For those of you sewing the original unlined version of the Kelly Anorak, your jacket is now only two sleeves away from being fully completed! In this post we’ll show you how to sew the two piece sleeves and attach the cuffs. Actually, we’ll begin with a special bonus we’re excited to show you- an alternative way to sew the cuff extensions to ensure beautiful and neat flat fell seams– both on the inside and outside!
The cuff extensions on the original top and bottom sleeve pattern pieces were drafted generously. Our original instructions tell you to fold the cuff extensions under by 5/8″ before topstitching and eventually sewing the sleeve seam. If you are finishing your sleeve seams with a flat fell seam, you will find that the flat fell seam width doesn’t match the width of the cuff extensions, and you may need to clip into the seam allowance just above the cuff extension to get the flat fell seam to lay flat, or tuck the fabric in this area under at an angle. We drafted wider cuff extensions for the reason that it can be fiddly to press and topstitch narrower extensions especially if your fabric is very thick or stiff, and we hoped to simplify this step. However, it is possible to have everything line up. If you’re curious to see how we finished our cuff extensions, please read on!
To make sure the finished cuff extensions match the width of our sleeve’s flat fell seam, we need to trim a little bit of fabric off of each extension. Below we have a set of sleeve pieces with wrong sides up. The top sleeve piece (F) is on the left, and we have trimmed off the entire cuff extension in a straight line. The bottom sleeve piece (E) is on the right, and we’ve trimmed off 1 1/8″, leaving a 1/4″ extension.
Take the bottom sleeve piece and press the 1/4″ cuff extension in towards the right side of the fabric.
Here is a close up of the bottom sleeve with right side up. Yes, the bottom sleeve cuff extension is wrong side out, but it will be hidden by the top cuff extension when the sleeve is finished.
With right sides together, match the bottom and top sleeve pieces along the seam with the double notches, and sew together with a 5/8″ seam allowance, stopping exactly where the bottom sleeve cuff extension has been folded over. This should be where the single notch is, just above the cuff extension.
At the single notch where you stopped sewing, clip into the seam allowance of the top sleeve by 5/8″. Do not clip into the bottom sleeve piece, cut the top sleeve only. Press the top sleeve cuff extension in towards the wrong side of the fabric by 5/8″. We will be pressing and finishing this seam of the sleeve towards the top sleeve. To prepare this seam for flat-felling, grade the top sleeve seam allowance to 1/4″.
Here is another close up of what your sleeve should look like at this point.
Now fold and press the seam allowance of the bottom sleeve over the seam allowance of the top sleeve that you graded. This will fold the bottom sleeve cuff extension in again by 3/8″.
Topstitch the bottom sleeve cuff extension into place, sewing as close to the edge as possible so this topstitching lines up with the seam of the sleeve. If you start from the inside of the sleeve, you can drop your needle down where the seam of the sleeve ends to continue the stitch line.
This is what it will look like from the wrong (inside) of the sleeve. Do your best to make the two separate stitch lines match up.
To finish the top sleeve cuff extension, fold and press under by 1/4″, then again by 3/8″.
Topstitch the top sleeve cuff extension into place. We’re sewing from the wrong side of the sleeve, since we’ll be sewing our flat fell seam from the wrong side too and we want the stitch lines to match up.
Our cuff extensions are topstitched and our flat fell seam is trimmed and pressed towards the top sleeve.
Topstitch your flat fell seam in place. Start sewing where the top sleeve cuff extension topstitching ends.
Time to add a cleverly-placed sturdy bartack to secure everything and hide any topstitching flaws! This is what your sleeve will look like from the right side:
And this is what the cuff extensions look like from the wrong side of the sleeve. They are perfectly lined up with the flat fell seam!
With right sides together, sew the second sleeve seam and finish the seam with your preferred method. This seam should be pressed towards the bottom sleeve.
Because the sleeve is now a fully-formed tube, it can be difficult to topstitch the entire length of this second seam. It is possible if you are very patient and re-adjust after every few stitches. We are topstitching our flat fell seam from the wrong (inside) of the sleeve, so we start at one end with the right side out. If you are topstitching from the outside, you may want to secure the flat fell seam with some Wonder Tape to make sure it stays in place while you sew through the sleeve tube.
Repeat the steps for the second sleeve so you have a right and left arm.
It’s time to prepare the sleeve cuffs. Please note that if you followed our above method for trimming and finishing the sleeve cuff extensions, you will need to trim 5/8″ off one short end of each of your sleeve cuff pieces so that they will match the newly finished sleeve opening diameter. The outer side of each cuff piece should be interfaced.
Press the long non-interfaced edge of each cuff piece in by 5/8″. With right sides together, fold the cuff in half and sew the short sides together. Trim the corners.
With right sides together, pin the interfaced side of the cuff to the sleeve opening. The edge of the finished cuff extensions should line up with the seam allowance of the cuff. (If you trimmed your cuff extensions to make sure they matched the width of your flat fell seam, it is important to trim the cuffs or they won’t line up).
Sew the cuff to the sleeve. Grade the seam and turn the cuff right side out, using a point turner to shape the corners.
Press the cuff into place, and make sure the folded edge of the inside of the cuff covers the stitch line. Pin or glue-baste in place.
Topstitch 1/8″ all around the cuff. We like starting our topstitching near the bottom sleeve cuff extension so the beginning and end of our stitching is concealed.
The sleeves are finished. All we need to do is attach them to the body of our jacket.
Sew two rows of basting stitches within the 5/8″ seam allowance between the front and back sleeve notches.
Gather the basting stitches to ease the sleeve into the arm opening of your jacket and pin into place with right sides together. Sew the sleeve to the arm opening of the jacket using a basting stitch to make sure the sleeve is smoothly attached before sewing together using a regular length stitch.
Repeat for the other arm and press the seams towards the sleeves. You can finish this seam with either a serged stitch or by covering it with bias tape. We trimmed our seam allowance down by about a 1/4″ then covered it with some black bias tape to match our jacket hem.
Time to put the finishing touches on your unlined Kelly Anorak and take it for a spin! Check out our post on installing snap buttons!