The Juniper Cardigan Sew Along - Attaching the Sleeves

Friday, June 2, 2017

Attaching the sleeves and forming the saddle shoulder line is the main feature of the Juniper Cardigan. I promise it's not difficult to get a nice curve along the shoulder line, but being able to sit back, relax and take your time with it will make all the difference. Once the sleeves are in, it's pretty much smooth sewing from here on out.

I should mention that this whole sew along is being done on my sewing machine, that's right, you do not need an overlocker to sew with knits (contrary to what you might think!). If you want to know how to sew with knits on your sewing machine, check out my post here for everything you need to know!

You'll need:
  • Either your long or 3/4 Juniper sleeve pieces
  • Bodice pieces - both front and back
  • Sewing machine & thread 
Note: it really doesn't matter which order you attach your sleeves. In the instructions that come with Juniper, the fronts are attached first, but today, I'm showing you the back first.

1. Right sides together, match your back bodice armscye/shoulder line to the back section of your sleeve armscye/shoulder line.

There are multiple notches along this section of the bodice and sleeve to help you line up this seam accurately. Pin in place.

Note: the angle of the notch on the back neckline of the bodice matches to the angle of the corner of the sleeve shoulder - it's just another extra check for you to make sure you have your sleeve matched up correctly.

2. Stitch in place, easing the sleeve in where necessary around the armscye.

When you get to the end of the shoulder line, continue following what would be the shoulder line (the blue line on the photo below), as opposed to pivoting your cardigan down into the neckline. This will ensure you stitch right into the corner of the sleeve. 

3. Finish edges (if you want to), notch curves and press the seam allowance using a tailor's ham or sleeve roll to the sleeve side.

Note: when you press your seam allowances up, this is where it will become apparent why you needed to stitch into the corner of the sleeve by following the 'imaginary' shoulder line. Below, you can see that the seam allowance, once pressed up, will match perfectly to your back neckline, giving you a smooth line to attach your neckband to later on.

4. Repeat the above steps on the front bodice and sleeve armscye - matching notches, easing the sleeve armscye into the bodice armscye and attaching the shoulder with a smooth line.

Note: There is no tricky sleeve corner to stitch into this time!

Repeat the above steps for the second sleeve and you're done. What a pretty shoulder line you have there...

See you next time for some shoulder stabilisation and side seam stitching action.

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