One day, I'll have enough experience of this that the first inserted sleeve fits as nicely - and exactly the same way - as the second one does. Live and learn. I don't think others will notice the slight distinctions between the two.
For starters, here are a few photos to show you where we're at (sorry the pics are overexposed, but they give more detail):
You should remember that my dress form has wider shoulders than I do. There are no shoulder pads inserted here, simply the added stabilizer of the bias strip (used to ease the sleeve into the armscye) rather crappily, manually pushed toward the sleeve part of the shoulder.
Nonetheless, it shows how we've largely corrected the challenges identified here.
What can I tell you?
- After I re-did the bias strip easing method of inserting the sleeve (Gertie has a detailed tutorial on this here) - remember, I tried it the other day when S was here but I was tired and I didn't do it very well - the sleeves fit in perfectly.
- In the future, when I redesign my sleeves (as necessary), to get them to fit as well as possible, I will probably cut them so that I don't need to do any easing. Because I came to the understanding, that I'd need to alter the sleeves substantively, after I's accounted for the ease of the bias strip, I decided to continue with that plan. Still, this method works well if you need to ease a slightly larger sleeve cap into a slightly smaller armsyce. I suspect it will get rid of up to 1.25 inches of extra sleeve ease fairly easily and maybe more if you work it super carefully.
- Because my machine doesn't have a marker plate on the outside (left side) of the needle - when you see Gertie's tutorial, that should make more sense - I decided to mark the bias strip with 1/2 inch seam allowances. It was the only way I didn't veer wildly towards huge seam allowances on the side of the sleeve that you turn so that the SA is to the left of the needle. It worked well.
- Also, because I did rotate the sleeve head forward in the armsyce by about a cm, I made that adjustment on the bias strip - I didn't affix the strip as if the centre top of the sleeve (per the original sleeve pattern) to the centre of the bias strip. I affixed the off centre marking point on my version of the sleeve with a 1 cm off centre marking on the bias strip. That was to make the easing appropriate to the new rotation. I suspect that's hard to understand but I don't know how to make it any clearer. Ask questions if you'd like...
- I regret to inform you that the real detriment to this experience going smoothly was my machine. It does have a free arm but it wasn't narrow enough to accommodate the narrowness of the sleeve I had to insert quite far into, in order to get to the suit-like sleeve head at the right SAs for the needle. My presser foot tension dohickey also kept catching my facing pad stitches - threatening to tumble the entire house of cards (or so it seemed to me). Eventually I fed the fabric through just as if I didn't have a free arm (nor, though, do I have a flat table to support everything on) and slowly put everything together. It was suboptimal. Happily, so far, I haven't have a problem sewing through zillions of thicknesses - which was something that has been concerning me. Here's hoping that positive scenario continues.
I'll feel on target if I can get through insertion of facings (with its numerous steps), insertion of the collar (with its numerous steps) and hemming (also multi-stepped).
I have a bat mitzvah to attend tomorrow, which will limit my sewing time. Hopefully I'll still get some important steps underway tomorrow. Give me good facing vibes :-) Every step is an adventure!