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Make a Basic Doll's Shirt With Long Sleeves For Any Size or Shape of Doll

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Finished Basic Arm Sloper And Sleeve Pattern For Doll Patterns
A doll sleeve pattern is made from a basic arm sloper adding seam lines, ease and a hem.

A doll sleeve pattern (blue) is made from a basic arm sloper (yellow) adding seam lines, ease and a hem or cuff. Seam allowances are shown on the pattern in red.

Photo copyright 2010 Lesley Shepherd

When you have finished drawing the markings on the interfacing for your arm sloper pattern, remove the interfacing from the doll, and trim it along the lines you marked. Test fit the trimmed sloper back on your doll's arm, making sure that the underarm seams touch, but do not overlap. Also check that with the doll's arm is down against the body, the sloper covers the back of the arm, over the edge of the shoulder, and fits down under the arm following the lines of the shoulder joint.

Your basic arm sloper should resemble the one in the photo above, with an inner curve on the front of the shoulder or arm, and an outer curve on the back of the shoulder or arm. The sloper is the mark of the smallest amount of fabric that will cover the doll's arm. It is not a pattern for a sleeve.

To Make Sleeve Patterns from Your Arm Sloper

  • Mark the upper line of the arm sloper to show the shoulder seam. Draw a line out at least 1/8 inch above that shoulder seam line to create a seam allowance.
  • Extend the edges of the underarm out on either side of the shoulder seam and mark the width you want your sleeve to have at the underarm seam, to allow for the sleeve to move forward and back and to allow the doll's hand to fit through into the sleeve as you dress the doll. Mark your seam lines at least 1/8 inch outside the outer edges of the sleeve width line.
  • Check the width of opening you need to allow your doll's hands to fit through. Mark that width on the bottom end of your sleeve, marking the bottom line of the sleeve as the 'turnback' line for sleeve and extending the sleeve below that line to allow for fabric to be edge sewn and turned back into the sleeve. For a basic shirt like this pattern is designed for, there are no cuffs on the bottom of the sleeve.

When your pattern has been drawn, trim it away from the backing paper and mark it showing the arm back and front, the name of the doll, and labelling it 'basic shirt sleeve'. Transfer the markings from the paper to a more permanent pattern made from lightweight interfacing. Test fit the interfacing pattern on the doll, checking to make sure that when the arm is sewn, the hand will fit through the opening at the end of the sleeve. Also check the fit of the sleeve against the front and back pattern pieces.

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