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Hello everyone and Happy Tuesday!
I am currently working on my project for the week and wanted to share a trick that makes attaching sleeves a lot easier. If you are new to sewing, you might find the traditional method of “setting in a sleeve” a bit intimidating. The method below is the easiest way to attach a sleeve since it does not require you to sew the sleeve at the underarm seam and then sew the sleeve into the armhole. Please note that this technique only works on knit fabrics. If you are a beginner, I am including some tips and tricks at the end of this post, so be sure to check it out!
Step 1: Pin and sew the shoulder seams, with the correct side of the fabric facing each other
Step 2: Pin and sew the sleeve cap to the armhole from side seam to side seam.
Step 3: Placing the fabric right sides together, pin the entire underarm seam and the side seam as shown below:
Step 4: Make one continuous stitch along the underarm seam and the side seam. And VOILA! You are done!
Another reason I like using this technique is that it makes alterations a breeze. Let’s say you made something using a new fabric that you have not worked with before. If it ends up being too big, you can easily take in the sleeve and the side seam in one go, instead of picking up the dreaded seam ripper and removing the sleeve and then re-attaching it. If you are using a serger instead of a sewing machine, using a seam ripper is no fun!
To sew up any garments that are made with the knit (stretchy) fabrics, I prefer to sew using my Brother 1034D serger. I have been using this one since 2013 and I really love it. It’s a great machine at an entry-level price!
If you don’t have a serger, don’t worry! You can use your sewing machine with a couple adjustments!. I highly recommend using a stretch stitch (or a narrow zigzag stitch) on your sewing machine and also be sure to use a ballpoint needle. This needle is a lot sharper than your universal needle and will make sewing with knits a breeze! If you use a standard universal needle with a stretch fabric, you might experience bunching and ripping.
Once I am done sewing my garment, I go back and hem the sleeves, neckline, and bottom hem. Personally, I love to use my Brother 2340 CV Coverstitch machine that I have been using since 2014. I got it for my 36th Birthday (self-gift) and It was the best gift ever!! It is an entry level cover stitch machine at a great price. If you don’t have a cover stitch machine, don’t worry!! You can hem a knit garment on your sewing machine, you just need to have a special needle attachment called a twin needle.
Here is the finished top I made using this technique. It is so easy to sew up! You have to try it!
I really hope that I inspired you to sew up something new. Sewing is not hard, I promise. It can be frustrating at first, but with every sewing project, you are going to not only gain skill, but you will also build confidence. I am still learning new techniques every day. I watch sewing and patternmaking classes on BluPrint in my spare time. I feel like there is so much to learn.
See you next time and until then, I’ll be hiding behind the seams 🙂
ps. You can see my tutorial on how to use a twin needle
You can also see my review of the BluPrint learning platform here