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Unread 07-16-2016, 07:01 PM   #1
heaven_firings
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Need help patterning a sleeve

So I'm trying to make a jacket like Jason Todd's but the sleeve has this inset slash and I don't really know how to go about something like that. If it sat in the seam it'd be an easy fix but it looks like it's on the outside on top of the wrist. The only time I've put a sleeve zipper it's been in a seam line but that doesn't work in this case.




Is there a tutorial out there for this kind of thing? Is there a proper name for this kind of sleeve? I'm a visual learner so it'd be better if there was a picture/video tutorial.
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Unread 07-16-2016, 07:58 PM   #2
CapsuleCorp
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It's not a particular sleeve type or pattern, no, it's just a regular old sleeve with a slash in it. Quite literally.

Now, nothing says you CAN'T decide that for the sake of sanity you want to sew the coat sleeves as two-part sleeves so that there's a seam there to work with (any blazer, suit, etc type coat will probably come with a two-part sleeve) but slashing and trimming an opening like that really isn't hard. It can be a little frustrating, but it's not some kind of super-advanced technique.

The top picture does have a zip there but the bottom one looks more like it's just bound off in bias tape, so first make sure that your references are all consistent and it really is a zipper before you try this. Binding off a slash cut into a sleeve with bias tape is even easier.

Basically, what you do is treat the end of the cut as that same point on a seam where it tells you the zipper stop should go. If you're concerned about the cut losing integrity before you can sew it all up, you can always baste a quick stay-stitch across the end point of the cut, but I have never found that necessary. Leaving that stitch there will be painfully obvious on the finished garment so it's definitely the kind of basting stitch you take out later. Now, you know how the zipper-on-a-seam makes you use the seam allowance, folded under, to sew the zipper onto? For a slash, you don't have all that extra fabric, but you can still turn under a smaller amount of fabric.

Okay I'm getting wordy here, let's simplify this. Cut your slash. Fold under about 1/4" from the end of the slash toward the hem. You may find it more convenient/less painful to make a tapered fold - at the sleeve hem, it'll be 1/2" but you'll have to fold diagonally so that it tapers down to the cut end, it may be as scant as 1/8" right at the end of the cut. Iron that fold down. Lay the zipper in like you normally would, lining those nice ironed-down fold edges against the zipper, and topstitch the zipper in. Make sure to stitch across the zipper tape at the end, that will also keep the cut end from ripping any further.

It won't be pretty - the zipper stop may make the zipper bulge a little at the end, depending on how awesome you are at making that fold and stitch - and you'll have to stitch very close to the zipper to make sure you catch the fabric all the way down. Cases like this a zipper foot for your machine is really necessary. But it'll work! And it'll look exactly like you want it to!
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Unread 07-16-2016, 09:48 PM   #3
heaven_firings
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Probably two different comic runs resulting in the difference on the refs. But I'm going with the zipper being in since I see it more often and I've already bought the zippers so...

The pattern I used for the jacket body does have a two part sleeve but I the pieces always seem way too big when I do two parts so I was thinking of drafting a new sleeve.

But just to make sure I'm reading your description correctly it'd end up something like this quick doodle?
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File Type: png Tapered zipper.png (15.7 KB, 0 views)
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Unread 07-17-2016, 09:23 AM   #4
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Quote:
the pieces always seem way too big
One of the most common "flaws" (illusions really) of comics is they draw and color surfaces to look like non-stretchy materials, but so close fitting to the body in styles where one couldn't actually move if you made it that way. This definitely falls into that category. When was the last time you saw a buff dude in a suit that was so tight his muscles showed through? Here's a real world example of someone truly built like superheroes are drawn, in a suit: http://www.hbo.com/ballers
You can see how muscular he is, but there's a lot of fabric movement there in the arm. Across the chest is perfectly fitted and not under strain as he is relaxed.
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Unread 07-17-2016, 05:11 PM   #5
heaven_firings
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Penlowe, I think we're thinking two different things with that sentence. I meant the pattern always fits too big when I try two part sleeves no matter how much I try to ease a sleeve in. I always end up with a huge excess of material.

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Unread 07-17-2016, 10:28 PM   #6
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Yes, that drawing is exactly what I was describing. Good, all my blathering words made sense!

Now, for your extra sleeve size problem: you have discovered ease. Ease is a bitch.

ALL sleeve patterns, even ones for stretch knits for some dumb reason, have ease built into them. Ease is a slack which is meant to compensate for correctly tailoring sleeves - because people are all built differently, particularly with shoulder width and arm size, patterns which are meant to be one-size-fits-most have the ease built into the pattern so that it doesn't matter how wide your shoulders are or how thick your arms are, the sleeves will still fit on you and you won't rip the back of the garment open when you stretch. Problem is, it isn't really foolproof. It kind of sucks a lot, actually.

