Sleeve: Types, Parts, Development and Drafting

Sleeve in Dress: Types, Parts, Development and Drafting

Archana Ranjan
Pattern Master (Industrial and Digital) & Assistant Professor
School of Creativity,
Rishihood University, Sonipat


What is sleeve?
Sleeves have been used as a device for changing the silhouette of garments throughout the history of fashion. Sleeve is an important part of clothes. It has both aesthetic and practical functions. Sleeve styles depend on time and fashion.

types of sleeve
Fig: Types of sleeve

Type of sleeve:

  1. Set-in sleeve
  2. Non set-in sleeve (Drop Shoulder)
  3. Reglan sleeve (bodice plus sleeve combination)

Above types of sleeve are elaborately classified below:

A. Set-in sleeve:

1. Puff- (with gathers and pleats)

  • At the top
  • Bottom
  • Melon (balloon)
  • Double puff
  • Drawstring at bottom puff
  • Frill at bottom puff
  • Fancy puff (extended caps)-
    • Crescent-shaped
    • Gathered crescent-shaped

2. Pagoda-

  • With frill (gathers and pleats)
  • With circular (half and full)

3. Lantern
4. Bishop
5. Leg-o-mutton-

  • With gather
  • With pleats

6. Cowl
7. Petal –

  • Two piece
  • Flared
  • Puffed

8. Virago
9. Bell
10. Shirt
11. Cape
12. Cap
13. Flare
14. Juliet
15. Wedding
16. Cartwheel circle
17. Long buttoned
18. Two piece tailored ( for coat & jacket)
19. And stylized

B. Non set-in sleeve (Drop Shoulder)

  1. Kimono
  2. Dolman
  3. Magyar
  4. Square
  5. Batwing
  6. Extended shoulder
  7. And stylized

C. Reglan sleeve (bodice plus sleeve combination)-

  1. Saddle
  2. With shoulder dart
  3. Two piece
  4. With yoke
  5. Peasant
  6. And stylized

Parts of dress sleeve:
Different parts of a sleeve are given in below figure.

parts of sleeve
Fig: Parts of sleeve

Drop shoulder:
The sleeve is attached to an armhole shaped to extend wider than the natural shoulder.

Extension to the front and back of the garment to cover the top of the arm.

Sleeve length ending about half the distance between elbow and underarm.

Elbow length:
Any style sleeve that ends at the elbow.

Three-quarter length cuffless sleeve to show bracelet.

Long sleeve tapered to the wrist so it can be pushed up to stay in place (also called push-up).

Any long flowing sleeve. May extend longer than the arm.

Length of sleeve:

  • Full length (till thumb)
  • Above / below the wrist
  • Three quarter
  • Half sleeve (elbow)
  • Short sleeve
  • Cap sleeve

Sleeve development:
Terms relating to sleeve development.

sleeve development

Sleeve Cap / crown height / top of sleeve: The curved top of the sleeve from front to back.

Cap Height: The distance from biceps to cap at center.

Bicep Level: The widest part of the sleeve dividing cap from the lower sleeve.

Sleeve Ease: Additional allowance at biceps, elbow, and wrist levels that accommodates the circumference of the arm and allows ease for freedom of movement. Ease ranges from one and a half to two inches.

Cap Ease: Difference between a cap and armhole measurement (ranging from one and a half to two inches.)

Elbow Level: The location of the dart, level with the elbow of the arm.

Wrist Level: The bottom (hemline) of the sleeve, level with the wrist of the arm.

Grain line: Center of sleeve from top of the cap to wrist level – straight grain of sleeve.

Notches: One notch indicates the front sleeve; two notches indicate the back sleeve. The cap notch indicates where the sleeve and shoulder meet (its position can change)

Measurement required for sleeve drafting:

  • Arm length:
    • Under arm length
    • Full arm length
    • Over arm length
  • Armhole circumference
  • Sleeve opening

Fit of sleeve:

  • Loose sleeve
  • Fitted sleeve
  • Fitted sleeve with elbow dart
  • Two-piece sleeve

You may also like:

  1. Different Parts of a Basic Shirt
  2. Drafting of Fashionable Men’s Short Sleeve Shirt
  3. How to Make a Collar and Cuff of a Basic Shirt by Fusible Interlining

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