Banksia sewalong: flat sleeve insertion

Since the Banksia‘s instruction booklet covers the inset sleeve method (and we did a tutorial for it in our last sewalong), i thought it might be nice to show a different sleeve insertion this time.

Sometimes i like to mix up how i do things to stop myself getting bored – so when i get tired of inset sleeves, this is the method i use. Actually i’d say i use this most often for knits.

Okie dokie, here we go:

As per usual we’ll sew a row of basting stitches along the sleeve cap. Leave the ends loose so that you can gather the fabric very slightly to easy it into the arm hole.

Remember we’ve only sewn the shoulder seams so far. So lets lay the top flat and open with the right side of the fabric facing upwards.

Lay the sleeve right side facing down, and pin from under arm to underarm, shaping the sleeve into the armsyce as you go.

Sew the sleeve seam, and then finish the raw edges

Press the sleeve seam towards the sleeve

The cool thing about doing the sleeve this way, is that you can now sew the sleeve side seam, and shirt side seam all in one go!

Turn the top inside out so that the right sides are facing each other, and line up the side seams. Pin in place, then sew and neaten the edges.

All done!

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  1. Nessie says

    Your tutorials simplify sewing techniques so succinctly. They are incredibly easy to follow and the photographs illustrate your points perfectly. Thank you, Megan :)

  2. says

    Ditto that Nessie! Megan, I am LOVING this sewalong. I’m not an experienced seamstress but the pattern booklet and the tutorials are making it very easy for me to get my head around what I am supposed to do. Bloody loving it! And super-keen to try your other patterns after this one.

  3. says

    Perfect example of the technique. I learned how to put sleeves in the old fashioned way. It wasn’t until I started making clothes for my son that I even attempted flat construction. Now I use it for almost everything. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Stephanie says

    I was wondering if there is a ‘quality’ difference between this insertion method and the other one? I always find it difficult matching up the side seams and the sleeve seams,and this one looks so much easier.


    • MegMeg says

      That’s a really good point Stephanie!! I don’t know the answer – but i lean towards thinking that there shouldn’t be a quality difference. When i first tried this method i was sure it wouldnt be as good, but after gaining more experience i found that the flat method is more of an industry/manufacturing method – which makes me think the quality must be the same if not better than the inset sleeve?
      But yeah, i totally agree – this one for sure feels easier!!

  5. Fran says

    Thanks for this tutorial! I used it on a shirt I made today, and it was so much easier and faster!I am wearing my new blouse now, and am extremely pleased with it. I also made a facing for the neck, instead of their little collar thing, lengthened the blouse 5inches and extended and belled out the sleeves. That is more changing to a pattern than I have ever done, and I am really happy with it. Thanks for helping with your wonderful tutorial!

  6. Fran says

    BTW, as for quality, this shirt looks better than the ones I have done the traditional way, but it’s not a tailored garment either.