Pop quiz #467 pt.2

Do I really need to write this response to the entry? Most (serious) contestants knew right away that these were sleeve heads. What I find ironic is that so many of you (mostly abroad) knew what these were and I didn’t. That tells me some of you should be submitting pop quizzes to stump the chump. Consider yourself invited.

Els, who submitted this challenge, sells these but I haven’t heard back from her with details. On the topic of sleeve heads, she elaborates:

Those are sleeve heads we dressmakers and tailors in the Netherlands call them snorren or in English “moustaches” because the shape looks like a moustache. I never saw those shaped sleeve heads in the US so I thought it would be interesting for you to know that we use these ones here instead of the straight ones which can be ordered in the US.

The shape of the sleeve head is reflecting the shape of the sleeve, and the purpose is to support the sleeve cap in custom made garments like jackets and coats. The sleeve head fills out the hollow gap between the end of the shoulder and the top of the sleeve (upper arm) and it helps to have a nice roll line in an eased high cap sleeve plus it also prevents to show the seam allowance from the right side.

The different sleeve heads in material and size can be used for women and or in men’s jackets or coats. It will depend on the size of the armscye and the sleeve you will use. The larger ones are more for a men’s coat or an xxl size women’s coat or jacket, and the thin smaller ones are for a woman’s jacket.

Sometimes I use two sleeve heads if the sleeve I use requires that, like for a very high sleeve cap tight fitted jacket. It all depends on the design of the sleeve, the design of the jacket and the fabric choice.

The thicker sleeve heads has two small notches so it will depend of the size armscye which notch you put on the shoulder seam.

The side, which has less length towards the shoulder notch is the front side, the longer length is going to the back of the armscye.

I always use a 1 cm seam allowance at the armhole and sleeve, and I place the sleeve head shoulder notch matching the shoulder seam, with the so called edges matching from sleeve, armscye and sleeve heads.

I start pinning the sleeve head in first, matching the shoulder notch at shoulder seam and from there I pin towards the front side and then towards the backside of the sleeve.

I sew the sleeve heads in with the sewing machine and sew a hairline away (towards he seam allowance) from the previous stitching (sleeve inset). The sleeve head is placed towards the machine bed so I can see the previous stitching from the armscye sleeve attachment.

After the sleeve heads are attached I hand sew the shoulder pads around the armscye using a basting stitch and basting thread. Sewing thru all the layers from shoulder pad, armscye, sleeve and sleeve head, and finally sew the shoulder pad at the shoulder seam towards the neck with a tack stitch.

Email Els if you’re interested in purchasing some of these.

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  1. andrea says:

    I wasn’t going to admit it, but I thought they were boomerang covers…you know, for reaaallly expensive “artisan boomerangs”, guess I was wrong.

  2. Sonia Levesque says:

    Moustache? he he he…

    I’m French Canadian from Montreal, and we use those a lot! We call them Bananes though, as in Bananas of course. Like the moustache, because of their form.

  3. Lisa NYC says:

    I saw a show on HGTV with Kenneth King (Sew Perfect w/ Sandra Betzina) using the similar sleeve heads. He had an interesting technique for attaching.

    I searched the HGTV site for a link to the show with no luck. What I did find were two of his CD books on his site. Not sure if it is on the Tailored Jacket or Advanced Sleeve CD:


    With friendship,

  4. Connie says:

    I was browsing through the Threads site and the home page is featuring articles by Marcy Tilton. In one of the articles she dissects an Armani jacket and lo and behold, there is a sleeve head(header?). I probably wouldn’t have paid any attention to it if I hadn’t seen it here.

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