We are so close to the end with our Anise jacket. This is the final week of sewing!
Today we’re putting in the sleeves. Your goals when setting jacket sleeves is to get a sleeve that hangs well and has a lovely soft roundness at the cap. To do this, you’ll use ease, heat and moisture (i.e. pressing), and internal support (shoulder pads and sleeve heads).
After the sleeves are done, we’ll get the jacket hemmed. Be aware that today involves a fair bit of hand sewing, so put aside some time for that!
Sew the jacket’s side seams.
With right sides together, stitch jacket front (A) to jacket side back (C) at side seams, matching notches. Press the seams open.
Construct the sleeves
With right sides together, stitch the upper sleeve (M) to the lower sleeve (N) at the front seam, matching notches. Press seam open.
Stitch the upper sleeve (M) to the lower sleeve (N) at the back seam, again matching notches. Use several pins to help sew the curved edge of the lower sleeve (N) to the upper sleeve (M) at the cuff, clipping the seam allowance if necessary. Press seam open.
Set the sleeves.
Ease the cap of the sleeve between the small circles. To do this, stitch using a long stitch length 5/8” from the edge. Stitch a second row 3/8” from the edge and a third 7/8” from the edge. Leave long thread tails which can be pulled to adjust ease.
With right sides together, pin sleeve into armhole, matching notches and seams. Align the large circles on the sleeve with the shoulder seam and side seam. Align the back seam of the sleeve with the seam on the back of the jacket. Pull ease stitches to adjust, distributing fullness evenly. Pin from the inside.
Machine baste sleeve into armhole using a long stitch length, or baste by hand. Stitch sleeve into place, stitching from the inside. Stitching from the inside may feel a little awkward, but this way you can watch for any puckers or folds that might form in your sleeve while stitching. Press sleeve seams, pressing seam allowance toward the sleeve.
Inserting sleeveheads and shoulder pads
Sleeveheads are an optional addition, which you can insert before shoulder pads. They will help to structure the armhole of your jacket, which you may or may not need depending on your shoulder pad, fabric choice, and your own personal preference. I prefer them, especially for heavier fabrics. They prevent the cap of your sleeve from collapsing or dimpling in an unsightly way.
You can purchase sleeveheads, or you can make your own. In The Anise Companion, I show you how to construct your own based on the pattern and some flannel. This is totally optional, but if you want to take a crack at making them, follow the instructions in the companion (pp. 55-57).
Baste the sleevehead into the armhole. Try on the jacket along with the shoulder pad pinned in place. You may decide you don’t need the sleeve head, of you may decide to make it narrower or alter it in some other way. Once you have it the way you want it, stitch it permanently to the shoulder seam allowance.
Place shoulder pads onto shoulder, allowing pad to extend 1/2” into the armhole seam allowance. Hand stitch the pad to the shoulder seam with a catchstitch. Tack the lower edges to the armhole to keep the pad in place.
Hem the jacket
Open the facing front (E) away from the jacket. Remove a few inches of the basting at the bottom, which will allow you to do this more easily. Turn the entire lower hem up 2” and press.
On the facing front (E) and jacket front (A), trim the hem to 1/2” up to the large circle. This trimmed portion of the hem should be covered up by the facing once you fold it back to the inside, so check to make sure you have it marked correctly before trimming.
Hand stitch the hem to the garment, using a catchstitch.
Turn the facing front (E) back to the inside of the garment. Hand stitch the facing to the hem at the corner using a fell stitch.
Hemming was actually pretty easy, wasn’t it? Ok, so it takes a while to hand stitch, but it’s not hard to figure out, at least.
On Thursday, we’ll cover the final stage, so get ready for lining your jacket!
And once again, be sure to stop by the Flickr group for the sew-along!