Hawthorn – Sleeve Troubles

Everything was going great with my Hawthorn dress.  Until I tried to set in the sleeves.  I think it’s me, I’m not very good at sewing sleeves.  But I feel like I’ve tried everything.  I’ve sewn and re-sewn them countless times.  I even carefully hand basted them in, hoping that would do the trick.
2013-07-17 21.20.29

And this is as good as it gets.  Pucker City.  😦
2013-07-17 21.52.57

I’m frustrated, but decided to call it a “design detail” and move on.  Then I put the dress on realized the sleeves dig into my armpits.  So not only are they puckering, they are uncomfortable!

I think I know the solution – make the dress sleeveless.  I’m gonna sleep on it tonight though before I do any more seam ripping. What I really want to do is give up and start a new project.  Anyone else have sleeve troubles?  Do I just need more practice?  Or am I destined to sew sleeveless dresses forever?

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9 thoughts on “Hawthorn – Sleeve Troubles

  1. Did you muslin a sleeve?
    Could your seam allowance be slightly bigger on your dress than you realised? That would mean the arm hole was smaller than intended. Or is your sleeve seam allowance too small? Meaning its too big for the arm hole.
    Or it could just be drafted with loads of ease in the sleeve head and a small under arm curve and it’s not you whatsoever!

    • I did muslin one sleeve, and it felt fine. It was a little puckery, but I wasn’t really trying very hard to make it nice. Next time I should pay more attention to the sleeves at the muslin stage, I guess. 🙂

  2. It sounds to me like the sleevecap may be drafted too generously. It also looks like this type of fabric is not one that will ease easily. However, the fact that it’s too tight at the underarm could give you a pretty easy solution: take out the sleeve and cut the underarm curve deeper to where it is comfortable. This will make the armhole larger and thus use up some of that extra fullness. When re-setting the sleeve start pinning from the underarm and some of the extra fullness in the cap will be re-distributed to make it fit the larger armhole. Does that make sense?

  3. I agress with brocadegoddess – usually, when I have problems with sleeves – I find that if I remove some of the sleeve head, I can get a nicer, smoother finish. If you really want the sleeves, I would baste one to see how it looks with less of the sleeve head – on one pattern I used, I had to cut off about an inch!

  4. Pingback: Hawthorn Sleeves – All Better!! | Purls and Pleats

  5. Pingback: Completed: Hawthorn Dress | Purls and Pleats

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