Drafting sleeve blocks

We’ve created a handy course that will teach you how to draft various basic sleeve blocks. The tutorials are ordered so the easiest or simplest tutorial is at the very top. If you are looking to design a specific basic sleeve block then browse our list and take your pick. Or if you want to follow the course then start at the top and work your way down.

Getting started

Before we start there are two important things that we need to discuss. First, you’ll need to create a basic block and download it as an ePattern. An ePattern is the starting point of all our tutorials and you’ll need to draft one to follow along. The second thing you’ll need to do is download Adobe Illustrator. We use Illustrator to customise all of our ePatterns. It’s actually a wonderfully simple platform once you become familiar with it. Click here to learn how to use Adobe Illustrator as a pattern cutting platform.

Straight sleeve block

Learn how to draft the Straight basic sleeve block using the Basic set in sleeve ePattern. The straight sleeve block is a very simple pattern and is used to add very slight shaping to the sleeve by reducing the circumference of the elbow and cuff measurements. This creates a slightly more contoured sleeve block. We also reshape the curve of the cuff so it creates a smooth line over the wrist.

Semi-fitted sleeve block

Learn how to draft the semi-fitted basic sleeve block using the Basic set in sleeve ePattern. The semi-fitted block is a simple pattern that is only slightly more complicated than the Straight sleeve block and is used to create a far more fitted sleeve. The cuff is reduced by 10cm in total and a dart is opened up on the back of the sleeve (at the elbow) to create a slight bend in the lower arm. These adjustments better suit the natural bend in the arm. We also reshape the curve of the cuff.

Basic shirt sleeve

The shirt basic sleeve block is a simple pattern that can be used to add some basic shirt design elements to your garments. In this tutorial I show you how to reduce the wrist and elbow circumference of your sleeve to create a more contoured fit, add a custom sized cuff and sleeve opening. This block is the very first introduction to shirt sleeves – It is the most basic shirt sleeve block design available.

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