Sew-Along Extra – Summer Breeze Top Adding Sleeves

Hi Everyone! We’ve got a special extra here for those following along on the Summer Breeze Sew-Along. Rhonda is giving everyone the chance to put in sleeves to their Summer Breeze Top. For those that sleeves are a must or just to give this pattern an additional this is the post for you! And, now here’s Ronda!

In our last post, we talked about adjusting the armhole of the Summer Breeze top so that the armhole would lay just at the shoulder in order to add a sleeve. Please note in making your muslin that you should use a fabric that is similar to your fashion fabric. If you use a cotton muslin, it will give you a totally different look. Even with using a similar fabric, you may still need to make a few adjustments to your fashion fabric as all fabrics drape and move in a different manner.

I designed a sleeve for the Summer Breeze top that echoes the front drape of the blouse.

photo 16 Sew Along Extra   Summer Breeze Top Adding Sleeves

Summer Breeze Top – Adding Sleeves

There are 3 drapes in the cap of the sleeve.

photo2 Sew Along Extra   Summer Breeze Top Adding Sleeves The back of the sleeve lays smoothly against the back of the arm.

photo3 Sew Along Extra   Summer Breeze Top Adding Sleeves

Summer Breeze Top – Adding Sleeves

I drafted this sleeve using Butterick 5678. You may remember that we did a number of collars and sleeves last year using this pattern. It is not necessary to use this pattern, but keep in mind that the basic sleeve that you use must be designed for woven fabrics.

Measure around the cap of the sleeve and compare it with the armhole of the blouse. There should be no more than about an inch of ease.

photo 42 Sew Along Extra   Summer Breeze Top Adding Sleeves Begin by tracing your sleeve pattern onto a piece of paper. Mark the seam allowances. I like to cut the seam allowances off and add them back once I have completed my drafting. There is less confusion this way! Be sure to mark the notches and add the grainline.

photo 51 Sew Along Extra   Summer Breeze Top Adding Sleeves

Summer Breeze Top – Adding Sleeves

 Once the seam allowances have been cut away, it’s time to draw in our drape lines. Mine are 1 ½” apart. Once you have marked the placement of the drape line, draw in a curved line to the other side of the sleeve. You can see that I crossed out a line that I drew in as I just didn’t like how it looked. It curved up rather than going straight into the edge of the sleeve.

photo6 Sew Along Extra   Summer Breeze Top Adding Sleeves

Summer Breeze Top – Adding Sleeves

I marked my shoulder notch with a “C” just so I wouldn’t get it confused with the other notch marks that will be added later on for the pleats.

photo 72 Sew Along Extra   Summer Breeze Top Adding Sleeves

Now comes the fun part, slash and spread!! Cut on the lines that you drew in, cutting from the front of the sleeve to the back being careful not to cut through the edge. Spread the sections apart 2”.

photo 82 Sew Along Extra   Summer Breeze Top Adding Sleeves Once the sections have been spread apart, we want to fold in the pleats. As you can see, I have folded my pleats in a down direction. You can also see that when the pleats are folded down, the edge of the sleeve no longer matches. Begin at the armpit of the sleeve and draw a smooth line that connects the outside edge of the pleats and continue to the cap of the sleeve.

photo 92 Sew Along Extra   Summer Breeze Top Adding Sleeves

Summer Breeze Top – Adding Sleeves

photo 102 Sew Along Extra   Summer Breeze Top Adding Sleeves

With the pleats still pinned in place, draw in the seam allowance and then cut out the cap of the sleeve. Open up the pleats and place notches at the fold points of the pleats.

photo 112 Sew Along Extra   Summer Breeze Top Adding Sleeves

Summer Breeze Top – Adding Sleeves

The final pattern.

Mark the grainline of the sleeve using the grainline that remained intact at the lower portion of the sleeve.

photo 121 Sew Along Extra   Summer Breeze Top Adding Sleeves Once I tried my sleeve on, I felt that it was a little too wide at the bottom so I simply tapered it fit my bicep.

photo 131 Sew Along Extra   Summer Breeze Top Adding Sleeves

If you have never attempted pattern drafting, I hope that I will inspire you to give it a try. As you can see, it really isn’t that difficult.

You may have noticed that this blouse has a fuller hemline. Just in case you missed calculated and the top is a bit snug in the hips, I came up with a remedy. We’ll talk about this in Monday’s post, so be sure to come back by.

So until Monday, Happy Drafting!!!

Rhonda Buss @ Rhonda’s Creative Life

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About Jill

I write for the Sew News and Creative Machine Embroidery blogs. I love sewing, vintage and would love to get a comment from you!
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5 Responses to Sew-Along Extra – Summer Breeze Top Adding Sleeves

  1. Catherine McLean says:

    Very cool and a great explanation.

  2. Ann Trague says:

    I love this idea. Will be using this a lot!
    Thanks for sharing

  3. I’ve done a little drafting (making a contour waistband), but I haven’t added pleats to anything before. I love seeing this in action, step by step. Very clear and inspiring!

  4. Jill says:

    Rhonda does such nice work. And, I love how it changes up the blouse.

  5. Beryl says:

    Thank you Rhonda for showing how to do different things to this pattern.
    I made the blouse up as per pattern (bar a personal measurement alteration) and loved it!
    Then I made the dress version YOUR method, and loved that too!
    Now I want to put sleeves in the dress….!!

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