"" the girl who makes things: A useful tip for easing sleeves

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

A useful tip for easing sleeves

Evening folks! This is gonna be a pretty short and sweet post. I just wanted to share a really nifty technique I learnt at the Harrogate Knitting and Stitching Show with the wonderful Sew Fundamental. It's all about easing sleeves.

Now, I don't know about you, but I've always used the old double line of stitching technique for sleeves, I believe it's a standard method used across dress making. You pull the threads, gather the edges and ease it into the sleeve opening. Right?

Well, depending on the kind of fabric you use there IS an easier and quicker way of doing this. Let me take you through it.

This only really works on anything light weight with a bit of stiffness to it. Set your sewing machine to a long stitch length (something like 4 will do). Mark your sleeve edge as you normally would and then get your sleeve ready to stitch along the edge.

This is my new little red sewing machine - isn't it cute?
Place your right hand index finger firmly behind the presser foot, don't even dare move it! Stitch along the curve of the sleeve, about 1.5cm away from the edge until you reach the other marking. The excess fabric should gather up between the presser foot and your index finger.

Now take your finger away and release the fabric, snipping the threads. The sleeve head should appear to have a concertina edge, ready for you to pin to the sleeve opening - magic!

I'm yet to use this technique in an actual project, but the next time I have to ease a sleeve I will definitely be trying this. So, how about you, have you heard of this method before?


  1. Ooh, what an interesting technique to try!! Thank you for sharing and I think it seems simple to do!! Can't wait to try it.

    1. Good, I'd love to know how it goes! You can also use this on princess seams.