Tomoko Nakamichi,- sleeve with gathered hole.

Now that the trunk and collar parts of the dress are finished, I am moving on to the sleeves. Nakamichi definitely has become the theme in the top part of this dress. I have therefore decided to continue on the same path.

On page 36 in Tomoko Nakamichi’s “Pattern Magic” is a fun sleeve that will be suitable for this project. It reminds me of summer and a little “fresh breeze”, both feminine and delicate. It was not the first thing I noticed in the book, but as I have studied it numerous times, I discovered it all of a sudden.

In the book Nakamichi warnes readers, that it is necessary to consider the fabric in use when constructing the “hole” in the sleeve. I am using a tulle material as top layer in the skirt of the dress. I therefore decided that it would be appropriate to repeat this in the sleeves too. It is a”fine” material that will ruffle well. I can therefore make my “hole” relatively large without making it bulky.  


The first step is to construct a basic sleeve. For this I have used “How to make sewing patterns by Donald H. McCunn( 2009).  I wanted the sleeves to be short,  I therefore proceeded to adjust my pattern.  Because my sleeve is short, it seems wider than the long sleeve version in the book.

In the next step the “hole” in the sleeve is centered between the “biceps line” and the “sleeve cap”. Measure the distance between the “biceps line” and the “sleeve cap”. Subtract the diameter of the “hole” (5cm/ 2 inches) and divide your number by two. This gives the position of the “hole”.

Make a horizontal line 2.5 cm (1 inch) bellow the biceps line. This is the starting point when you extend the sleeve cap area; it is done twice (steps 2 and3). Both times the center top of the sleeve cap is extended by 5 cm/ 2 inches, the width of the sleeve is also doubled.

Then the old “sleeve cap” is cut in two and brought out to the extended top of the “sleeve cap” (I forgot to take a photo of this step).  But this photo shows me copying the shape of the origional sleeve cap and cutting it in two. I used this when I extended the sleeve cap, bringing it out to my extended sleeve cap.

Then red lines are drawn in. These symbolize cutting lines that are necessary when opening out the pattern, extending the size of the “sleeve hole”.

To solve this, I drew a new line (free hand)for the top of the sleeve cap that resembled the one in the illustration.

The two last steps in Nakamichu’s instructions puzzled me.  In real life, the paper pattern does not fold out nicely. In fact, mine did not resemble the illustration in the book at all. Look at the photo, left! It is almost hard to believe that this can be the same sleeve. The next photo shows the same sleeve as I bring it back together.

To solve this problem, I drew a new sleeve cap by free hand. Making it resemble the illustration in the book. Photo left shows the final shape of my sleeve and pattern.

Now we can finally see how the “hole” is formed as the seam lines are brought together. After sewing these, I finally have a more “normal looking” sleeve.  



Here is the sleeve after I have added bias to the “hole” and bottom of sleeve.


I made ties from fabric strips, and inserted it into the opening of the bias in the “hole”. To go under the “tule” sleeve I also made a small “under sleeve” from the “bodice fabric”,  covering only the sholder area. The sleeve is finished!!!!



About sewingforfun

Have four children, am a nurse. Am presently at home during the days. Have been sewing since I was little, and I enjoy it.
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