The Donna Blouse: Sewing a sleeve with cuff all-in-one

I used different colored basting threads to mark and differentiate grain and fold lines on the Donna Blouse fashion fabric. I picked up this tip reading Gertie’s blog. It is working very well. You can see it in some of the photos for the blouse sleeve in this posting. Orange thread denotes grain lines, green thread fold lines.

1. The sleeve has had the interfacing basted into place on the wrong sides using guidelines from the “Vogue Sewing Book” and “Reader’s Digest Complete Guide to Sewing” as described in the previous posting.

The side seams have been sewed and finished. The lace hem tape is stitched to the bottom of the sleeve.

2. The cuff is turned to the inside along the middle line traced in green thread. This is the fold line. Straight pins are placed at the fold line to hold it in place and a line of basting stitches is sewn along the fold line.

3a. A sleeve roll and steam iron are now used to press the sleeve.

3b. Use wide strips of brown paper inserted between the cuff and the sleeve. Then use a burst of steam and press down on the cuff. Do not place the iron right on the fabric. This will create too sharp of a crease in the sleeve.

3c. After the sleeve is cool, use a catch stitch to hem the sleeve by hand.

4. Turn the sleeve to the right side. The remaining green thread traced horizontal line is the “Finished Length” or “Turn Back Line” of the cuff. Here you will turn the cuff to the right side.

5. View of the completed cuff.

6. Line up the underarm seams of the sleeves and cuff. From the wrong side use a small stitch to secure the cuff and blouse sleeve together.

7. Prepare the sleeve for sewing into the armhole. Here I’ve pinned the sleeve to the Donna Blouse to give you an idea of how it will look.

I cannot emphasize enough the importance of making a toile to determine what the most flattering sleeve length and cuff width will be for your individual figure type. My upper arms are longer than my lower arms so I favor a slightly longer “short” sleeve than you usually might find in a blouse. It is also important to make sure the width of the cuff works with the type of collar the blouse or dress will have. This can only be determined by creating a sample and making any markings or corrections needed on it. This ensures your pattern will be good to go when you finally cut it out in your fashion fabric.