Tutorial part 4. New Look 6963.

Hi Everyone

This week I am showing you how to make New Look 6963 - a simple shirt style with multiple variations.  It has a simple collar (no collar band) back and front facings and a yoke.

I have made it before - see the white shirt above, so I know what to do with this pattern now :).

Today I am putting in the sleeve.

You can see in the instructions that the sleeve head is eased between the notches.  Do this before sewing your sleeve up ( I forgot to take a picture of this stage).

Patterns always use this method of easing:

To ease, use a large stitch and stitch just inside the seam allowance and then again 1/4 of an inch away in the seam allowance.  Gather slightly and wind threads around a pin.

 I actually use the finger behind the pressure foot technique instead - this gives a very slight ease.

Then sew the sleeve side seams together and finish with serger, zig zag, pinking, hand overcasting - whatever technique you use.  I haven't done a flat fell finish here because we are going to have a few layers in the cuff:

Fold the cuff up to the tuck line (refer to your pattern for the tuck line):

Then fold it up again along the tuck line (this encloses the raw edge):

Stitch   1/4 inch (6 mm) from the folded edge through all layers:
(P.S. - you can just see the threads of my easing in this photo).

Press cuff down - isn't it a lovely neat finish? -

Insert sleeve into blouse and sew the sleeve seam.  I do this by carefully matching the side seams of the blouse and sleeve and all the markings - that is why it is important to mark your fabric pieces.  The ease in this sleeve is not too generous (quite frequently  in commercial patterns the sleeves have  far too much ease - and that makes them impossible to put in - one good reason to do a muslin first, even if only a quick rough job, to check things like this).

I pin, adjust the ease and then stitch along the seamline. I sew with the sleeve facing up and I start at the underarm seam.  You may need to tack the sleeves in if you have not done this before.  Check you haven't caught fabric in the seam (if you have, just undo and redo that bit again - it takes a while to get the knack of putting a sleeve in).  Check your ease - it should not be gathered - the idea is to get the sleeve gently rolling.  The last picture will show this, so scroll down now if you want to see what I mean.

The pattern asks you to stitch again 1/8 inch (3mm)  from the first stitching line in the seam allowance.  I tend to stitch 1/4 inch (6mm) away from the seam allowance, as this is what many patterns do and I like the uniform finish:

 Doesn't look much yet, but after trimming, I finish the seam allowance, again by serging.  You may use whatever method you usually finish such areas by.  Some people bind armholes as well, and that looks really nice:

Here is the sleeve on the right side - I have not pressed it yet, and you can see it sits quite nicely, without lots of gathers, but just a gentle fullness in the sleeve - see the slight roll?

Don't worry if you don't get the hang of it straight away - it took me some time to master rolling a sleeve head.

Okay, that's our sleeves in and finished.

Tomorrow I am up to the hem - so this blouse is near completion.

See you then,

Sarah Liz :)


  1. Just what I need Sarah. Thanks so much for sharing. I am going to get this pattern asap, so that I may use your tutorial.

  2. You work so fast. thanks for posting this series.

    1. Not as fast as it appears on the blog, believe you me. Sometimes I am fast, sometimes slow.

  3. So nice of you to do this series:)

  4. I so appreciate your creating this tutorial. May I ask a question about sewing the sleeve in? After you have pinned and adjusted the ease, when you are stitching it, which side is up (facing you), the sleeve or the bodice? I've seen instructions for both ways, and your result is so nice, I'd like to follow your way. Thanks!

    1. Sandra, that is a very good question and I have posted a reply on the next post in the series for you.

  5. Thank you for sharing your process of making a fitted blouse. I second Faye's request of seeing a top with collar stands.

    1. It's pleasure - looks like I'm going to have to a collar stand and collar. I do have a pattern I want to make up. Not sure when, but I'll let you know :)


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