When Good Sleeves Go Bad

Sleeves. You know, when they’re easing in like a dream. When the curves of the sleeve and armscye edges seem to marry up perfectly. When you feel super confident as you walk away from the sewing machine toward the mirror to have a quick peek. When it feels weird and slightly ill-fitting as you put your arm in and try and sit the jacket on your shoulder.

THE HORROR as you look into the mirror only to realise you’ve sewn on a sleeve, forgetting that the jacket doesn’t have a shoulder seam. It’s been lined up with the back yoke seam.

“What, you mean backwards?” Asked Boyfriend

“Er, sort of, but more like my arm sticks out in front of me like a zombie”.

“So, backwards?”

Just to hammer it home, I decided to be cautious, and I basted on the next sleeve. It looked good, and most importantly, it was in the right place. Proud of my caution, feeling like a good seamstress, I sewed it up, then proceeded to unpick the ‘wrong sleeve’. It was weird, I had seemingly basted on that sleeve too. Not sure what happened there, but what a lucky coincidence. It was as if some beautiful basting error had occurred, and I had lucked out.

THE HORROR as I realised that there was no coincidence, just idiocy. I had sewed the wrong sleeve twice, and merely basted the right one.


Don’t make the same mistakes I did kids. Think before you sew.


  1. Sounds like the sort of thing I’d do!

  2. Ahhh, been there! I made this blazer last winter and seem to remember that I had to add a top shoulder notch to the pattern. These things are so frustrating but make a funny story for later!

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