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Sewing the sleeve

Introduction

The exciting bit where you see it all start working. Be careful to observe the 'right sides together' instructions, and be careful to observe how many notches you cut into the raglan curves so you don't accidentally sew a front edge to a back edge.

You will need

What to do

  1. Prior to sewing, pin all the sleeve and raglan seams that follow to check that your left and right, your inside (wrong-side) and outside (right-side), and sleeves and body, are all sorted out: The pieces should arrange nicely around the neckline circle, and all the raglan notches should align and agree in number. If the circle looks squashed, you may have the left and right sleeves swapped or inside-out. Unpin as much as you find convenient before you start sewing.
  2. For each sleeve fold it over and pin the dressmaker curves (purple) right sides together, then serge.
    • If you're using zig-zag, back-stitch by nine stitches at the start and end of the seam instead of fiddling about trying to knot the thread.
    • If you're serging, stretch the seam gently once it's sewn, pinch the trailing chains gently between finger and thumb and draw them out, then trim to 15mm or so to avoid getting them tangled.
  3. For each sleeve, pin the raglan front edge to the corresponding edge on the body, right sides together, then serge.
  4. For each sleeve, pin the raglan back edge to the corresponding edge on the body, right sides together, then serge.
  5. For the centre front/centre back seam...
    • If you are putting a zip in the centre-back seam, pin the centre front edges right sides together, then serge.
    • If you removed the centre front seam earlier, then you don't have to sew it up, do you? :)
    • If you are putting a zip in the centre-front seam, pin the centre back edges right sides together, then serge, and follow the rest of the instructions about inserting a zip etc as if they were written for the front seam.
  6. Sew the long arm seam up from the underarm slash towards the wrist, on each sleeve.
  7. Make a mock-poloneck/turtleneck collar: cut a rectangle of fabric as long as the neckline, and twice as wide as you want the collar plus seam allowance. Fold it in half, then and notch the halfway points for both the long and short sides.
  8. Pin the unfolded rectangle to the neckline, right sides together, using the halfway notch on a long side and the front/back seam for alignment, then serge.

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