How to sew in knitted puff-sleeves

I have finished the knitting part of Enchanting, so now all I have left to do is sewing the thing up. At the moment I’m facing the task of how to sew in the gathered sleeves. Although I’ve done this in sewing more than once, in knitting this is a first for me. So I’ve done a bit of research and have documented the process for you. Turns out, as so often: Preparation is key!

set in gathered sleeve

Materials: yarn (the knitting yarn would be best) for sewing & basting thread, tapestry needle, safety pins, scissors


Puffärmel einsetzen

Close the shoulder seam. Fold the sleeve in half to mark the middle with a saftey pin. This is the point where the sleeve will meet with the shoulder seam. With right sides facing you, align the side edges of the sleeve and the armhole on both sides and pin them together using a saftey pin. As the sleeve will be only gathered near the top, pin the sleeve ungathered to the lower part of the armhole.

gathering the sleevehead

Now you baste just the sleeve between these pinned areas with a running stitch, keeping close to the edge.

Armkugel markierenattach sleevehead

Attach the safety pin that marks the middle of the sleeve to the shoulder seam.

fold over

Now fold the sleeve on the body part so that their right sides are facing each other. (This is why I used safety pins to this point, it makes folding much easier.) Pull on the basting thread to gather the sleeve cap until it’s the same length as the armhole. Distribute the gathers evenly and pin. (Now you can also use regular pins, if you like.)



Now start sewing from right to left using small back stitches. Be careful to sew close to the edge and always through both layers. (In this picture I use sewing thread. This was before I figured out how to use my knitting yarn instead, more about this in the Extra-Tipp.) Remove basting thread.


This is how the finished seam looks from the insinde and the outside (pictures still with basting thread).


My knitting yarn has little sequins strung onto it during manufacturing. This makes it hard to sew with it (and almost impossible to rip back). My work around has been to cut the sequins carefully in half so I was left with a plain thread for sewing.

sequined yarn

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