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How To Set-in Sleeves In Sewing Garments

Updated on July 13, 2012

Sewing Instructions For Set-in Sleeves

Set-in sleeves are the most used kind of sleeve in dressmaking. As the name implies, this sleeve is actually set into the armhole of the garment after the side and shoulder seams have been stitched.

Depending on the style of your outfit, set-in sleeves may be neatly tailored or used as a latest trend detail, such sleeves usually have more fullness and need to be pleated to fit. Any sewing technique you choose, the procedure for inserting set-in sleeves is identical.

Even with very fitted sleeves, the circular cap at the top of a set-in sleeve is somewhat larger than the corresponding part of the armhole. The sleeve should thus be gently eased into the garment, to fit easily and prevent any puckers along the seam line. The customary and easiest method of setting in sleeves are to use two rows of ease stitching that is, gathering stitches round the sleeve cap to fit the sleeve into the arm hole.

How To Fit Clothing Sleeves Tips

Markings on sewing pattern such as notches and dots, help you to place set-in sleeves. Notches notify you which way the sleeve and armhole edges should face. Any two notches indicates the back of the sleeve and armhole, one notch indicates the front. More fabric is needed to use at the back than at the front of the sleeve and about 2.5cm is generally left unease round the center dot at the top of the sleeve cap for a tidy, tailored complete.

How To Sew Sleeves Into Garment

These are the steps that you can follow to stitch in sleeves into your garments:

How To Use Ease Stitching For The Sleeve Cap

Set the sewing machine to a long stitch and loosen the tension. From the right edge, work a strip of ease stitching round the cap of the sleeve, between the front and back notches, just above the seam line. Ease stitch the sleeve cap once more, about 1cm from the edge.

How To Position The Sleeve Into Garment Armhole

With right side of the edges together, stitch the underarm sleeve seam. Seam allowances should be neaten and press open. Turn sleeve right side out and turn the garment out from the inside. Place sleeve in armhole, with right sides opposite each other and pin or tack notches and sleeve seam to underarm seam and sleeve cap to shoulder seam

How To Ease The Sleeve Fit

Gently draw up the thread of the bobbin of the ease stitching lines until the sleeve cap aligns the armhole. Make sure to circulate the fullness equally, leaving about 2.5cm unease at the top of the sleeve cap.

Pin The Sleeve In Place

Pin the sleeve to the armhole, placing the pins at close gaps and use extra pins in the front and back of the sleeve than at the underarm.

Check That The Sleeves Fit Into The Garment

Turn the garment to the right side and check the sleeve for a fit. Pleats and puckers should not be seen on the seam line and the sleeve should suspend easily down the arm. You can try the garment on if you want to.

Secure The Ease Stitching

Turn the garment interior out. Make a number of eight round each pin at the front and back notches to secure the thread finishes. Reset the machine stitch for usual stitching.

Stitching The Sleeve Into Garment Armholes

With sleeve side up and beginning at one notch, stitch along the seam line just underneath ease stitching lines. For the left sleeve, begin at the front notch. For the right notch, start at the back notch. Stitch one time around the sleeve, then continue to other notch to strengthen of the sleeve the underarm.

Finish The Seams For Set-in Sleeves

At the underarm, Trim the seam allowances to between 5.5mm to 6.5mm between the notches,. Zigzag the seam allowances simultaneously. Press the sleeve cap seam allowance, using the end of sleeve board.

How To Sew Set In Sleeves Video Tutorial


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