Tutorials

How to Sew Set In Sleeves (the harder way)

Set-in sleeves are kind of tricky, and there is an easier method.

shrug by SmarmyClothes.com

This method is still good to know, because you might find yourself in a situation where you want to modify/add sleeves to a top that already has the side seams sewn up, or doesn’t have side seams.

Difficulty:

03moderate

Step 1

Here we go. We’re starting with the side and shoulders seams already sewn, so we have a basic sleeveless top. The sleeves have also been sewn up and cuffed.

You can ignore the hood in the bottom right hand corner. That’s for later.


Step 1
Step 1


Step 2

This is each sleeve folded in half.

Mark the folded edge at the longest point with a pin(red dots), and the shortest edge (green dots).

The green dots will wind up in the armpit area and the red dots at the shoulder.


Step 2
Step 2



Step 3

The corresponding points on the top have been marked with the colored dots. The shoulders in red and the armpits in green.


Step 3
Step 3


Step 4

Turn the top inside out.

Keep the sleeves right side out, and insert them cuff-end first into the arm holes.

Match up the armpits and the shoulders.


Step 4
Step 4


Step 5

Here’s a sleeve inside the shirt with the edges lined up with the armhole.

Pin around the armhole- you may have to “ease” the sleeve into the armhole a bit, which means stretching it to fit.


Step 5
Step 5


Step 6

Sew around the edge, following your pins. Make sure both layers are kept flat as you sew over them. The body of the shirt likes to bunch up as you’re sewing sometimes.


Step 6
Step 6


Step 7

Here’s the edge after being sewn together, with the sleeve still inside the top.


Step 7
Step 7


Step 8

Turn the shirt right side out again. Woo!


Step 8
Step 8


8 thoughts on “How to Sew Set In Sleeves (the harder way)

  1. Thank you for this great tutorial! I was just not understanding the pattern (I thought I was a more advanced sewer than I apparently am) and this really helped!

    1. It took attaching about 100 sleeves before I could do it without pinning the sleeves inside out or something silly like that! It’s just an odd place to sew!

  2. Thank you so much for the simple and easy to follow instructions; I was attaching white sleeves to a blue sweatshirt for the pokemon costume I’m working on and I just couldn’t picture how to set the sleeves for sewing 🙂
    Much appreciated!

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