Sunday, June 17, 2012

Tutorial--Making and Adding a Sleeve

Many times you will need a hanging sleeve for your quilt. I use the following method for making my sleeve.

If you are not entering your quilt in a contest, the size you make your hanging sleeve will depend on the width of your hanging rod. Usually, cutting a strip of fabric six to ten inches wide will work. (Contests often specify how large the finished size this sleeve needs to be. If the contest specifies that the sleeve needs to be 4 inches, you would cut your fabric 9 inches wide. This is how you would do the figuring..double the size of the sleeve and add one inch. 4" X 2=8" + 1"=9").

I usually cut my sleeve 1/2" shorter than the finished width of the quilt. (If my quilt measures 12" wide and I want a 4" finished sleeve, I cut my fabric 9" (see above) X 11 1/2" (12" - 1/2"=11 1/2").

First, I measure the quilt.
Once I've determined the width and length of the sleeve, these are the steps I follow.

1.  Cut the fabric the width and length you have previously determined. (Again, if your quilt measures 12" wide and you are making a 4" finished sleeve, cut your sleeve fabric 9" wide (see above) by 11 1/2" long.)
2.  Turn under 1/4" at each short end. Press.
3.  Turn under another 1/4" and press. Stitch this down using a running stitch on your machine.
4.  Fold the strip in half lengthwise with WRONG sides together and long edges even.
5.  Using a 1/2" seam allowance, stitch down the length of the hanging sleeve along the raw edge. (Don't press yet.)
6.  Next, I add an 1/8"-1/4" pleat. This adds a little give to the sleeve so the hanging rod doesn't put too much strain on the quilt. It also makes the sleeve adjustable (expandable to fit a thicker hanging rod). To stitch the pleat, position the sleeve with the raw edges to your left and the folded edge on your right. Use a basting stitch to stitch 1/8" to 1/4" from the edge of the fold.
7.  Now press the seam open. Center it on the "tube" you have created. Press the tube.
8.  Now position the sleeve approximately 1/2" from the top of your quilt leaving approximately the same margins on both sides.
9.  Pin the sleeve to the quilt positioning the pleat so it lies away from the quilt and it is along the middle of the sleeve. The seam (you pressed open) should be against the quilt backing.
10.  Blind stitch (by hand) the sleeve to the quilt being careful that your stitches do not go through to the front of the quilt. Stitch the top, bottom, and sides of the sleeve. (Be sure not to sew the sleeve ends shut!) Remove the basting stitches from the pleat. (If your quilt hasn't been made for a show and you choose to use a narrow hanging rod to hang the quilt, the pleat doesn't even have to be removed. If you decide later to use a stronger, thicker hanging rod, you can release the pleat (by removing the basting stitches) to create a larger space for the rod.)
You can see that you have a little extra room for the slat/rod you will use to hang the quilt.
I hope you find this tutorial to be of help to you when you are making a sleeve.


Pat Pauly said...

Thanks for the tip on adding a basting stitch for the pleat. Never would have thought of that, but I do use a pleat in my sleeve. This is just a better way.

Pat Pauly

cahirasnana said...

Thank you for such a great tutorial. I never would have thought of adding a pleat, such a good tip.