I have often been inspired by outfits worn by "The Glamourai", and many of my favorites include pieces with shoulder cut outs. I was so inspired that I drafted a pattern for a top with this detail on the sleeves (will post the result whenever I actually get to making it)...since I didn't have time to actually make a whole shirt I decided to take one I already owned (actually I had made it a few years ago) and re-vamp it.
This project was quite simple and took under an hour to complete
Materials and Supplies
- Blouse (woven material, raglan or set sleeve will work)
-Thread to match
-Scrap fabric of a similar weight or lighter that matches
-Small pieces of lightweight fusible interfacing (I used a non-woven)
-Pencil or Tailors Chalk
-Ironing board (and sleeve roll if possible)
1. Try on the blouse and use pins to mark where you want the slit to start and end on one sleeve.
2. Remove the blouse and use the first sleeve as a guide to mark the start and end points on the second sleeve (I did this with a combination of folding and lining the 2 sleeves up and measuring some distances)
3. Take your ruler and draw a straight line between the 2 points on each sleeve, you can now remove the pins. Write down the measurement while you're at it because you will need it in the next few steps.
4. Cut 2 rectangular pieces out of your scrap fabric (Cutting them on the bias will give you the best results). You want the pieces to measure the length of the slit plus 5cm (2") by the width of the slit (which needs to be at least 1cm (3/8") wide) plus 5cm (2"). Cut out 2 pieces of interfacing just slightly smaller than your fabric (if using a woven interfacing the results will also be best if cut on the bias).
5. Fuse an interfacing piece onto each piece of fabric onto the wrong side of the fabric.
6. Draw a line in the center of the interfacing the same length as your slit (measurement from step #3). Use this as a guide while drawing your slit. I made my slit just over 1 cm wide. Try to make it as symetrical as possible. On this step you have lots of freedom...want a wider opening...draw a wider slit...want more of a tear drop..round off one of the ends...want a circle..by all means make a circle (this would work best on a raglan sleeve (or sleeve with no shoulder seam) right on the cap of the shoulder...check out this top for reference). Copy your slit design onto both pieces of fabric/interfacing. (If your design is not symetrical on purpose be sure to mirror image it for the opposite sleeve)
7. Take your fabric/interfacing piece and lay it on the blouse sleeve so that the right sides of the fabric are facing each other, line it up so that your center line on your slit drawing matches up with the line you drew on the sleeve. Pin the fabric to the sleeve...pin generously. For this step I put a book inside the sleeve so that I didn't end up pinning through the bottom of the sleeve, this will also help keep everything nice and flat.
After this step I tried on the blouse again to make sure I liked the placement of the slit.
8. Sew around your slit design using a small stitch length. In the corners I used stitch lenth 1, and for the rest I used 1.5.
9. Cut open the slit by cutting along the center line, make sure NOT to catch any extra fabric while you cut!!!
If you did a wider design, you will want to trim back the opening so that there is about a 6mm (1/4") seam allowance left.
My horrible drawing trying to show you how to cut a wider design...the inside lines are cutting lines...the outer lines are the stitch lines.
10. Clip any curved edges...you want to clip quite close to the stitch line without cutting through it.
This will help everything lay flat in the end.
11. Pull your fabric/interfacing piece through the hole so it is now on the inside of the sleeve. Pull everything tight and press your slit flat (or as flat as you can get it...mines not perfect I will admit)
12. From the right side of the fabric sew (top stitch) around the opening close to the edge. (Try to have your stitches straighter than mine...I'm trying to get used to my new sewing machine...my new one doesn't have stitch guides on the presser foot like my old one did....excuses excuses)
13. Cut away the excess fabric/interfacing pieces...you want to keep a bit of fabric, but not much.
Be sure to complete these steps on both sleeves!!
Check out my favorite Glamourai example of the Keyhole sleeve here.