The JamCat Fleece Project – Designing the Gusset for the Sleeve

Hi Again!  Welcome back for part 5 of this Fleece Jacket project!

How many parts will there be you ask?  Well, in case you are new here, when I’m blogging a new project, I blog as I sew  and I try to blog the project in a tutorial kind of way so if ever I wanted to do this project again (or for that matter, if any of my readers wanted to do this project) I have a detailed record of what I did.  So as you can imagine I have absolutely no idea until I’m completely finished!  I can say with certain uncertainty that perhaps there may or may not be as many as 10 installments to this jacket?

In addition, which I know I must add to this, as a consequence of blogging as the sewing and drafting and designing are happening is that the posts will sometimes come in infrequently.   There might be MANY days that go by where there won’t be a new post! More than likely I’m working out a particular design element and it’s just taking me a little time (all full time working, commuting, cooking, dog-walking aside)!  Lol!

Which leads me into the sleeves for this jacket!  Remember the inspiration?  The North Face jacket had a gusset in the under-arm area of the sleeve.DSCF0230

There is also something extra involved with the under-arm area of The North Face jacket and that is the Pit-Zip! DSCF0229

Design Analysis: The gusset under the arm ‘appears’ to be curved to match the shoulder/underarm seam, but is square when opened out.  The gusset has a center seam to which a closed-ended zipper is inserted with one zipper pull.  the zipper top is near mid-way in the gusset, nearly at the underarm and extends past the gusset into the seam of the mid-sleeve.  There is also a zipper placket made from one layer of fleece.


Here is a look inside the sleeve.  After loading up this picture I realize I should have turned the sleeve inside out, it’s a little hard to tell what is going on here.  At any rate, there’s a placket covering that Pit-Zip and you can sorta see the gusset.

So let’s get on to the gusset draft:

I am working with the Back pattern pieces to get this gusset started.  I tape together the Back Yoke to the Back body in order to see the armscye.


I fold the sleeve in half…which just so happens to be equally drafted on either side (interesting)…DSCF0429

Then I match up the Shoulder Center Notch and the armscye notches, just overlapping the pattern…DSCF0431

Then I fold back the Sleeve where it hits the Back side seam.  Do you see how that crease has given me a line?  That line will end up becoming the seam line for one side of the gusset.  I measure the length of this seam line ( 6-1/2”).

DSCF0432 Then I need to draft a gusset that will have a seam line length of 6-1/2” on the sleeve side and the back side seam side.  I have some options as far as how wide to make the gusset, do I want it a 90 degree angled gusset, 45 degree, 65 degree, etc….

Since the inspiration jacket looked like the gusset was square I opt for the 90 degree and draft a triangle with two sides 6-1/2” in length.  I add a 1/4” seam allowance and cut out the pattern piece…DSCF0434 
On the Back and Sleeve I mark this seam line…DSCF0435

The gusset draft is complete.  I just have to copy this same line to the Front and I can move on.

Stay tuned…


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