Hey, everyone! It’s a Friday, the end of the week and what’s even better, the end of sewing this purple top.
Today we’ll sew in the sleeves (easy!) and sew bands to the hems (just as easy!) to finish off the top. None of these steps are particularly hard, but I thought I’d complete the demonstration of this top, from start to finish.
Catch up on the whole series! Check out the list of posts here. (Get the pattern here.)
- A Big List of Tips for Sewing Knits!
- Three Tips for Sewing Stripes
- Introducing the Renfrew Top
- Sewing the Renfrew Top: What Would You Like to See?
- What’s a Stable Knit Fabric?
- Assembly-Line Cutting and Sewing
- Cutting Knit Fabric: Making Sure Your Project is Cut On-Grain
- Make Patterns Last Longer: Iron Interfacing to your Pattern Pieces
- Renfrew Top: Choosing which View to Make
- Thoughts on Cutting Knit Fabric
- Cutting Striped Knit Fabric and Matching Stripes
- Why Add Twill Tape to the Shoulders? Plus Possible Substitutions
- Seam Allowances on the Renfrew Top
- Approaches to Sewing Knits
- Sewing & Stabilizing the Shoulder Seams
- That Tricky Cowl Collar
Let’s get started! You’ll need your sleeve pieces. All three sleeve styles – short, three-quarter, and long – are all sewn the exact same way.
What’s great about these sleeves, as opposed to woven set-in sleeves, is that they are sewn in flat. If you’ve ever set in a sleeve into a woven dress, blouse or jacket, you’ll appreciate how simple it is to sew these sleeves!
Let’s get started. Arrange your shirt body, right sides up, with the armhole spread open like in the picture. Place the sleeve, right side up, near the armhole with the sleeve cap facing the shoulder seam.
Now, flip the sleeve over, so the wrong side is up, while the sleeve cap is still facing the shoulder seam.
Pin the sleeve to the armhole, matching the top notch on the sleeve to the shoulder seamline.
After pinning the middle, pin the sleeve into the armhole at each end.
Put as many pins as you want in between the ends and the middle. I tend to sew without very many pins, so I didn’t add any. (But don’t let me stop you from pinning your sleeves!)
Sew the sleeve into the armhole.
If you didn’t use a lot of pins, like me, make sure that both layers of fabric are meeting at the raw edges.
I lightened up this next picture so you can see how I’m lining up the layers. Make sure the fullness is distributed evenly, and you don’t sew any puckers.
This is a seam where you want to use a stretchy stitch, as the area is under strain when we get dressed, move our arms, yawn, lift things…
Sleeve is sewn!
I finished the seam allowances, because I like how it looks.
Press seam allowances towards the sleeve. (Try it on your dress form if you like and admire how nice that set-in sleeve looks.)
The last step, before sewing the hem bands, is sewing the underarm and side seam. We get to sew this seam in one non-stop motion!
Fold your shirt right sides together and pin the underarm and sleeve seam.
Pin the layers together at the armpit, sleeve edge, and lower edge, and as many pins as you need in between.
Sew this seam and finish seam allowances if desired.
Ok! Just the bands left to do. We’ll start with the hem at the bottom of the top. (Bottom of the top, that sounds funny. I mean bottom of the shirt.)
Pin the short ends of the band together, with right sides together. Sew this seam.
After this seam is sewn, fold the band wrong sides together and line up the raw edges.
Pin band at notches. We’ll use these pinned markings to line up the band along our shirt’s hemline.
Line up the seam of the band with the shirt’s left sideseam. Pin in place.
Pin band to shirt, matching notches to other sideseam and to centre front and back notches.
Sew band to shirt, using a stretchy stitch. Here’s what it will look like!
Unlike the neckline, I didn’t topstitch the band-to-shirt seam. I prefer not to draw attention there, and the bands are wide enough to hide the seam allowance even if it did flip downwards.
Repeat these steps with the cuffs.
I like to sew the cuffs from the inside, with the cuff on the outside of the sleeve.
Cuffs are done!
And that’s it for the purple Renfrew Top! I know you’ve seen what the top looks like finished, but I’ll still take photos of this purple version when the weather clears up. (Or indoors, if it has to be that way.)
I hope all of these Renfrew-related posts have been helpful! I still have the striped Renfrew cut out, but not a stitch of sewing done. Things are really busy so I may not get to it right away. Hopefully the motivation of wearing a new striped tee will encourage me to finish it up, and I’ll talk about sewing stripes along the way!
Have a great weekend, everyone!