Robson Coat Sew Along Sleeves

Thank you for joining in to the Robson Coat Sew Along. I’ve gotten many comments asking if it’s too late to join in and no it is not! We’ve got plenty of time, so I do hope all those thinking about it will join in. You can always catch up later, and some folks don’t finish in the weeks that we have set out but more at their leisure. I will monitor the boards for later comers for  anyone needing assistance or having questions. So, please join in! This post is all about sleeves, a slight jog from the schedule but important.

1501 Sewaholic Robson square 600 Robson Coat Sew Along Sleeves

Now let’s get to Rhonda. She has extra tips and techniques planned for you and the Robson coat

The Sewaholic Robson Trench Coat Sew Along Week 1

Before we get started with our coats, I would like to talk about the sleeve. There is not a lot of ease in the sleeve cap of this pattern which results in a rather flat look at the shoulder. For some it may pose a problem in that it will not give your arm the room that you need for the coat to fit well and the garment will pull.

photo 4 Robson Coat Sew Along SleevesAdjusting the sleeve is quite easy when you know what to do. Begin by cutting out the sleeve pattern. The sleeve for the Robson Trench is a 2-piece sleeve. Please don’t allow this to intimidate you. The sleeve is very easy to sew together, just be sure to mark all of the notches.

Draw in the seam allowance on the back seams of the sleeve patterns. I have only drawn in the seam allowance to the notches.

photo 5 Robson Coat Sew Along SleevesOverlap the seam allowances and pin together.

photo 6 Robson Coat Sew Along SleevesSquare a line across the cap, starting at the notch as you see in the picture below.

photo 7 Robson Coat Sew Along SleevesCut the top of the sleeve cap away from the lower portion of the sleeve. Take a piece of paper, draw in a vertical line. Match that vertical line to the grainline in the pattern and tape the paper to the pattern piece. Draw a line 1″ above the pattern. We could add a little extra ease, but 1″ should be plenty.

photo 8 Robson Coat Sew Along SleevesNow take the sleeve cap and match the remaining portion of the grainline to the vertical line and also match the cut edge of the cap to the line that was drawn in 1″ up from the lower portion of the sleeve. Tape in place.

photo 9 Robson Coat Sew Along SleevesBecause we moved the cap, the seam lines will no longer match. Blend the seam lines together as I have shown in the picture below. A little will come off of the cap and a little will be added to the lower portion of the sleeve.

photo 10a Robson Coat Sew Along SleevesCarefully separate the 2 sleeve patterns from each other. Notice that the seam allowance is missing on both pieces where we made the 10c Robson Coat Sew Along Sleeves

If you would like, you may tape a small piece of paper into the seam allowance area. The adjustment is complete.


photo 10d Robson Coat Sew Along SleevesAs for sewing the sleeve into the garment, there are a few schools of thought on the subject. Rather than explain the different methods, I am going to show you how I sew in my sleeves. I was taught by an old German tailor who was quite particular. It works, and I’m happy with the method, so I’ll pass it on to you.

Begin by sewing the sleeve together. Then sew 2 rows of gathering stitches into the cap of the sleeve, from the front notches to the back notches. I sew the first row about 1/4″ away from the edge of the sleeve cap and the other just inside the 5/8″ mark. I prefer to not take the stitches out, so that’s why I sew the second line just inside my 10 Robson Coat Sew Along Sleeves

Before I match the sleeve to the armhole, I draw up my gathering stitches and begin to form the head of the sleeve. Notice that the fullness is being directed to the edge of the cap. Be sure to pull on the bobbin stitches and not the top stitches.

photo 11 Robson Coat Sew Along SleevesMatch the sleeve to the armhole, making sure that the notches are all aligned. Pin the sleeve in place. Adjust the gathering stitches.

photo 12 Robson Coat Sew Along SleevesI sew the sleeve in place by sewing inside the armhole. I like to be able to see the gathering stitches and make adjustments as I go.

photo 13 Robson Coat Sew Along SleevesHere is the original sleeve for comparison.

photo 14 Robson Coat Sew Along SleevesAnd here is the adjusted sleeve. You can see that the sleeve cap has more room and doesn’t collapse against the top of the arm.

photo 15 Robson Coat Sew Along SleevesAs always, I suggest making a muslin of the coat before you cut your fashion fabric. It’s best to make adjustments to the muslin and not your fashion fabric.

Check out the video for more quick tips.
In our next post, we will talk about

  1.  Sewing princess line seams
  2.  Attaching the seam binding
  3.  Topstitching

We will have another special post dedicated to sewing the pockets.

Until then….

Sew On!!!

Rhonda Buss

 Robson Coat Sew Along Sleeves

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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6 Responses to Robson Coat Sew Along Sleeves

  1. lyric says:

    Not sure if this is closed because of the SAL being over but I am having big issues with setting in my sleeves.

    Can someone help me please? Detailed what’s are over at my site as it is too much to try and explain here.

    Thank you in advance for any assistance as I do not want to scrap this project. I can’t afford to.



  2. Rhonda Buss says:

    In response to Trina Crowe, I purchased that fabric some time ago from a shop that is no longer in business. It really was quite special, but I’m afraid that it longer exists. So sorry.
    In response to Lyric, no changes need to be made to the armhole on the pattern. There is very little ease in the original sleeve pattern and we are creating the ease that really needs to be there.

  3. Trina Crowe says:

    I was drawn to the Robson’s Coat from the picture of it in the current Sew News Magazine. I love the design. I absolutely love
    the fabric used for the coat featured in the magazine article. I want to make one using this fabric. So far, I have not been able to find it. I
    would really, really, appreciate it if you could give the shop or website where I can purchase this fabric?

  4. Lyric says:

    Would not adding 1″ to the sleeve cap make a need for a larger armscyce opening in the jacket? Or, does the gathering take up the difference or something to that effect?

    Thank you in advance for any reply.



    • Jill says:

      Good question. I’m going to give this to Rhonda, because sleeves have always been tricky for me. Hold on!