Have I ever mentioned how much I like Simplicity 2406?
In fact, I’ve gone on about it so much that it’s attracted several comments along the lines of ‘how on earth do you do the sleeves?!’ Yes, the instructions aren’t the most helpful, and you need a good dose of sewing intuition to figure it out. I’ve wittered on in replies, not particularly helpfully, as it’s one of those things that’s much easier to see… so, here it is, step by step. To stop this post getting ridiculously long, I’ve assumed some sewing knowledge on the part of the reader – but let me know if I’ve glossed over anything important!
First, sew each front sleeve piece to its corresponding back sleeve piece at the shoulder seam (the shortest seam). My pieces are very slightly different as I’ve played around ith the proportions a little, but it should look something like this:
You’ll need to do this four times – two outer sleeves and two for lining. Remember which bit is which: they can all start looking the same! The outer sleeve and lining should be mirror images, so you can lay the right sides together to sew the next seams.
So here are the outer sleeve and lining sleeve pieces, right sides together (the shoulder seam’s been pressed open). I’ve sewn the next two seams in navy thread – there’s one at the top, which will form part of the neckline, and then one seam running right round the ‘cut-out’ shape in the middle (starting near the bottom, then up and pivoting at the shoulder seam, and back down the other side).
Trim the seams and clip them so that the curve will be smooth later on. Then turn the whole thing the right way out - you need to pull one half through the little gap where that pressed open shoulder seam is (in between the neckline seam and the cut-out seam). Does that make sense? Here it is after pressing:
Right, now we’re going to close up the lower bit of the cut-out shape. Open it up:
…and lay it flat. Pin those two edges together, matching up that seam in the middle (the bottom of the cut-out seam). You’re essentially sewing the front pieces to the back pieces for both the top sleeve and the lining sleeve, in one go.
Press the seam open, and it looks like this:
Looking good! On to Part 2 for the second half…