Saturday, June 6, 2015

Two piece sleeve – drafting comparison

In general I’m very impressed with the pattern drafting classes by Suzy Furrer, as you have read in previous posts. Watching her doing the two piece sleeve though I had my doubts. It looked so different from what I’m used to in a two piece sleeve, both from commercial patterns as from the way I’ve drafted those before.

After my holiday I want to make a jacket, so I started changing the sloper to a jacket sloper and thought it was time for a sleeve draft experiment. I drafted the two piece sleeve using Suzy Furrer’s instructions and drafted it too using the method I was already familiar with. For both I used the same draft for the jacket itself.

Writing this post as much for those interested in drafting as for keeping track of what I’m doing myself.

The first picture is the way Suzy Furrer starts her two piece sleeve, her base is the normal sleeve draft and you take the outside parts and combine those to the under sleeve. The second picture is the Danckaerts method I’ve learned in the past year or so. In this system you don’t start with the base of another sleeve, the instructions are especially for drafting a two piece sleeve, based on the circumference of the armhole.


What I noticed in Suzy Furrer’s method is that there is less curve to the sleeve. She instructs you how to make it curve more forward, but in the result it’s less than in the other method. Also, because the “square” used in her method was rather wide for my armhole circumference, the result is an upper sleeve that’s very wide at the bottom, and an under sleeve that’s very narrow.

IMG_1472 The final pattern pieces using Suzy Furrer’s method
IMG_1473 Final pattern pieces using the Danckaerts system
IMG_1475 Upper sleeve pattern side by side
IMG_1474 Under sleeve pattern side by side

There is one important difference between the drafting systems: in Suzy Furrer’s method you decide yourself how much ease you want in the sleeve cap, as you measure the front and back length including the ease while drafting. The Danckaerts method is designed to always have 4 cm of ease. In the instructions it says: the sleeve cap must always have 4 cm of ease. Opinions differ on the need of ease at all and to how much is needed depending on the fabric you use. To me 4 cm is too much in general, I prefer less, so it will be a bit more complicated to change that in the pattern.

To me the draft of the under sleeve looks too narrow in Suzy Furrer’s method. To really compare I will make up a muslin of the jacket sloper and use both drafts.


  1. Hi Sigrid, this is really interesting. I agree that the two piece drafts I've seen usually look like the second method. It will be interesting to see how these make up. Thank you for your posts about Suzy's classes and book and gor answering my question about buying the book, in so much detail. I've just taken the plunge and ordered it. Even to .new Zealand pistage was only 24USD which compared to fabric shipping is actually very reasonable. Am following your drafting oosts with great interest!

  2. Sorry about all the typos in the above message! * for not gor, *postage not pistage, posts not oosts.

  3. I am looking forward to seeing your sleeve muslin. The narrow under sleeve looks very odd to me!

  4. Thank you for writing this post and taking so much time to take pictures so we can look over your shoulder.

    I just tried drafting my first (one piece) sleeve but haven't sewn it up yet. I'm looking forward to your next post and seeing how the muslins turn out.

  5. That's really interesting. I've never seen a two-piece sleeve that looked like that, either. I'll be really curious as to how your muslin works out.

  6. This is fascinating and I thank you for doing this comparison. It's quite illuminating. I also think the the crazy undersleeve is quite odd looking. But if it works? Can't wait to see if it does. Have you seen the sleeve Robin did from Furrer's draft? It was perfection. One of these will work perfectly for you, I'm sure.

  7. Very interesting! Looking forward to hearing how they sew up.

  8. Wat een bijzondere vergelijking. Ik ben benieuwd naar de exemplaren in katoen en het verschil aldaar. Leuke zoektocht zo en fijn dat ons erin mee wilt nemen.

    Groet Neeltje

  9. Thanks for sharing this info Sigrid; I find it very interesting and I'm also curious to see the comparison between the two finished sleeves on a jacket.

  10. I look forward to seeing both version in muslin, if you decide to make them up for comparison.
    My next project now is a jacket with a 3/4 length sleeve. I bet that makes a difference too (as opposed to a full length sleeve).
    I haven't sewn nearly as many jackets as you have, and I found that watching the class on lapels and notched collar to be extremely helpful in getting my head oriented to the project.
    I'll be sewing up a mockup with all the facings and everything so I can get a good fee for the sewing construction.
    Thanks for sharing this! There is always more to learn!!

  11. I took Suzy's sleeve class and while I haven't drafted with her, it looked strange to me. I drafted sleeves with Kenneth King and the sleeve looked more conventional than Furer's

  12. Hi Sigrid. I was just reading this post about Suzy's odd-looking two-piece sleeve. I have all her classes and have drafted my slopers so am rather interested in your comparison and in anything related to pattern drafting. I then did a Google search regarding the other Danckaerts drafting method you mention. Interestingly enough, I stumbled on a Threads magazine article (#182 Dec 2015/Jan 2016) which discusses converting a one-piece sleeve into a two-piece one. The under sleeve looks like the one under Suzy's method (pointy at the bottom) UNTIL they adjust the hem portion. Once finished, to me the sleeve looks a lot like the one you drafted under the Danckaerts method.

    Here's a link to the article:

    Thanks for all your posts. I read them with interest.

    Joanne in Montreal

    1. Hello Joanne, thank you for the link. Very interesting and looks indeed more like rhe Danckaerts method.

  13. Well, as far as I can see for the Suzie method, the problem is that you started with a sleeve sloper that has no elbow dart. If you start with a darted sloper, it would have looked a lot like the Danckaerts system. That's how I do it, at least--with the darted sloper.

    1. Thank you for your thoughts. You could be right and I would have to look into it again. Will do that at some point


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