Drafting a Three Piece Sleeve

I am pretty sure I want to use a 3 piece sleeve for my Chanel jacket, but the problem is I have a custom drafted two piece sleeve and I am not sure how to convert it to three pieces. I searched my pattern stash, and it turns out, I have Vogue 8529 which has a three piece sleeve. I examined the pieces, and the three seam lines appear to go along the outer arm and about an inch to either side of the underarm. Perfect. Now, I just have to make my two piece draft into a three piece draft.

Here is what I did last night. I started with my Bernina My Label jacket sleeve which is a two piece sleeve. I traced it without seam allowances onto tracing paper and marked the grain line. Next, I marked a line perpendicular to the grain line on each piece a little below the curved section at the top of the pieces. I laid the overarm piece on top of the underarm piece wrong sides together and used the angle to help me add a seam line down the outside of the arm.

Next, I split the underarm piece so that my new underarm piece is only two inches wide - the same width I will use for my side panels when I alter the jacket side-front and side-back pieces. This left me with four pieces. The next step is to combine the overarm back piece with the underarm back piece.

This is where I got stuck. How do I combine the middle two pieces? What happens to the sleeve dart? I am thinking it converts to ease at the underarm seam and the top of the sleeve where it is set in. I think I am going to cut that third piece at the perpendicular line and flip the bottom portion from left to right so that the dart leg becomes the underarm seam when I merge the pieces together.
I think that looks right. I will make a sample and report my results. In the meantime, my daughter has asked me to make her a pair of jeans. I am trying to decide whether to go with the Jalie 2908 pattern that everyone loves so much, or use Bernina My Label. She's 17 with no figure problems. Any advice?


  1. It seems like you've had great luck with the My Label, but I LOVE the Jalie pattern, and I could see it being pretty great for a young woman with a "typical" shape. If she likes the style of it (tight to the knee with a flared leg below the knee) then I would use it. No sense reinventing a perfectly good wheel.

  2. Deb I've been following your BML and am impressed. As soon as I get to my goal weight I've made arrangements with a local seamstress to measure me. I really need to learn how to use this software. You've been my motivation

  3. Thank you, thank you and thank you for posting this information! Your method of combining the two middle pieces makes sense to me - it looks like something the drafting books I've seen would advise. Essentially you're rotating the dart.

    This post is exactly what I've been looking for. I have a Vogue Chanel-like jacket pattern (7975) for which I want to make three-piece sleeves instead of the pattern's two-piece sleeves, but I didn't know how to go about drafting the sleeves, specifically where to place the new seam. When I learned that Vogue 8259 had the three-piece sleeves, I hoped to find it for sale on-line. I did find one on ebay last week, but the bidding got crazy (it sold for over $150.00 - yes, that is for only the pattern!) so that option was out. Now, thanks to your wonderfully detailed post, I think I can draft a three-piece sleeve!

    Merci Beaucoup!

  4. Hi there,

    Once the sleeve pattern is drafted, can you tell those of us that are unsure, how do you work out placement of the grainlines on the pattern pieces??