sewing manuals. Most pattern instructions tell you:
- sew the underarm of the sleeve
- sew the side seams of the bodice
- attach the two using a set-in technique
- then attach the cuff to the nearly finished shirt.
The instructions tell you that because there is a physical fact of cuffs that must be dealt with. Plackets do not lie in the side seams. Most of the time the placket is a cut into the body of the sleeve. The cuff does not go from side seam to side seam – it runs from placket opening to placket opening.
Therefore the underarm seam must be sewn and finished before applying the cuff.
Or must it?
Must we sew the entire underarm seam?
3) Instead, I sew only three to four inches of the underarm seam coming up from the wrist.
4) Attach cuff: I don’t have to drag an entire blouse behind me as I attach the cuff. I attach it right then and there working with just the sleeve itself.
5) Sew sleeve to bodice: The wrist portion is in the round, but the sleeve cap is flat. I do flat assembly to the bodice shoulder. (One word of warning – As your sleeve has this cuff dangling from the end it can be harder to see right sides. Double and triple check you are right sides together at the shoulder and sleeve cap. )
6) Now I have only to sew up the rest of the underarm and the bodice sides. Sometimes there is a little discrepancy in fabric lengths. At those times I decide between three solutions:
- Using the feed dogs to ease excess.
- Living with a tiny mismatch at the underarm.
- Going ahead and taking some excess in at the armpit part of the armscye. (Most often I don’t have to go this far.)
Does anyone else use this method?
Next Post: Tuesday, November 22, 2010: Vogue 7700 Basic Oxford:Pattern Review