Saturday, May 14, 2011

Friday Confession

Last week I asked how faithfully people follow sewing instructions when you are directed to stitch the same seam twice - first basting and second stitching. In the discussion, several people brought up the topic of sleeves and their preferences for attaching them. That got me curious about how everyone else feels.



The two basic methods (that I know of) are (a) attach first (when flat), before closing up the side seam:









and (b) close up both side seams and then insert the sleeve tube into the round(ish) armhole:







When I first started sewing, I definitely preferred the flat method. Now I'm getting less particular. It seems like the open & flat method is easiest for shallow sleeve caps and the tube insertion method is easier for steep sleeve caps. Also, obviously, the tube insertion method is best if you are adding any gathers to the sleeve...


What about you? Do you have a preference? If so, which and why? If you have a preference, is it strong enough that you use it, even when the instructions describe a different method?

7 comments:

marysews said...

I prefer the flat method for shallow sleeve caps.

I have occasionally combined the two methods. I start by stitching flat between the notches. Then I stitch the bodice side seams and the sleeve seams. I finish attaching the sleeve below the notches. I usually trim this seam under the arm.

judidarling said...

I, too, used to use the flat construction method until I read a tutorial that suggested incorporating the best of both worlds. I now often flat attach the sleeve to the armhole from back to front notches. Then I sew the bodice side seam and the sleeve underarm seam. Lastly, I sew the remaining seam area by the inset method, sometimes twice to strengthen this seam. The side seam intersections lie flatter, and I have better access to the areas that need easing. This takes a bit longer, but I like the results. A good talking point--thanks.

mamafitz said...

i prefer setting the sleeve in the round. i think it hangs better, and it is easier to me. i can also pre-shape the cap if i want, and see how it'll hang before i even put it in the armhole. however, if the cap is really shallow, i'll put it in flat.

Lisa Laree said...

I am absolutely with you on this one. Flat for shallow sleeve caps; in the round for steep ones.

And I get really aggravated at t-shirt pattern instructions, with their relatively flat caps, that instruct one to baste-and-ease and set the sleeve in the round. So much easier just to sew those flat...

Summerset said...

Depends on the type of top/bodice I'm sewing. If it is knit or a man's dress shirt, the sleeves are inserted "in the flat". If it is any other type of garment, they are set-in after the side seams are sewn. Each way has advantages depending on the garment.

Shannon Hillinger said...

I almost always prefer the flat method, even for steep caps and lots of gathers. I find it easier to adjust the gathers evenly with the flat method then with the closed one. The only time I use the closed method is if I forget I need to add a sleeve (which happens frequently) or with two piece sleeves.

patsijean said...

When young, I pinned the heck out of the sleeve prior to stitching. Later I began to gather with two rows of gathering stitches and then pinned the sleeve in, all done in the round. Later, I put in shallow capped sleeves in in the flat, still gathering the ease. Recently, I have been trying Peggy Sayers recommendation of inserting the sleeves in in the flat with the sleeve down against the feed dogs. Works like a charm. I have just recently read (can't find the source right now) that it is OK to start some of the easing below the notches and a bit over the top of the cap (higher caps I would assume). Peggy is confident enough to serger her sleeves in, but I will wait on that until I practice a bit more. I watched her on line video about blouse making several times to familiarize myself with the technique. I like this method and it is much faster. http://www.silhouettepatterns.com/html/media/livestreamchannel/index_replays.htm