Friday, November 3, 2017

Modified Coat Sleeve Hack

I'm using the Laughing Moon #111 Ladies' Early 1860's Day Dress pattern as my base, which comes with a pagoda sleeve and a coat sleeve option.  I cut the coat sleeve pattern out in my size and used it as my jumping off point for a modified coat sleeve similar to this dress:
From The John Bright Collection
Be sure to click on the link for the original image page--it has a fantastic zoom function and some additional images that were absolutely vital to my noodling this process out into reality!

Lunch break proof of concept before cutting the real thing.

So the coat sleeve pattern in my size measures about 18" down the front of the arm, including seam allowances.  I measured around my wrist to find what the bottom circumference of the sleeve should be so that it would be relatively snug but still have room to slip my hand through without having to make a placket.  I came up with 9.5", then divided that in half and added 5/8" onto each edge (9.5/2 + 1.25) which gave me 6"--so each piece had to be cut six inches wide at the wrist edge.  The original sleeve front tapers a bit at the wrist, which would be easy to do--just make sure your overall circumference stays large enough for your hand.  I cut the front of the sleeve as one rectangle 6" wide and 18" long.

Sleeve pattern traced and marked where I plan to slash it.

The back of the sleeve is set smoothly to the front along the inside seam--the one that sits closest to the body when the sleeve hangs naturally from the shoulder.  So that side of the sleeve needs to be the same length as my sleeve front. 
How to add extra fullness and outside width.  Outside edge is on the right.

Traced and cut
The outside edge needs extra length to account for the pleating, so I used my base coat sleeve pattern and slashed+spread it to add extra along the outside seam, then spread it horizontally as well so that it could be pleated into the armscye.  (I traced my original pattern piece onto sturdier pattern material because I hate working with tissue.)

Pleated along one edge, smooth on the other.
Make sure you have a left and a right!  Nothing worse than realizing you've made two left sleeves...


The front piece is piped along both edges.  Then the back piece is attached along the inside edge, pleated to fit the outside edge, and sewn up into a tube.

Don't you sew in your pajamas?

Turn it right side out, et voila!  Finish the wrist edge however you like (I piped mine and finished it with a cuff) and set into your bodice as normal, pleating to fit the armscye as needed.  Congratulations; you've made an awesome modified coat sleeve!


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