Sew Along: Shirt. Sleeves and collar


After cutting and staystitching our shirt pattern pieces, today is time to start with the sleeves and the collar, ready? Let´s sew!



Our shirt sleeves are raglan sleeves, which means that we have to place them open, matching its notches with the armhole notches (so we are 100% sure we are placing the sleeve on the corresponding side). The sleeve that has the placket on it, don´t have to be sewn to the bodice in this step, it will be joined once we attach the collar.

First of all is to attach the front and back pieces to the sleeve pieces, as it is shown in the picture.



After that, face the right side of the sleeve, the one that doesn´t have the placket, to the right side of the front bodice, matching the notches and secure with pins. Also, face the right side of both sleeves with the right side of the back bodice and secure with pins.

In jersey fabrics, is very important to attach the pieces by the notches. First, pin the upper part of the armhole and then, pin the down of the armhole. Once you have the pins placed, distribute the fabric. Using this technique, we will avoid to over strech the fabric, distorting it, or leaving a side longer than the other.


Once we have all the pieces secured, sew using 1cm seam allowance.



Once the armholes are sewn, press the seams open, and then press them towards the sleeve side. To achieve a perfect finish, use your overlock (or your zigzag stitch on your regular machine) to finish the seams.

In jersey fabrics, overlocking is optional, cause the fabric does not fray, but it is very recomended because the final garment will look very professional.



Time to attach the collar. Fold the piece against itself, in its lenght direction, facing the right side and secure the edges with pins. Sew the edges using 1cm seam allowance.



Turn it around and pay special attention to the corners.

If you want to be sure that once you sew the collar its final width will be even, draw the seam line before attaching it, making a parallel line, 1cm from the edge, so the seam will be more precise.



Next step is to divide the collar into 4 equal parts, starting by the edges. Make a notch (or you can also place a pin, as we did) in each quarter. Make the exact same division in the neckline, but without taking into account the fold of the plackets, which means that you should fold the plackets first and then, divide the final length into four, from the front bodice placket notch to the sleeve placket notch.


Now, face the collar and the shirt neckline, right sides together, making the marks match (make the pins match) (take into account that every of the 4 collar sections are shorter than the neckline sections).

If you have a printed fabric, you should take into account if it has direction, so your final garment will have the print in the correct position on the right side of your shirt. For example, if your fabric has trees on it, these trees should be upwards once the collar is sewn.



Fold the plackets by the notches and towards the collar and pin them to secure.



Once every pin is located in its notch, we have collar and shirt in this position. Remeber that the collar sections are shorter than the neckline ones:

Sew with 1cm seam allowance, following the seam line we draw before on the collar piece, or by the 1cm mark in your sewing machine.  It is very important to sew always by the collar side and be very careful to sew together the 3 layers (two from the collar and one from the shirt neckline) . Start from one edge and go from pin to pin, slightly pulling the collar from pin to pin as you sew, so every collar section meets its corresponding shirt neckline section.

If it is difficult for you to pull all at once, before sewing you can pull the collar section you are sewing towards its corresponding pin on the shirt neckline section, and pin just right in the middle of the section, to secure. If you use this technique, the sections to pull while you are sewing will be smailler and the process will be easier.


Once we have sewn the collar, press the seams towards the bodice. Press them perpendicularly to the neckline and always take care of its curved shape to not distort it. Use steam to press and to avoid any looseness in the collar.

It is very important than, once you press the collar, take into accout its curved shape. Do not pull, because if you do that, everything we did before to avoid distortion would have been for nothing.

With the collar in its final position, you can sew a decorative stitch throw the edge. An overlocker is perfect for this kind of finish. If not, you can use your regular sewing machine and the twin needle, so you stitch at the same time through the collar and the neckline. Another option is to use a zigzag stitch, taking as a reference the width of your presser foot, sewing over the previous seam lines to secure every layer.

This final decorative stitch is optional, and if it better skip this step if you are a beginer. If your collar seams go upwards, make some hand stitches to secure it correctly by the sleeve stitches.

And that´s all for today´s post! Tomorrow we finish the shirt sewing the bodice and cuffs and hemline, see you tomorrow!


¿Qué te ha parecido?