How To Draft A Basic Sleeve Block


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How to draft a basic sleeve block
1. Introduction.

In today’s post, you will learn how to draft a basic sleeve block to go with for the basic bodice block (without darts) that you learnt in my last post. To read the post on how to draft the basic bodice block, click here I also have the youtube video for the bodice block making tutorial here.

I used the method I will be illustrating in this post, to draft the sleeve pattern shown above in the photo.

How to draft a basic sleeve block

As we will be using fractions and decimals interchangeably. I have provided the Fractions Into Decimals Conversion Table as a link to download free for your own use. I also have a printable pdf tutorial manual for the bodice block drafting as well as for this sleeve block drafting. If you prefer to use printed handouts when drafting, I have provided the link to download the bodice block tutorial manual here and the sleeve block tutorial manual here, for token amounts.

This basic sleeve block we will be drafting today can be adapted to create so many different sleeves pattern designs and I will be illustrating how to adapt this block to different designs in future posts. Sign in to my newsletter so you never miss any update.

2. The Measurements Needed For Drafting The Basic Sleeve Block

A. Arm length.

B. Hand circumference.

C. Bust circumference.

3. Example measurements:

A. Arm length = 24 inches.

B.Hand circumference = 9 inches.

C.Bust circumference = 37 inches.

4. Calculated measurements formula:
A. Hight of sleeve crown.

There are two possible methods to calculate this. First method: 1/10 of bust circumference + 1.25 inches (1 ¼ inches).

Second method: ¼ of total armhole measurement = total armhole measurement / 4.

The result from the above two methods will give you about a medium crown height.

Note: for a higher crown you can add 1 ½ to 2 ¼ inches to the result you get from the above calculations.  For a lower crown you can reduce the result you receive from the above measurement by 1 ½ to 2 ¼ inches. But in this video/post we are working with a medium height crown.

Also, I have found the method using bust circumference / 10 + 1 ¼ inches to work well and gives the best result. So, I will be using that in this video/post.

B. Width of sleeve:

1/5 of bust circumference times 2 = bust circumference / 5 times

Calculated measurements example:

A. Hight of sleeve crown: 1/10 of bust circumference + 1.25 inches (1 ¼ inches).

B. Width of sleeve: 1/5 of bust circumference times 2 = bust circumference / 5 times 2.

5. The drafting process
Step 1:

•Measure a rectangle of paper, length – arm length + 3 inches, width – sleeve width + 3 inches.

•Length of paper: E.g 24 inches + 3 = 27 inches.

•Width of paper: Bust circumference / 5 (plus 0 to 1 inch) times 2) + 3 inches. E.g (37/5= 7.4 times 2 = )14.8 + 3 inches = 17.8 inches. 

Step 2:

•Rule a top line about 1 inch down from the edge of the paper at the top and mark the midpoint of this line as point A.

Step 3:

•Square down from point A, the arm length and mark point B. This is the center line.

Step 4:

•Fold on the center line to divide the paper in two. Label the side facing up as front.

Step 5:

•From point A mark your crown height and mark as point C, using bust circumference (bc) / 10 + 1.25 inches).

•= e.g. 37/10+1.25.

•= e.g. 3.7+1.25.

•= e.g. 4.95.

Step 6:

•From point C measure half your sleeve width and mark as point D.

•Width of sleeve: bust circumference / 5 (plus 0 to 1 inch) times 2 e.g., 37/5= 7.4 times 2 = 14.8.

•½ width of sleeve= 7.4.

*Note you can add to the width of (bust circumference / 5) up to 1 inch as needed before doubling.

In this example I have not added more to the width.

Step 7:

•Take midpoint of C to B – 3/8 inches and mark point E.

Step 8:

•From point B measure and mark half your hand circumference + ¾ inches and mark as point G1.

•Hand circumference = 9 inches.

•9 inches/2 = 4.5.

•4.5 + ¾ inches = 5.25 inches.

Step 9:

Connect from point D to G1

Step 10:

•Square out from point E to the DG1 line and mark F at the intersection point. This EF line is your elbow line.

Step 11:

•From G1 go up 3/8 inches and mark point G. Using your curve ruler shape from G to B in a smooth curve.

Step 12:

•From point F go in 3/8 inches and connect back to points D and G for the sleeve side seam. •Now transfer all the points to the other side of the paper using an Awl or any tool like that.

Step 13:

•Open the paper and label the other side as back. Now mirror everything you have on the front to the back, creating points D F G and G1. Repeat the shaping’s as done on the front.

•The sleeve main body is now complete.

Step 14:

•On the back join A to D and divide this line in three. Mark point A1 and A2 starting from point A. 

Step 15:

•Take midpoint of A2 to D and mark as A3.

Step 16:

•On point A1 go out 1 inch. On point A3 go in ¼ inch.

Step 17:

•Connect from A to D passing through the points in a smooth curve for back sleeve head.

Step 18:

•On the front, join A to D and divide in 4. Starting from point D, mark each section as D1, D2 and D3.

Step 19:

•On point D3 go out 5/8 inches. And on point D1 go in 3/8 inches.

Step 20:

•Connect the points from A to D passing through the points in a smooth curve for the front sleeve head.

How to draft a basic sleeve block
6. Conclusion

•The basic sleeve block is now complete. Go ahead and trace on a fresh piece of paper and apply the seam allowances.

•Suggested seam allowances – 3/8 or 1/2 inch all the way around, sleeve hem ¾ inches.


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