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Thayer Sew-Along: Assembling the Shell

In today's Thayer Sew-Along post we'll be assembling the shells of our jackets. This means we'll be sewing up the sleeves, shoulder seams, setting the sleeves, and then sewing up the side seams. The sleeves on the Thayer Jacket are set in flat which allows us to topstitch the armscye and also gives the jacket its more relaxed fit. 

 Thayer Sew-Along: Sleeves, Shoulders, and Side Seams | Grainline Studio

To begin, align the shoulder seams of the back and fronts with right sides facing each other. Sew across the shoulders.

Thayer Sew-Along: Sleeves, Shoulders, and Side Seams | Grainline Studio

Flip the jacket over and grade the seam allowances of the back by trimming them in half as shown.

Thayer Sew-Along: Sleeves, Shoulders, and Side Seams | Grainline Studio

Press the seam allowances towards the yoke.

Thayer Sew-Along: Sleeves, Shoulders, and Side Seams | Grainline Studio

Thayer Sew-Along: Sleeves, Shoulders, and Side Seams | Grainline Studio

With the right side facing up, topstitch along the seam line through the yoke and both layers of seam allowance.

Thayer Sew-Along: Sleeves, Shoulders, and Side Seams | Grainline Studio

With the right sides together, align the notched edges of the upper and under sleeve, pin, and sew. Grade the seam allowance of the upper sleeve by trimming it in half.

Thayer Sew-Along: Sleeves, Shoulders, and Side Seams | Grainline Studio

Press the seam allowances towards the upper sleeve. With the right side of the sleeve facing up, topstitch along the seam line through the seam allowances and upper sleeve. Repeat these steps for the other sleeve.

Thayer Sew-Along: Sleeves, Shoulders, and Side Seams | Grainline Studio

Now we need to sew the sleeves into the armscye. With right sides together, sew the sleeves into the armholes while flat, matching notches, seams, and markings. The match point on the upper sleeves should align with the front yoke seams. Clip the seam allowance on the front and back underarm curves.

Thayer Sew-Along: Sleeves, Shoulders, and Side Seams | Grainline Studio

Grade the seam allowances of the body as shown, and press them towards the body of the jacket.

Thayer Sew-Along: Sleeves, Shoulders, and Side Seams | Grainline Studio

Now we'll topstitch along the armhole seam line, through the body of the jacket and seam allowance. This anchors the seam allowance in place and also looks great. Just a heads up, we find this easier to do around the free arm of your sewing machine if you have that option.

Thayer Sew-Along: Sleeves, Shoulders, and Side Seams | Grainline Studio

This is what your jacket should look like at this stage from the right side.

Thayer Sew-Along: Sleeves, Shoulders, and Side Seams | Grainline Studio

And your view from the wrong side. Repeat these steps for the other sleeve & armhole of the jacket.

Thayer Sew-Along: Sleeves, Shoulders, and Side Seams | Grainline Studio

It's now time to stitch up the side seams, you'll see a real jacket emerging momentarily! With right sides together, align the side seam of the body and the sleeve, matching notches and underarm seam. Sew from the sleeve hem to the body hem.

Thayer Sew-Along: Sleeves, Shoulders, and Side Seams | Grainline Studio

Now grade the back seam allowance by cutting it in half, then press the seam allowance towards the back of the jacket.

Thayer Sew-Along: Sleeves, Shoulders, and Side Seams | Grainline Studio

Now we need to topstitch this entire seam line through the jacket and seam allowances. The easiest way to do that is to start at the hem of the jacket and stitch into the armhole, through the end of the sleeve, ending at the wrist. The photos above show us passing from the body at the underarm, over the underarm seam, and into the sleeve. It will be a bit tight once you get to the wrist, but trust us, it can be done! 

Thayer Sew-Along: Sleeves, Shoulders, and Side Seams | Grainline Studio

Here you can see the entire line of topstitching in all its glory, you're going to feel like a superhero after this step, we promise! Repeat for the other side seam and your shell is complete! Give it a try on and admire your handiwork in the mirror. Your jacket is looking great!

Next up we'll be assembling the lining, which will be very familiar after this post. We'll see you back here for that and if you have any questions let us know in the comments below!

Thayer Sew-Along: Sleeves, Shoulders, and Side Seams | Grainline Studio

Mentioned Products

  • Thayer Jacket
    Thayer Jacket
    Regular price
    Sale price