Tuesday, August 14, 2012

More about those sleeves

I've spent two evenings drawing lines and measuring them, and comparing the V8804 sleeve to the pattern for a jacket sleeve I like.  It's the one from V2770.  You'll have to believe me that it has a really nice curved shape.  I thought it was possibly too narrow when I first made it, but it's perfectly comfortable.

So here are some pictures.  First up, to the right, is the pattern for the V8804 sleeve.  I've drawn the seam lines on the pattern (in orange) and pinned the pieces so they are oriented correctly at the biceps level.  I also shortened the sleeve because I have short arms.  I haven't tried to true it up afterwards.  

The weirdness of the sleeve is caused by the exaggerated curve of the front sleeve piece no. 12, and both pieces along the centre seam.  When these seams are sewn the sleeve does not follow the shape of a person's arm when it is at rest.  Look at your arm when it's at rest and your hands are at your side.  The profile when seen from the front is more or less straight, or curves away from the hip.


Have a look at this croquis.  It's exaggerated but makes my point.  Your arm only curves inward toward your hip if you're posing with your elbow out.  This sleeve wants to curve that way all the time.

Incidentally, I realized that I have the incorrect piece no. 14 which has apparently been corrected by Vogue in later printings. My piece is not graded for the  different sizes and I gather it's the size 14.  It's longer by about .5cm than it should be.  No big deal, in the greater scheme of things.

The sleeve from V2770 can be seen to the right, and to the left I've put V8804 on top, more or less matching it at the underarm point.

The 8804 sleeve is approximately 4cm wider at the bicep.

The sleeve caps measure almost exactly the same along the seam line.  The 8804 sleeve is designed with slightly less ease (4cm) as compared to the 2770 sleeve (5cm).  However, the 8804 sleeve seems to me to need less ease because it also incorporates that curved seam down the middle.  This makes room for the shoulder and arm.  I think the 8804 sleeve cap could be improved by being narrower.

I was surprised that the two sleeves are more or less the same height at the cap.  Based on how they look and feel I expected the 2770 to be higher and a lot narrower than it is.

I'm not a pattern maker and will be feeling my way towards redrafting the sleeve.  I foresee lots more boring muslin sewing in my future.  Any ideas you have will be appreciated!


  1. I have both of these patterns, and have not used either, so this is a very interesting post for me. Why are you going to redraft the sleeve and not just use the 2770 sleeve in your 8804 jacket?

    I have a Chanel jacket in planning stages, but still have not settled on a pattern, so I will be following your progress with interest.

  2. Is the V2770 drafted to be most comfortable when walking around, and the V8804 drafted to be most comfortable sitting at a computer?

  3. I agree with katherine, I would use the 2770 sleeve you like and copy the 2770 armhole (belonging to the sleeve you like) onto the 8804 jacket.

  4. Tedious, plodding work... but worth it in the end! It's why/how you turn out the quality garments you do!
    Cheering from the sidelines,

  5. I understand that the idea of the 2 piece sleeve is to give you the vent on top, but if it fits so badly I'd use the sleeve that fits well and work on altering that for a three piece effect, or just forgoing the three piece look and go with the sleeve that fits, and it fits you really well.

    1. Ruminating on it last night, I decided to compare one more sleeve pattern from another Vogue pattern, and then modify one of the more standard 2 piece sleeves that fits so that it has the top seam and vent.

  6. Kay, if your interested, here's the address to Debra Martin's blog, Sew What describing how she drafted a 3 piece sleeve from a 2 piece sleeve.
    She's using the V8259 pattern which also has a 3 piece sleeve, but wanted to draft a sleeve from a custom 2 piece sleeve she already has.

    Also from the SG forum all about V8804, Claire Shaeffer herself chimes in with this interesting note pertaining to sleeves;

    ‘Sleeves/grain—I’ve only seen a few sleeves with the bias front. This is a garment bias—not true (45◦) bias. Most have a bias undersleeve; the amount of the bias varies. I think this relates to the pitch of the arm -- the way the individual holds her arms. English author Natalie Bray has a short section on this in Dress Fitting. Savile Row tailors are the experts on pitch. The grain on the undersleeve should hang perpendicular to the floor.’

    Her entire post can be read here, scrolling about 2/3 the way down the page;

    The originally ungraded (from size 14) piece for the sleeve is discussed in this topic as well, and those who haven't seen it will enjoy the Ann Rowley link to her step by step tutorial, in picture form, of this jacket.

  7. this may be way off base, but I wonder if the pattern graders were accounting for what's known as "carrying angle" in our elbows. Some of us have much more of it than others.

    At any rate, it will be fascinating to follow your progress!

  8. Kay, I'm very glad you are posting your findings. My muslin sleeves looked like the old leg-o-mutton variety. There were also other fitting issues, and two of the pattern pieces in my pattern were not graded. I don't feel up to wrestling with this particular pattern, so I'm opting for the old Chanel-inspired Basic Vogue that I've made before, and I'll use Claire's instructions and Ann Rowley's tute for the construction.

    I'll be following your journey with much interest!

  9. Your analysis of the variant in the sleeves is extremely helpful in explaining analogous issues I've faced in drafting sleeves for plus size shirts and blouses. I spent a lot of time wrestling with redrawing and making muslins before throwing out several efforts. Thanks very much for sharing your thoughts and pictures. I look forward to trying some new amendments utilizing your assessment.