March 24, 2017

Pattern Drafting: Creating a "Kimono" Style Sleeve (Version no. 2!)

So back in October of last year I wrote a post about how I converted my basic bodice pattern to have all-in-one kimono style sleeves, but... I recently made a whole new bodice pattern! With the changes in the fit, my new bodice pattern was shaped a bit differently than my old one of course, so I had to make a new kimono sleeve version of my pattern. When I got ready to do so it became very plain I wouldn't be able to use the same simple method I had always used in the past, as the armhole shape was way too different!

Above you can see my old basic bodice pattern in blue and my new bodice pattern traced on top in red lines. The armhole shape is totally different! So while in the past I was able to just draw on the kimono sleeve without messing with any other part of my pattern, this time I couldn't because the armhole area was so much more curved and generally smaller.

The first thing I did was consult my pattern drafting book from my university days to see how it suggested drafting kimono sleeves from a basic sloper. The book created the sleeve shape by opening up the side dart into the armhole to provide the ease and room needed to draw on the kimono sleeve! So I decided I'd live it a try and it seems to have worked like a charm. I'll show you how it's done...

Draw lines through your dart points to find the exact apex point at the center bust. Draw a line from the apex to the center of the armhole.

Draw another line from one of your side dart points to the apex as well, we are going to cut these two lines to allow for moving the dart.

Cut along these two lines to the apex, but not through it, so you can sort of hinge the piece around, we are going to close the side dart which will re-divert the fullness into the opening in the armhole.

Close the side dart and tape the overlap closed.

Fill in the newly opened area in the armhole with spare paper and tape together.

Now with the added room in the armhole you can draw on the kimono sleeve like I showed in the first version of this post (here).

And there you have it! A kimono sleeve from a pattern with a very curved/smaller armhole! Since the back of my pattern didn't change in the big ways my front pattern did, I was able to use the original method on the back piece without issue. I still have only used this new kimono sleeved pattern for a bolero so I'm not 100% positive I like it as much as my old pattern yet as I haven't really tried it yet, but I hope it will work out just fine.

Have any of your discovered and new pattern drafting tricks lately? I feel like I am constantly learning!


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