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Making a sleeve slit in a shirt

Guess what my next project is? A blouse.  This time I’m making the sleeve slit that is more common in womens blouses/shirts. Which made me think to write this little tutorial. It is way is a little different from what I’ve learned to do, but I think it’s very easy.
For my Dutch readers: the same tutorial is available in Dutch here.
1. Basic pieces: the sleeve (in my pictures a piece of cotton that was near) and a rectangle 4 cm wide for the slit facing at least twice as long as the length of the slit. My piece is a bit longer because I find it easier to work that way.

2. Pin the sleeve on the facing, right sides together. The ends are matching, the middle corner is 0.5 cm from the edge. Fold the sleeve in a way that no real fold is made. 3. Stitch 0.5 cm from the edge. At the center the stitches just touch the fabric of the sleeve. 4. Press the seams towards the opening 5. Press a seam in the split facing 6. Fold and stitch-in-the-ditch from the right side of the sleeve.  This is hardly visible if you do it in matching thread. My black on white is only for these pictures ;) This is the way the inside looks now:
7. Stitch a diagonal line at the top of the facing. This will prevent stress on the weakest part of the construction.
8. Fold one side inwards (on the side of the widest part of the sleeve) and press. Ready! It doesn’t take long, but don’t forget to press in different stages for a neat result.


  1. This is fabulous Sigrid! I just received some fabric in the post which is specifically for a button-up shirt - so this will absolutely come in handy!

  2. Thanks for the tutorial! There's a blouse in my future somewhere, so I'll have to keep this bookmarked so that I can find it then! ;-)

  3. I'm so ready to try a sleeve like this! I saw the most beautiful full length sleeve slit at a Cynthia Rowley boutique over the weekend.
    You did an amazing job!

  4. Thanks for a great tutorial, it will be most helpful.

  5. I've been working on blouses and jackets, so this is definitely an addition to my "How to" bookmarks! Thanks.


  6. What a great tutorial. I do my sleeves the same way - it's so straightforward and simple once you know how!

  7. I made a placket like this one many years ago. Since I keep putting blouses on my sewing this tutoial reminding me of this method will come in handy.

  8. Great tutorial - thanks for sharing!
    Bookmarked, and printed-off for future reference :)

  9. Oh! If only this was a week earlier! I just made my first shirt, and I made a real mess of the sleeve slit. This is a great tutorial with so many helpful photos. Thanks Sigrid!

  10. Great tutorial, Sigrid! If the blogosphere is a wonderful place to learn and share and this is made ​​possible by the kind and generous people like you.

  11. This is the only way I ever finished sleeve slits on a woman's blouse, until quite recently when I began doing them as men's shirts are done, with a placket. It is neat and tidy and -- to me -- far less trouble than lining up the facing piece for a placket. Takes less fabric, too. It used to be the method included in all commercial pattern instructions for women's blouses. I like that you can introduce a flash of color or pattern in the slit binding, that is only seen when you open or shut the cuff.

  12. Thanks so much for this. I just made my first button up blouse and followed the pattern's instructions for the slit in the sleeve and it was very difficult. I'm saving your tutorial for the next time!

  13. Thank you so much -- I have a nice pattern with a slit and didn't know how to finish it. I used your tutorial today and it came out really beautifully. Thank you for taking the time to document and post!

  14. thank you!!!! this help me, for my shirt!!!tahnk you very much!!!!


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