Sleeves and Side Seams

Let's dive right into the main seams today! First, begin with the sleeves:
Align the sweater and ones sleeve right sides together. Make sure that you have the right sleeve matched to the right armhole. You can tell which is the front portion of the sleeve because there is a single notch and the back portion of the sleeve has a double notch - these notches both match up to the sweater body. Pin along the armscye thoroughly to match the two opposing curves together. Stitch using a 5/8" seam allowance and finish the seams as per your preference (you can see the seam is serged below):
Once you've repeated this process with the second skeeve and pressed the seam allowances towards the body of the sweater you are welcome to edgestitch through the body and seam allowance for a decorative stitch that keeps the seam allowance in place (not pictured here).
Now it's time to sew up the sleeve and side seams in one go. Fold one sleeve in half lengthwise and match the raw edges. Pin all along the length of the sleeve and body seams. When you stitch this seam, make sure the armhole seam allowance is sitting nicely at the underam. Stitch using a 5/8" seam allowance and again finish as per your preference. You can press the seam allowances open or to the back depending on the seam finish that you chose.

Cuffs and Hem Band

Ok, let's add the sleeve cuffs to finish them! Fold the cuffs in half with wrong sides together so that the notches match. Stitch along the notched edge using a 5/8" seam allowance and press the seam open (no need to finish this seam allowance, we just did here because we were serging our seams rather than stitching them first with a sewing machine.
Flip the cuffs right side out and press the seam. Now fold the cuffs in half horizontally so that the raw edges match. Press the folded edge.
To add the cuff to the sweater, first ensure the sweater is inside out. Place one cuff into the sleeve end so that right sides are together. Stretch the cuff so it fits the sweater and pin thoroughly. Sew around the entire loop using a 5/8" seam allowance and then finish the seam as desired.
Press the seam allowance towards the sweater and then repeat with the second cuff. The sleeves are done!
Now we will do the same process for the hem band. The hem band finishing differs depending on which version you are making.
If you are sewing the Full Zip version, place the front and back hem bands with right sides together and stitch at the side seams using a 5/8" seam allowance. Press the seam open.
If you are sewing the Partial Zip variation you will need to make a loop with your hem band just as we did with the cuffs.
For both variations, fold the hem band in half horizontally with right sides together and press along the fold (again, just like we did with the cuffs).
To apply the hem band for the Full Zip variation, simply place the raw edges of the band matched with the bottom edge of the opened out sweater. Line up the seams of the hem band with the seams of the sweater and stretch the hem band to match the length of the sweater. Stitch using a 5/8" seam allowance from center front to center front.
To apply the hem band for the Partial Zip variation, align the hem band and sweater with right sides together and raw edges matching. Make sure the hem band seam is lined up with one of the side seams.
Stretch the hem band to match the sweater and stitch using a 5/8" seam allowance. Finish the seam allowance as desired and press the seam allowance towards the sweater.
The sweater just needs the finishing details now!
February 16, 2024 — Morgan and Matthew Meredith