• Kaine

Sewing 205 - Pattern Drafting: Basic Sleeve

Updated: Feb 18


Principles of pattern drafting


As you know, we usually draft half a front pattern and half a back pattern on the assumption that a full front or back pattern are symmetrical on both left and right sides. But for the Sleeve, we shall be drafting the entire sleeve spread out.



In the above illustration, the left half is the Front and the right half is the Back. These positions can be switched if you like. With this concept in mind, we shall not be splitting any of the measurements into halves or quarters, except to label the sleeve as front and back.

Tools you will need

1. Straight ruler

2. Set square

3. Curve ruler

4. Pencils / Eraser /Sharpener

5. Brown paper/ Drafting Paper – 1 sheet (30L x 20W inches) or (50cm x 75cm). It should be longer than your Full Arm length measurement and wider than Bicep measurement. You can always tape sheets of paper together to get the right size.

Measurements you will need (Feel free to work in Inches or Cm)


1. Full Arm Length

2. Under Arm Length

3. Shoulder to Elbow

4. Bicep

5. Hand

6. Front Bodice Armhole

7. Back Bodice Armhole

IMPORTANT! Download Basic Sleeve Calculation Worksheet Here first


The Sleeve Draft


1. Line A - B = Full arm length Measurement

2. Line B - C = Under arm length Measurement minus 1 inch (2 cm)

3. Line A – D = Shoulder to Elbow Measurement

4. Line E – F = Bicep measurement. Split Bicep measurement equally over point C. EC is equal to half bicep, and CF is equal to EC.

5. Line G - H = Wrist [Bicep measurement minus 2 inches (4cm)]. Split Wrist measurement equally over point B. GB is equal to half wrist, and BH is equal to GB.

6. Join points EG and FH with straight lines

7. Line I - J = Square a straight line on both sides of point D, touching lines EG and FH. Label as points I and J as illustrated.


8. Join points AE and AF with straight lines


Shaping the Sleeve Cap

16. Point 1 - Divide line AE into two equal parts

17. Points 2 and 3 - Divide line AF into 3 equal parts

17. Mark guide lines as follows:

  • Halfway of Line A1 - draw a perpendicular line 1 inch (2cm) long to the left side

  • Halfway of Line E1 - draw a perpendicular line 0.75 inch (1.5cm) long to the right side

  • At Point 2 - draw a perpendicular line 1inch (2cm) long to the right side

  • Halfway of Line F3 - draw a perpendicular line 0.375 inch (0.7cm) long to the left side

18. Join points A,1,E with curved lines touching the guidelines. Keep the line flat at points A and E

18. Join points A,3,F with curved lines touching the guidelines. Keep the line flat at points A and F

This completes the Sleeve pattern. Finally, use your tape measure to measure both front and back armholes of your basic bodice and compare it to the Front and Back Sleeve caps. If it is a little bigger, it is fine as ease is required. If it is a little smaller, you can redraw your curves or increase your Bicep measurement and Cap height.


Please let me know how it works out for you. Thanks for reading.


Did you know that you can also watch this lesson?



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