Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Drafting a dress–5, sleeve comparison

As mentioned in my post of yesterday I’m doing a separate post on the sleeve draft. It’s a bit of a nerdy post probably. I write it for those of you who are interested in pattern drafting but also for myself, to remind myself of the differences now I’ve taken the time to do three drafts based on different systems for the same garment.

The result of the different drafts (focus on the sleevecap). First the Suzy Furrer draft. Ease is added before drafting giving as guideline 1/2 inch for dresses and blouses, 1 1/4 inch for jackets and coats. The total circumference of the armhole on the front and back + ease is a measurement on which the “square size” is based. The measurements for the square size are given in the book (or in the course materials from the Craftsy course). It’s the dotted line in the drawing. Based on this square the rest of the sleeve is drafted.


Second the Helen Joseph-Armstrong draft. The guideline for ease is different and given as 1 1/2 inch for sizes 10 and above, 11/8 inch for sizes below 8. An armhole measurement formula is used for the draft and mentioned is that further changes might be necessary, based on form, posture etc. In my draft I used the formula, which gives a little ease. The cap height is important but no guideline is given which the height should be. I took 6 inches, which was the measurment I found in one of the charts for a size 14. The draft starts with the triangle between top and biceps line. I thought this was the easiest draft to follow.


And third the Danckaerts system (It’s drafted with the front on the left side of the paper, but for comparison I’ve mirrored the image). This is a metric system and as such easier for me to use. It’s more more mathematical and instruction tells you that ease of at least 4 cm (about 1.5 inch) is necessary. Not too difficult as I’ve learned the method in a course, but instructions like 8/10 of armhole circumference + or – 1 cm are not the easiest if you do it for the first time. This sleeve is longer than the others, as the sleeve length is measured from the dot I’ve drawn on the dotted lines. Therefor it gives more space for the cap and the roundness at the top. In the drafts from SF and HJA the total length of the sleeve is the measured length. The Danckaerts sleeve has the extra space on the top.


Comparing SF and HJA draft.
On top is the SF draft. Notice the different straight of grain line. When I saw SF do this in the Craftsy class it was the first time I’ve seen it. Mostly the straight of grain is the center line. The HJA draft has a bit more room in the cap, which was more comfortable in my mock-up sleeves.


Difference between HJA draft and Danckaerts system.
There’s more room in the back of the cap, I’ve tried this before and it did not work for me. I know I need the curve like the other drafts. The front is similiar though.


Different position of the elbow dart (SF and HJA). SF uses the measured distance and HJA instruction is take half of the sleeve length. A very distinct difference. In my sleeves the elbow dart of the SF sleeve seemed a little too high. Which is strange as it was the length measured. The HJA dart is wider (1/2 inch to 1 inch). The curve was more clear.


This will be all my posting about drafting this dress. I’m still on the fence whether to continue or not. The fabric is lovely and I do have enough to cut a different front pattern. Any thoughts for an alternative front welcome! I will probably be sewing a lingerie set in the meantime.


  1. A LOT of math has my poor brain dizzy. I've saved this so I can go over it slowly - perhaps understand? Personally I didn't like the front maybe the fabric is too stiff it doesn't have enough drape to flow easily (just my 2 cents). Blessings, Baa

  2. Very interesting Sigrid! Do you know the Rundschau drafting method. The lessons I had by the Modevakschool were based on that method. It looks a bit like Dankeart but it is different. The shoulder is less high there.

  3. Very interesting! Thank you for posting. I have never seen a back cap draft as straight as that dankeart one. Lookslike a lot of extra fabric!

  4. I am following along with interest. I never got my SF sleeve draft to work, but then, I've never got any sleeve to fit properly. Lucky I live in a ot climate where I don't wear sleeves much.

  5. I find drafting sleeves is the most difficult since I have hard time fitting it as well.I would like to know how all these methods developed so that I can understand this sleeve business alltogether. You are obviously working hard to find out more. Thanks for sharing all your progress. Lets see what you will do after sewing the lingerie about the dress. Fun to follow the progress.

  6. Thank you very much for your post. It is interesting to see the differences in the various methods. I do not own the Hellen Joseph Armstrong book but I do plan on purchasing it. I have not take Suzie's class yet but do have her book. Thank you for all your effort.


  7. Fascinating. I really appreciate all the effort you've gone to with this lesson, very informative. I look forward to seeing how the SF grainline works and looks in the end.

  8. So which sleeve do you like the best? If I remember correctly, the one that was more comfortable also looked the best. From what Kathleen Fasanella has written I would have thought that the one that is not symmetrical would work the best. Obviously not for everyone.

  9. Your drafting posts are so interesting Sigrid and I really appreciate you going to the trouble to explain it all to us. Sleeve drafting I have heard is the most difficult but the two sleeves that you have toiled look very good for a first test.

    Sorry to hear that the dress is not what you want hopefully someone can come up with a suggestion for you.

  10. "Good sharing, i also really cape sleeve dress,and i usually wear it in summer,not only beautiful but also convenient,i always buy mine at here.

  11. Thanks for sharing this series, it's strangely interesting to me, love solving the puzzles


Comments are very much appreciated! I read all of them, try to answer the questions but don't always have time to react to comments.

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