July 12, 2013

Set-In Sleeves Finishing Techniques

I am wondering if there is a debate out in Ravelry land (and I should look) about how to sew sleeves on a sweater.  I think I've talked about this before but I need to re-visit and discuss my thoughts on the process.

I learned to sew before I learned to knit.  When you make sleeves in a sewn garment you sew the sleeve seam first then you set the sleeve into the armhole - that's why they are called set-in sleeves, right?

I have always applied this process for a seamed sweater with set-in sleeves.  However, every now and then I run into instructions which recommend sewing the sleeve cap in then sewing the sleeve seam and under arm and side seam straight down.  I have trouble with this - how are you supposed to adjust the ease of the sleeve into the armhole when you don't have a hole for the arm?

So, I always buck the system and do it MY way which is the sewing way.  Correct me if I'm wrong here as I know I can always learn something new but I have yet to have a sleeve look unfitted.

And while I'm on my soapbox...there is something to be said for careful seaming.  I have two friends who I used to knit with years ago and they would spend a fortune on yarn and would knit gorgeous pieces.  Then they'd slap the sweater together with poor seaming and it would look like hell.  Why waste the time and money to knit a gorgeous sweater and not finish it properly?  It would kill me.  I attribute my finished sweaters to my sewing knowledge...maybe more people should sew before they seam a sweater...or knit seamless.


Kristen said...

I've always sewn the sleeve cap into the arm scythe, then sew the sleeve and side body seams, I didn't know there was any other way! I agree with you about finishing, it's so important to do it well, however you put the sleeve in.

Lorette said...

I usually put the sleeve in then sew the side and sleeve seams. As long as you have the sleeve bits centered where they are supposed to be, it gets eased in like it should. I use those big clips to pin it all together and use a million of them so I stay on track.