Pattern Magic Sleeve draft

I spent a long time putting off making the ‘Collar with two distinct expressions’ because I really wanted this to me a completely ‘Magic’ garment – it wouldn’t have felt quite right to ‘frankenpattern’ this with a tried and tested shirt pattern – although it would have been much easier to just use the neck/collar measure from a known pattern and draft to fit. Anyhow….. I struggled with the sleeve. Yes, the information to make the block is in the book (page 40) – but it seemed to be missing some important information. Or else I am just dense. (Probably the latter).

Pattern Magic sleeve draft

I understood that I needed a centre line which was 55cm long (although this would vary according to what you wanted the final sleeve length to be) with a line at right angles 14.5 cm from the top. I did think that this may make the sleeve head a bit shallow and after checking my own Winnie Aldrich block  found it wasn’t too far out so went with it.

The next instruction was to draw the shape of the sleeve cap. I was lost. What was the measurement of the horizontal line? I went and contemplated with tea and biscuits. Still not really sure of what to do I measured the armhole of the Bunka block to find out how big the cap should be. On my block the front and back armholes were equal at 25cm , so that was the measurement I used to make a diagonal line that went from the top point and met the horizontal line at 25cm. After I drew in the shaping, using the curve guides in the book, I was very happy (and not a little shocked)  to find that I had 2cm ease which I knew would go well into the armhole using a blouse fabric. I was also happy to find that the width was my top arm + 5cm ease.

At this point you could just draw lines down from the horizontal line (top arm) to the wrist or follow the book instructions for a more shaped sleeve. After my short course at Morley I was able to understand the pattern symbols – it had been unclear before then – and was able to understand that where sections had the same symbol they should also have the same measurement.

Pattern Magic sleeve draft

The only change I made to the bottom section of the sleeve was to move the dart from the wrist to the elbow point. This makes a much less obvious dart, and also much smaller.

In conclusion, I was happy with the way this sleeve turned out. It fitted into the Bunka bodice  block that I had drawn in college very well and without too much fiddling. The only balance points you have to work with are the centre of the sleeve cap and the seam at underarm point but that didn’t cause any problems.

I have to say right now that this method isn’t necessarily the correct way of making this sleeve block -only the way that worked for me. I not a teacher, or a professional pattern cutter but I know I would have appreciated the opportunity to see how someone else had managed this. I hope I don’t cause offense by showing my method – and I would be very happy to see if anyone else has used another method which worked for them.

I am less intimidated by the Pattern Magic books now and I am looking forward to trying more of the designs when I get the opportunity.

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8 Comments on “Pattern Magic Sleeve draft”

  1. Gjeometry says:

    Lovely! We learned how to make a sleeve block in pattern drafting class using measurement and math and plotting it out. It worked out for my sleeve. I have not yet used the Pattern Magic books but have heard a lot about them. Going to have a look.

  2. mrsmole says:

    Thanks for showing us where the measurements come into play! You are a brave girl!

  3. It is a worthwhile exercise going through each of the projects in Pattern Magic, in my opinion. I did this same sleeve drafting a few years ago now so I have to admit I’ve forgotten working through all these little things you’ve mentioned…. but at least I have my sleeve sloper now!

    • You have been the catalyst in getting going with the PM books – I am so envious of the fabulous garments you have shown I had to try them! Mine wont look like yours (my figure is very different to yours) but I can have fun with some of these designs.

  4. Pella says:

    I did the PM block a few years ago as a standard size, but didn’t change the measurements to personal measurements. I can’t honestly remember now how I did it, but it looks to me as if you did a perfect job!


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