Mashing Patterns
| |

Mashing Patterns 101: Sleeves

We are starting a new blog miniseries called Mashing Patterns 101! I will be teaching you how to mix and match elements of different patterns and combining them into fun and unique outfits. Today: mashing sleeves!

Have you ever wanted to take the sleeves from one pattern and put them on the bodice from another pattern? Mashing sleeves like this can easily be done, but for it to have a correct fit, you do need to take a couple steps to make sure the bodice and sleeve will match up correctly. First, it is helpful to be familiar with the terminology and how a sleeve attaches to a bodice.

The curve of the bodice that traces the outline of the body around the arm is called the armscye. This is where the sleeve will attach. The top of the sleeve (where it inserts into the armscye) is called the sleeve cap. For a sleeve to connect properly to the bodice, the armscye and sleeve cap curves will need to match up. This means, that you cannot take a sleeve with a significantly tighter sleeve cap and put it on a bodice with a lot of ease, or vice versa, with no adjustments- they will not fit to each other correctly to sew.

For this reason, when mashing sleeves, you need to match the armscye to the sleeves. How do you do this? Put the armscye curve from the pattern you are using the sleeves of on the bodice you want to use! For this post, I will put Swan’s trumpet sleeves on an Olive top.

Mashing Sleeves: Supples
  • Desired pattern for bodice
  • Desired pattern for sleeve
  • Tracing paper or similar
  • Pencil or pen
  • Pattern weights (optional but helpful)
Mashing Sleeves: Creating the New Pattern Piece

First, cut out the front and back bodice pattern pieces for BOTH the patterns you will mash. If you use printable pieces, print the front and back bodice of both patterns. For projector use, trace the front and back bodice of both patterns onto tracing paper and cut out. If tracing, be sure to label the pieces!

Lay the front SLEEVE bodice you will use over the bodice pattern you will use. For this, I am using Swan’s sleeves, so I laid Swan’s bodice over Olive’s bodice. Match the shoulder seams at the point where the shoulder seam meets the armscye. Tracing paper is light, so pattern weights help make sure the pieces stay in place as you work.

Keeping the shoulder seam point in place, rotate the top bodice piece until the bottom point of the armscye hits the side seam of the other bodice. The bodice you are using (in this case Olive) needs to have the shoulder and side seam angle unchanged. Match the shoulder point and lower armscye point of the SLEEVE bodice (swan in this case) to the main bodice (Olive), so the main bodice shoulder and side seams won’t be altered.

If the new armscye curve will land outside of the existing main bodice, slide a piece of paper underneath, and secure with tape or glue.

Draw in the new armscye curve. For this example, I am drawing Swan’s armscye onto Olive’s bodice.

Cut the new curve on the line. This is the new front bodice piece.

Repeat with the back bodices.

Finishing Up

The final step in creating the new bodice pieces for mashing sleeves, is to align the side seams. Set aside the bodice pieces of the SLEEVE pattern. Lay the new front and back main bodices over each other and double check that the side seams match. During the armscye process, the length of the side seam may change slightly as the armscye curve is lowered or raised. That’s fine, as long as the front and back bodice side seams end up matching each other in length.

That’s It!

The pattern pieces are ready for cutting! Cut the two new bodice pieces, and the sleeves you have chosen.

Finish cutting any other pattern pieces, and sew!

Mashing sleeves from two different patterns is easier than it might seem. You do need to take the extra step to match the armscye and sleeve cap, but it isn’t too difficult. Tip: Save the new bodice pieces so you can sew this mash again if you choose, and the pattern pieces will already be done!

I love the way this Olive/Swan mash turned out. And it looks perfect with the Nova skirt! What patterns will you combine?

I hope this tutorial was helpful in getting you started mashing patterns. If you give it a try, we would love to see! Tag us on Instagram at @booandlupatterns or share with us in our Facebook group!

Similar Posts