Sewing Set-In Sleeves While Sewing a Garment
A set-in sleeve is sewn into a garment after the shoulder seams and side seams have been sewn. You'll be fitting a curved sleeve into a flatter area, which allows the sleeve to curve over your shoulder and fall down your arm. This requires easing, a process of bringing the two edges of fabric together without any puckers or gathers.
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Pin the sleeve into the armscye (armhole). You want to hit all the main points before you begin the easing process. So pin,
- The top of the sleeve cap to match the shoulder seam. Make sure to pin your shoulder seam flaps down so those stay open.
- The side seam to the sleeve seam, lining up the seams so you get a nice tidy line.
- The notches.
Then, pull on the bobbin threads of your basting stitches to ease the rest of the sleeve into the armscye. When you're done pinning, you'll see a bit of wobbliness on the sleeve side. That's good, as long as you don't have folds in your fabric that you'll be stitching over.