Tag: knits

How to Shorten Pattern Sleeves

How to Shorten Pattern Sleeves

Shortening your pattern sleeves isn’t that complicated but it does take a little bit of know how. Here’s my best tips on shortening, it’s easier than you think!

How to Shorten Sleeves the Right Way|ChambrayBluesblog|www.chambrayblues.com
McCalls Cuting layout M7061

We have all been there. You work so hard on a sewing project, only to discover too late that the sleeves are too long. Chopping off the end of the sleeve and re-hemming does not work in most circumstances because sleeves are not perfect rectangles. It’s easy to shorten them at the beginning of the sewing process. Even before you cut! Here’s how!

Shorten Pattern Sleeves the Right Way

  1. The first step is to be certain how much the sleeves need to be shortened. The best way to do this is to use the measurement from the center back neck, to the wrist. This is not included on pattern envelopes, it used to be on there but for some reason they don’t have it on there any more. Take your own measurement, or have someone else do it for you.
  2. Next, line up your back pattern and the sleeve pattern pieces. Overlap the seam allowances (so they are not included in the measurement), then measure the pattern from center back, across the shoulder to the sleeve hem. Do not include the hem as you measure.
  3. Compare the two measurements to find the amount needed. For example, if my pattern measurement is 30″ and my center back neck to wrist measurement is 28″ I need to shorten the sleeve length by 2″. ( 30″-28″=2″)
  4. Add wearing ease. Generally speaking you want to have ease of at least 1″. You can add more if you wish, but no less. As your arm bends you need extra fabric to compensate for the movement, so it’s important to have enough wearing ease or your garment will be uncomfortable and too short in the sleeves.

Sound complicated? It’s really not. Here’s a video tutorial:

You can follow my You Tube Chanel for regular updates and more tutorials. Also, be sure to subscribe for the Sew Along and join our Facebook group here. I am doing weekly Facebook live sewing sessions, answering questions and hoping to inspire you to keep sewing!

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Read more about Measuring for Pattern Alterations here.

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How to Measure for Pattern Alterations

How to Measure for Pattern Alterations

Knowing how to measure for pattern alterations is very important for successful sewing. Here are some tips to get you on the right track!

Sew Along|Chambraybluesblog|chambrayblues.com

Measure Before You Cut

It may seem obvious, but measuring plays a big part in sewing. The trick is to measure as accurately as possible before you start altering the pattern. The back of the pattern envelope has basic body measurements for each size. Compare your measurements to the envelope to determine what size pattern to cut.

The measurements are on the envelope flap. Find your estimated size at the top (start with your ready to wear size), then read down the column to find each measurement. You may find that your body size is not the ready to wear size you normally buy in the store. Purchase the pattern size that is closest to your body measurements. Most patterns have several sizes in them which gives you options when you are ready to alter.

Just to clarify, these dimensions are not pattern measurements, they are body measurements. We will cover the pattern measurements in a separate post.

Here’s a live video to walk you through the process.

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Important Tips:

  1. Keep the measuring tape parallel to the ground as you measure.
  2. Don’t stretch the tape too tight, vinyl tape measures will stretch and give you a measurement that is inaccurate. Keep the tape taught, but don’t over extend it.
  3. Include a sleeve length measurement. This is not listed on the pattern envelope. Measure from center back neck, across the shoulder, down the arm to the wrist bone. We will use this measurement for accurate sleeve alterations.
  4. Always measure across the fullest part of the body.
  5. Make note of your body measurements for bust, waist, hip, and center back waist length. Then compare them to the size information on the pattern envelope. If your measurements are different, you will have to do some pattern alterations. More info to come!

This week’s goal is to buy the Mc Call’s pattern, take your measurements and choose your fabric. I will have tips on choosing fabric for this project soon!

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How to Take Body Measurements for Sewing|Chambray Blues Blog|chambrayblues.com

For information on the complete Sew Along, read this post!

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