All that extra slack is meant to be eased into the seam, which in sewing terms means it's supposed to be loosely pinned between the marking points (usually shoulder and somewhere on the back side of the sleeve) and then run through the machine without tension, letting the feed dogs naturally ease the fabric so that two parts which don't fit each other now fit. IN THEORY. What usually really ends up happening, in my experience? There is so much ease in the pattern that the only way to fit it leaves the sleeves with full on gathers. It's ugly, it doesn't help the fit, and it makes the sleeve cap sit weird.

tl;dr but I think a lot of people never learn about ease and wonder what's up with that. That's what's up with that.

You CAN pin sleeves to eliminate the ease, by either taking down the seam that's supposed to down the back of a two-part (iffy, it might affect the fit of the sleeve) or by fudging the sleeve seam until there's less excess fabric between your marks than there was before. I strongly suggest pinning and repinning along the seam line before locking that second technique down, because you really can accidentally shorten your sleeve by trying to cut out all the ease. I also strongly suggest verifying that the shoulder seam - that is, the spot on your shoulder where the sleeve meets the body - is not hanging too far down off your natural shoulder. Again, a lot of patterns build in too much extra for the broad-shouldered, making for patterns which hang way too low on people with narrow shoulders. There's also a tendency for a lot of modern fashion to have super dropped seams on the shoulders and ugh, it's ugly and makes your garment look like it doesn't fit. So test-pin your sleeve and shoulder and see if you can fudge out the ease, and if that's not enough, try taking in the sleeve's seam.

I remember not too long ago running into a great sewing blog with a big rant on sleeve ease and why it's totally unnecessary, which had some suggestions for reshaping a sleeve pattern to completely eliminate ease. I don't know where, you'd probably have to google using those terms.
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Unread 07-18-2016, 12:44 AM   #7
ShinobiXikyu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CapsuleCorp View Post
I remember not too long ago running into a great sewing blog with a big rant on sleeve ease and why it's totally unnecessary, which had some suggestions for reshaping a sleeve pattern to completely eliminate ease. I don't know where, you'd probably have to google using those terms.
was it this, by any chance? http://fashion-incubator.com/sleeve_cap_ease_is_bogus/

Also, I agree on the annoyance of sleeve ease. Fortunately I am broad shouldered, so I don't have all the extra problems added to having narrow shoulders with such patterns, but I still bloody hate having to sew the sleeves into the armholes on most garments. ESPECIALLY on any garment that's supposed to have gathered loose armhole seams, thank goodness I rarely have to do that style. One trick i was taught on woven fabrics is running a gathering stitch around the sleeve cap to more evenly pin it into place before I sew it up, but it doesn't always work. Also, hard to tell from the photo but it doesn't look like you're, for lack of a better description, taking enough of that cap ease in on the top seam to let it fit. It's late and I can't think that technically. But basically, once you sew/pin past those notches on the bottom of the sleeves that line up with notches on the armhole and are meant to be a "sew edges exactly matching" guideline, you're gradually angling that sleeve cap into the armhole until it fits your arm AND into the seam without a big gap of fabric (if that was confusing, I can snap a photo of what I mean when I work on a sleeved mockup on Tuesday). The industry average on patterns tends to be about two inches of extra fabric to trim off the sleeve cap once it's sewn in. If you only pin along the edges of your pieces or just barely past it, it'll NEVER fit right. If your sleeve pattern had a mark a few inches down from the sleeve cap, often a * sign? That's where it should meet the armhole at the centre top. I mark it with an awl, but you can use chalk or a pin for something reversible if it needs to be adjusted or you don't have an awl.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moofingham View Post
There's a vibe here that says "We're in this together!Through thick and thin fabric! Through cold water washes and burning hot irons! Though we might super glue ourselves to our projects, cut holes/gashes/oh-god-mom's-gonna-kill-me into the dining room table, we will stand strong together. Unless there is a 75% off sale at the Fabric store. Then you're on your own. And get the hell out of my way."<3

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Unread 07-18-2016, 07:46 AM   #8
Penlowe
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Gotcha. They addressed the 'ease is awful' issue well enough though.
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Unread 07-18-2016, 06:48 PM   #9
CapsuleCorp
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Yes, I'm pretty sure that's the one! Thanks Shinobi.

We'll all join you in the "we hate sleeve ease" corner, heaven_firings.
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