One of the more challenging aspects of creating professional looking, wearable garments created with home sewing machines is setting sleeves into the garment. There are a number of ways sleeves can be crated; however, a set-in sleeve is the one that is most commonly used. Set-in sleeves require a bit of skill; although with practice, any sewer using a Janome HD3000 or any standard sewing machine can easily sew the perfect set-in sleeve. All that is required is the machine and a few other sewing machine supplies.

What Is A Set-In Sleeve?

A set-in sleeve is one that is created separately and then sewn to the main body of a garment between the shoulder and armpit areas. With set-in sleeves, the body of the garment is cut in a curve from the shoulder to the armpit and the sleeve is cut at a corresponding curve to fit into that space. Since this type of sleeve involves sewing a curved seam, it can be a bit challenging; however, with good preparation and a few sewing machine supplies, anyone can easily create a set-in sleeve.

Mark the Fabric

One important part of getting the proper seam is by transferring pattern marks from the pattern to the fabric. Pattern marks,which are located at the top of the sleeve cap and a few other places around the curve of the seam, should be marked or notched into the fabric. They provide an essential way to match fabric pieces so the sleeve seam can be sewn together accurately.

Use An Ease Stitch

Using an ease stitch is another essential step in creating a good seam on a set-in sleeve and should not be skipped. Simply sew a straight basting stitch around the cap of the sleeve from the sleeve notch on one side around to the sleeve notch on the other side, then add a second row of stitching a 1/4 inch inside the original row. These threads can be gently pulled to remove the excess fabric on the sleeve so the sleeve cap on the sleeve will fit perfectly into the armhole on the body of the garment.

Ease and Pin the Sleeve

Once the basting stitches have been sewn, ease the sleeve into the fabric so the sleeve cap fits the armhole. Pull the ease threads and gently push the fabric closer together to compress the material in the sleeve cap. Then match the various sleeve markings to those on the body, pin them together, and ease the cap to fit the armhole opening without any folds or overlaps. Pull both threads to ease the entire width of the seam that will be sewn, pinning both rows to keep things secure.

Sew the Sleeve

Once the sleeve cap has been eased and the sleeve has been pinned to the armhole opening, it is time to begin the sewing process. Keep in mind that the goal when sewing set-in sleeves is to gather the fabric together without creating overlaps or fabric folds. Once sewn, this will create a neat, set-in sleeve seam.

Like most other aspects of making clothing and other items, a set-in sleeve takes a bit of practice. In time, anyone using <Janome HD3000 machines or other kinds of sewing machines can understand how to ease and seam correctly to create the perfect appearance. Set-in sleeves give any shirt or blouse a professionally sewn look as well as a tailored, more fitted appearance. With the right <sewing machine supplies and a little patience, a set-in sleeve is a sewing skill that any sewer can master!

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