One-piece sleeves vs. two-piece sleeves

1:45 PM

Since it's coat season and a lot of sewers are participating in the jacket sew-a-long, I thought I'd discuss sleeves: one-piece vs. two-piece sleeves to be exact.

This is a "symmetrical" one-piece sleeve which you probably see a lot. This is my LEAST FAVORITE draft for a jacket -- especially one that is "supposed" to be tailored. I find this draft to be disappointing. Let's face it, our arms just don't hang straight and stiff.

Now this one-piece sleeve is slightly different. I've actually made a tailored jacket with a sleeve like this one. You'll notice that there is an elbow dart which "shapes the fitted sleeve to follow the curve of the arm and provides fullness to allow for bending the elbow." (Shaeffer, Claire. Couture Sewing Techniques.)



The two-piece sleeve has seams which appear at both the front and the back of the arm. The under section of the sleeve will actually be a tad bit smaller than the upper part of the sleeve. This will make the seam appear less noticeable on the finished garment. The seams of the two-piece sleeve also fall slightly off center from the front and back of the arm. With the seams falling in the offset places, they are then less apparent when the apparel is worn. This strategic placement of the seams allows for greater range of motion.
In my opinion, the two-piece sleeve is the BEST option (for ME) for jackets and coats because it gives a more tailored appearance.

I'm currently working on a jacket now. The pattern only offered a one-piece. And the look that I am going for is nice tailored sleeves with a vent. I thought for a split second to try and convert the one-piece. That seemed really, really daunting to me. So I ended up jacking a sleeve from another pattern that I liked.


Do YOU have a preference on jacket and coat sleeves?

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6 comments

  1. I'd say I prefer the two-piece sleeve for a coat, shaped using the iron, as it should be for a jacket. The one-piece sleeve is good for basic dress shirts.

    I've never used the sleeve with the elbow dart (and I have that Shaeffer book!).

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  3. "In my opinion, the two-piece sleeve is the BEST option (for ME) for jackets and coats because it gives a more tailored appearance." I agree with you, although it's there mainly for aesthetics.
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  4. It depends on your preferred style. Look for the one that's more convenient.

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  5. I always use the 2peice sleeve, but im having the same problem as you, im looking at changing a 1 piece pattern into a 2 and having loads of problems as it men's as well and im using an old shirt that fits him well. I am best just going out and buying a mans pattern or is it possible? or am i just been stupid as i haven't done a pattern in a long time? ha ha....plz help n

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  6. I also prefer a 2 piece sleeve for jackets and coats. I don't recommend pattern hacking a one piece sleeve... swapping is a better idea. I learned how to draft 2 piece sleeves to fit the jacket armhole, so my tips for swapping out sleeve pattern pieces is to check and see that the curve the bottom of the armhole matches to the sleeve. Also check that the sleeve has between 3/8" ~ 3/4" ease in the sleeve cap (depending on your fabric). Along with the bias hair canvas sleeve head technique this ease will help give you that nicely rounded shoulder.

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