The pattern of a shirt sleeve

After drawing your made-to-measure shirt bust pattern, you can proceed to sleeve pattern. Unlike conventional sleeve, the sleeve head is flatter as it does not include fullness,

To build the sleeve pattern, you need 3 measurements:

  • front and back armhole measurement (from the pattern of the bust)
  • the length of your arm
  • the width of your sleeve on the wrist (depending on the desired width and the desired number of pleats)

Let’s start with the sleeve head (Figure 1):

1. Draw a vertical line AI representing the center of sleeve
AI = arm length – the height of cuff (usually 5 cm) – the amount of shoulder length given for garment (1.25 cm in our example, but this value may be higher)
2. Draw AB = ¼ armhole measurement + 1 cm
3. From B draw a perpendicular line at center of sleeve
4. From point A, draw AC = back armhole – 0.5 cm
5. AD = front armhole – 0.5 cm
6. Place the intermediate points: AG = GH = HC = 1/3 AC and AE = EF = FD = 1/3 AD
7. Move up E 1cm to E’ and move up G 1.5 cm to G’
8. Draw the shape of sleeve cap CHG’AE’FD with a parrot
9. Check that CHG’AE’FD = armhole measurement, otherwise adjust by adding on both sides of CD

Your sleeve head thus constructed, you can now finalize the bottom of the sleeve (Figure 2)
2 EN

  1. From I, draw a perpendicular line to center of sleev, KJ = width of the sleeve on the wrist + the amount of sleeve pleats
  2. Join CK and DJ
  3. Draw IL = ½ KI and IM = ½ IJ
  4. Move up M 0.5 cm, drop K and J 0.25 cm and L 1 cm
  5. From L, draw the button placket 8 cm long, parallel to straight grain
  6. On both sides of line L, draw a tab with a width of 2.5cm
  7. Place the first pleat at the middle of sleeve
  8. The 2nd and 3rd pleat are on both slides of L
  9. Close pleats towards the opening of the sleeve and retrace the bottom of sleeve

This method comes from the ESMOD book “Become a pattern drafter: women’s garments, Volume 1” which I find quite clear and simple to follow. What do you think? Do you have the patience to wait the next tutorials (cuffs and collar)?


3 thoughts on “The pattern of a shirt sleeve”

    • The sleeve cap curve passes through H and F so no depth in these points

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