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Leena's Pattern Drafting Lesson:
Drafting Patterns For Basic Sleeve

Metric conversion table

Take patterns for the garment you are going to sew. Measure the length and width of the armscye from the pattern. Refer to the picture under.


1-3-5 = armscye length  2-3-4 = armscye width  2-3 and 3-4 = 1/2 armscye width  Divide armscye length by 3 to get the cap height.  Measure the subject's biceps circumference. Add 6-8 cm ease to it. Measure the subject's sleeve length from the cap top to the wrist.


Draw a vertical line A-B corresponding to the subject's sleeve length. Divide it in half and you get point C.  Draw a horizontal line D-E corresponding to the subject's biceps measurement (biceps circumference + ease)


Measure from point C downwards 4 cm and draw the elbow line.  Measure 2.5 cm from point A to the left and to the right and you get points F and G. Measure 1/2 armscye width from point J to the right to get point K.

  • Measure cap height from point A downwards and you get point H.

  • Draw a horizontal line J-L which corresponds the subject's biceps measurement (biceps circumference + ease).

  • Draw a vertical line from K upwards 3 cm and you get point M.

  • Divide the line F-M in three and you get points N and O. 

  • Divide line G-L in four and you get points P, Q and R. 

  • The points N1, O1, P1, Q1 and R1 are situated as in the picture above:  N1 0.7cm left from N.  O1 1cm left from point O.  P1 0.2cm right from P.  Q1 0.3cm left from Q.  R1 0.9cm left from R.


Draw the sleeve cap smoothly through points J - M - N1- O1 - A -P1 - Q1 - R1 - L as in the picture above.


Draft  rest of the sleeve according to the picture above.  




If you want to draft an elbow dart to the sleeve, cut the sleeve along elbow line and rotate bottom piece 2 cm clockwise, refer to the picture. When drafting the new outline of the sleeve, notice the place of the elbow dart apex.


Altering a basic sleeve into a sleeve for dropped shoulder

Lower sleeve cap with 3-6 cm.  Lengthen shoulder with the same amount. Look at the picture below. 


Making armscye larger/smaller

This is the rule you have to follow :

If you lower the armscye of the bodice, you have to broaden the sleeve at the armpit with the same amount. This makes the sleeve larger at the armscye. Refer to the picture below where the sleeve has been broadened at the armpit with totally 6 cm (3 + 3 cm).  

And vice versa: If you reduce the sleeve at the armpit, you have to raise the armscye of the bodice. This makes the sleeve smaller at the armscye. Please notice that if you lower the armscye of the bodice  too much, you will not be able to raise your hand. So be careful when lowering the armscye.



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