1930s Sew-along with Norma: Variations of the sleeve with vertical dart


Further information about the sleeve that is part of the dress I’m making for the 1930s Sew-along with Norma.

The photos in this posting complete the details of my previous posting.  Here I explained how I finally traced the reasons why previous versions of the sleeve with vertical dart failed.  I hope that the photos in this posting show the inspiration that kept me going.  This sleeve is the basis of so many pretty and elegant variations.  No further text from me is needed.  I’ll let the photos do the talking!

Modern versions:  Photos of illustrations from the third edition of “Patternmaking for Fashion Design” by Helen Joseph Armstrong


Vintage Version:  Used as a blouse sleeve and described as a ‘bishop’s sleeve’ in “Precision Draping” by Nellie Weymouth Link


Photos of my patterns:  Basic Elbow Dart Sleeve and Sleeve with Vertical Dart

I used the French Fashion Academy to draft the basic sleeve.  Any system can be used to create the basic sleeve and work it up to the sleeve with vertical dart.

The sleeve with elbow dart was created from the basic unfitted sleeve.  The darker lengthwise line is the new grainline after making the alteration to split the cap ease evenly between front and back.  It looks a little odd that the back of the cap is more than the front but the fit worked out.  I notice different pattern drafting systems result in different armhole and sleeve cap shapes.  A lot also has to do with the measurements and figure type the pattern is drafted for.

Notice how the shape of the back sleeve seam and wrist change when the vertical dart is opened.  This sleeve is now the starting points for the variations shown in the photos above.  I think I can create the variations Helen Joseph Armstrong shows even though hers is a different drafting system.  It’s the transformation itself that I have to get into.  Once the principles are clear I’ll experiment with muslin.


6 thoughts on “1930s Sew-along with Norma: Variations of the sleeve with vertical dart

    • How interesting, Caro. We’ll have lots to share. I stick with the old fashioned system of French Fashion since that’s what I studied at school. Armstrong’s method is very modern and goes faster. Still I think there is a meeting place for all systems and this makes it so interesting to discuss how things get done.


    • Yes, my mind is moving ahead on the uses of this sleeve. I definitely have #1 in mind. None of these variations would work in the fabric for the 1930s dress. Rayon challis is too soft. So I need to explore what would be suitable.

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