Poor construction of this aspect of a garment can ruin the whole; I know I say this about almost every aspect of construction but stick with me. A poorly set shoulder isn't just an eyesore in itself, it can also:
- Distort the neckline;
- Ruin the alignment and hang of the sleeve itself;
- Affect the ease and fit across the back;
- Create tension and puckers which affect the bust and underarm darts.
The first step to perfection is setting your sleeve cap so here are some tips for smooth sleeve caps:
- Run three lines of easestitching between the cap matchpoints. Don't run right across the cap; run from the centre top to the front, repeat to back matchpoint. This is because there will always be more ease to distribute on the back; if you try to distribute the ease equally across the entire cap you will pull the sleeve cap out of alignment.
- Match pin to armscye, pull up and tie off fullness at front match point, repeat for back match point.
- Unpin, place on tailor's ham to shrink out the ease using steam. Place your iron on 'steam' allow the iron to hover or rest over the seam line. Do not press down hard or steam too far into the cap itself. This always takes longer than you think and feels as if nothing's happening but those fibres will be gradually shrinking out the ease.
Look out for forthcoming posts on completing, attaching and lining sleeves.