A cap sleeve is a type of very short sleeve that acts like a cap over the top of the arm. This is a very common sleeve on kids frocks and also on tops, dresses and gowns for adults.
As a short sleeve, the cap sleeve exposes most of the arm, so it is usually used in summer clothes. And as a short sleeve, it displays the long line of your full arm very well. It is considered a flattering way to show off your toned arms and shoulders.
How to draft pattern for a cap sleeve
The first one is a cap sleeve which projects out; This can be drafted by following the pattern given below.
This is a good style if you want to create a look of greater width to your shoulders.
For a nicely fitting cap sleeve, mark the pattern of a bias folded fabric
Another variation of cap sleeve which doesnot fully cover the whole armhole.
This is drafted by drawing the normal sleeve pattern on the fabric first.
Take enough fabric to cover the armhole.
Take into account the length of the sleeve too. Usually a length of 3.5 to 4.5 inches is preferred for a cap sleeve. Add extra seam allowance and hem allowance.
Cut the armhole curve from the sleeve fabric. Usually a curve is drawn 3.5 inch to the inside for an adult sleeve. Cut it off.
Now cut off the front as in the picture below.
Sew the cap sleeve to the armhole of your bodice.
Another variation of cap sleeve is a pleated cap sleeve.
For drafting a pattern for this type, you just have to increase the width of the sleeve by the middle fold of the normal cap sleeve and draft a new pattern. The extra allowance needs to be gathered with basting stitches and sewn to the armhole.
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