Part 4 - Top - Sleeves & Side Seams

Part 4 - Top - Sleeves & Side Seams

Alrighty, we are more than halfway there. Are you feeling the excitement? After today, you'll even be able to try on your garment (if you want)!

Let's not waste any time. Grab a snack and a drink and let's dive in!

13) With right sides together, pin your sleeve piece into the armhole opening on your bodice.

Use your pins to match:

+ The underarm raw edges on your sleeve and

+ The single notch on the sleeve with the dart
seam on your bodice.

+ The notch at the top of your sleeve with the
shoulder seam.

+ The double notches on the bodice back and
sleeve back.

14) Depending on your fabric selection, you may noticed after pinning that your sleeve cap is a little bit larger than your armhole opening. That is 100% ok!

Some sleeves will go in perfectly with no fuss like this:

Others might look like this:

And require a wee-bit of stretching to fit.

And still others might need the traditional approach generally found in woven patterns: an ease stitch like THIS.

Whatever your fabric is asking you to do, know that you have got this and generally as you sew, your sleeve cap should naturally ease itself into the armhole opening.

15) When everything is looking good, go ahead and sew your sleeve into place with a zig-zag stitch. Repeat on the other sleeve & armhole!

16) Trim your seam allowance and press them towards the sleeve cap.


Feel free to give yourself a high five- you just took on a set in sleeve and totally NAILED it! I’d say that calls for a sweet treat before moving on to the next step.


17) With right sides together, pin from your sleeve hem down through your top/ bodysuit together at the side seam. Sew them together using a zig-zag stitch.

I also like to reinforce my stitches, especially where there is a lot of strain right under the arms. I tend to pop those stitches the most (plus I am using organic cotton thread which isn't as strong as polyester)

18) Since we are already here, let’s finish up our sleeve and hem it! Iron your sleeve hem back by 1/2” (1.3 cm).

18a) Pin your hem into place and sew along the edge using a zig-zag stitch
or a fancy double needle!


When going over other seams, I like to make sure that they are all pointing towards the back of the garment.

I also like to line up my zig zag so that it goes right over the edge of the seam. I find it gives the cleanest look to the insides of my garments- don't you think?

Would you believe me if I told you we were done for the day? And that you tackled putting in sleeves all by yourself! What a great day :D

If you are still feeling pumped and ready to dive into the end of your project, feel free to go on to Part 5 - Finishing Touches. If you are feeling fully accomplished and would rather rest until tomorrow, I say go for it! I've already got my cookies ready as well as a good movie, so I'll see you tomorrow!

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