Monday, January 10, 2011

TUTORIAL: How to Add Sleeves to your Tank Top/ Singlet

Alright kiddys, bare with me, this is my first ever post and tutorial.
youre going to need:
-tank top
-jersey knit/ t shirt material
-seam ripper
-fabric and paper scissors
-sewing machine
-matching thread
-measuring tape/ruler
-sewing pins

This is the tank top I am working with today



Step 1 -  Now, if your sleeves have seam bindings, go ahead and unpick them off or unpick any hems on the sleeve.

Step 2 - Now get a piece of paper and marker. Lay your tank top flat and trace the curve of the sleeve onto the paper.Then draw another curve 1cm/ ½ inch to the right of the first curve.  Make a mark at the armpit end of the curve for later reference ( I have put a line)

Step 3 - Now measure on yourself from where the sleeve/arm hole of the tank top starts on your shoulder, down your arm to where you want your sleeve to end. Mine is 12 inches then add 1cm/ ½ inch for seam allowance. Now transfer this measurement to your paper. Draw a straight line across starting from the top of your curve across. Your measurement starts from the second curve.
Step 4 - At the point where you want your sleeve to end, measure around your arm, then divide this measurement by 2 plus 1cm/ ½ inch of ease plus another 1cm/ ½ inch for seam allowance. My arm was 9 inches around, half is 4.5 inches, plus ½ inch for ease and another ½ inch for seam allowance = 5 ½ inches. Transfer this measurement to your paper starting from the right end of the last line you drew (the length of your sleeve) and draw your lines straight down. If you don’t want your sleeve to be skin tight, add a few more inches to your “ease” in your calculation.
Hopefully I haven’t confused you by now. But just to finish off your pattern. Join the open gap of your pattern closed with a straight line starting from the bottom of your curve to the bottom of the last line you drew (for the cuff)

Step 5 - Now its time for fabric! I’m using a jersey knit/ T-shirt material. Fold your fabric in half and lay your pattern down with the top edge along the fold. Pin your pattern down to the fabric.

Step 6 - Now cut out your fabric. DO NOT cut the fold! Do this twice so you have 2 sleeves.

Step 7 -  If you fold open your fabric it should look like this. Now fold it back in half with the right sides together.

Step 8 - Pin along the edge and sew with a 1cm/ ½ inch seam allowance in a zigzag stitch. Sew from the cuff to the curve (armpit). When you get about an inch from the bottom of the curve, sew off the fabric (see red dots). If you are wondering where your curve ends. Refer to your pattern where I told you to make that line/marking at the bottom of your curve. This is the point where your seam should stop. 
the red dots are where you should sew and the yellow are just my pins

Step 9 - This is a picture of the cuff. Trim off about ½ cm/ ¼ inch of the seam and 2cm/ 1 inch long.

Step10 -Your sleeves should still be inside out. Now hem the cuff, folding the edge towards you 1cm/ ½ inch and pin. Sew all the way around the cuff with a zigzag stitch and 1cm/ ½ inch seam allowance.

This is what you should now have. 2 sleeves with the cuffs hemmed.

Step 11 -  Now turn your sleeves RIGHT side out and your tank top INSIDE OUT. Put your sleeve inside of the tank so the right sides are facing. Pin the curved end of your sleeve to the arm hole of the tank top. Making sure the sleeve’s seam is at the bottom and is matched to the side seam of the tank top. Pin all the way around and sew with a zigzag stitch and 1cm/ ½ inch seam allowance.


Love to know what you think and if you use this tutorial or have any questions, please leave a comment.

xox Rach

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