This is the third in a group of posts about making a cut-on sleeve top.
The first was about the pattern,
and the second about getting the pattern to fit well and look right for you.
This final post is about making the top.
This post originally had two sections, on making the top, and on varying the style.
I made so many additions to the ‘Variations’ section, and referred to it from so many other posts, that I decided to separate it off. That separate part has itself expanded into 3 sections, which start here : Variations A.
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MAKING your cut-on sleeve top
Any commercial pattern for one of these cut-on sleeve tops will describe the basic construction steps.
Several also have a photo sew-along or video.
Here are some of them. These patterns are mostly very similar, so any sew-along may help with any pattern. I haven’t looked at them, so no guarantee, though they are all from well known names. Two ways of finishing the neckline edge. See later for more advice on making a good bias strip facing.
Sew DIY Lou (bias tape facing)
Sew Girl Hilda (true facing)
Muna & Broad Torrens (true facing)
Sew Liberated Strata (bias tape facing)
There are two problem areas for less experienced sewists, the two areas of curves :
The cut edge is shorter than the stitching line, so fabric bunches up when the garment is turned right side out.
See notes in sleeves and armholes post – strengthen the stitching and clip the seam allowances to release the edge. But clipping a curved open plain seam can leave messy little bits of seam allowance, particularly after washing.
So you might try curved french seams, which leave no exposed seam allowance.
Or much easier, if you have a serger/ overlocker, the sleeves/ armholes post shows a way of keeping all the little bits under control.
Many beginner top patterns finish the neck edge with a bias strip facing. I don’t find that an easy technique to get a good result. Most instructions give a distorted result. There’s now a post with comments on this : bias strips, binding, facing.
Some people love using a bias strip facing, and easily get a good result. Sadly I’m not one of them. So I often prefer to finish the neckline with a true facing. May look more difficult to make than a bias facing strip but I find it easier to get a flat un-wobbly result.
Sequence of main construction steps
The neckline is best finished before the side/sleeve seams are sewn, so the top can lay flat, which makes the neckline much easier to get at. Keeping both the main fabric and the bias strip flat while finishing the neckline are important for a good result.
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How are you using your cut-on sleeve pattern ?
Are you just interested in it as an easy step on the way to learning how to make more complex styles ? There are many posts here on Intermediate techniques, see the Technique tabs at top of page. And the Learn to Sew tab.
Perhaps cut-on sleeves are not among your favourites. You may not like the fit or the style.
There’s a separate post about moving on to develop a base pattern with separate sleeves and fitted armhole, which you can play around with by making the same variations as suggested for a cut-on sleeve. And more, as you’ll have a sleeve to alter too 👍
Or do you like a cut-on sleeve top as a basic style for you, and would like to make more use of your successful pattern by making variations ?
There are several posts with suggestions for doing that, starting here.
Good Luck, have fun and en-joy exploring the possibilities 😀
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The posts in this group on cut-on sleeve tops are :
1. The pattern.
2A. Reasons to make a test garment.
2B. Making a test garment, and adjusting for fit and preferences.
2C. An example of a changed pattern, plus how to revise your pattern.
3. Making a cut-on sleeve top.
The third post initially included a section making variations. Then that section was separated off. That too became very long so has now been divided in three sections. And the suggestions are no longer limited just to changing cut-on sleeve tops.
Variations A. Change style elements.
Variations B. Pullover top to jacket/ shirt.
Variations C. Using textile skills.
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