Sunday, 2 September 2012

Check The Sleeves

Finally, onto the sleeves and just a quick word about matching the horizontal stripes of the check/plaid or tartan across sleeves and jacket body.

This diagram explains it all - lapels, pocket flaps, centre closure and sleeves.

You gotta check out the comments on the cutterandtailor link - keep scrolling past the pictures - you thought I was being fussy! 

There are two main accepted methods of ensuring a match of the horizontal lines on the sleeves and I think it's down to personal preference rather than a right or wrong. There is only a match at the front as the back sleeve is streamed stretched at the elbow for a better fit and the sleeve insertion at the armhole pulls the sleeve forward.

sewing scholar

Method 1  - Perfect cutting out. Lay out all pattern pieces so that the notches and marks are positioned at the same check point on the fabric. This should ensure that all the top seams finish at the same point.

Most advice I read recommends not cutting the sleeves out at all until the jacket body is complete. There is undoubtedly a bit of shifting in the fabric as you sew and make adjustments for fit as you go along so that the checks shift accordingly.

I've used this method for other patterns but I was a big scardy chicken in this instance. Fabric was limited, no more in stock, I couldn't afford to take a chance, nor did I want a sleeveless hacking jacket - it just doesn't look right.

Method 2 - Mock sleeve
Make a muslin sleeve and insert it perfectly, as if it was the real thing. Check the fit. Turn the jacket right way out and with your colouring-in pens draw some horizontal lines across the mock sleeve that match the jacket front. I used the horizontal pink ones and took great joy in using a pink pen too.

I had to put a little 'R' on mine  - that's R for right hand side!

I think my brain is giving up :/

Rip out the mock sleeve, press and use this as your pattern piece on the checked fabric. Positioning the coloured lines on the horizontal lines of the fabric.

As with the whole jacket, I cut one at a time. Cut one, flipped it, positioned it exactly on the checks, chalked around it and cut.

And at last.....

I am getting a little fed up with checks and stripes and plaids. I've become too caught up in the matching game that big things like fit have taken a back seat. So much so that the back seam had to be ripped out and re-sewn for a better fit across my shoulders.

I'm quite happy with the match-matchy thing and have followed (tried to) all the rules those men's tailors insist upon.

Don't tell those boys over at cutterandtailor - they'll be bound to find a fault somewhere

Onward to a nice, simple, plain lining.


  1. Gosh that jacket is looking fabulous - this is a real labour of love - thanks for the tips very useful (when I get around to doing check jackets)
    look forward to seeing the jacket on you.

  2. The checks line up beautifully - you are a very, very patient sewer! Can't wait to see you wearing it...

  3. Looks great. You must have the patience of Job! Final pictures awaited with anticipation!

  4. You must be very excited and proud the project is near completion. Can't wait for the pics!

  5. Ladies, I thank you for your encouragement. Sorry I'm late in replying. I'm trying to complete it, really I am.