Here is how I set in sleeves. First, I sew a long basting stitch around the top half of the sleeve and this is used to gather the sleeve head and create the nice rounded sleeve cap that will be eased in to the armhole.
The sleeve remains right-side-out. The bodice is turned inside out and that's how it will stay while sewing the sleeve into the armhole.
The bottom half of the sleeve is flat against the armhole. It's only the top half that needs to be eased into the armhole.
In this project, there was too much fabric! It simply refused to crowd together enough to sew a flat seam. There were puckers galore and the seam ripper was my best friend.
Next, I pinned in the sleeve imagining a different stitching line. I pulled the sleeve cap through and imagined the stitching line further in on the sleeve cap. This is how I shaved off some of the sleeve cap. I sewed the seam that came out nice and smooth, and trimmed away the excess.
As you can see, there was less fabric to force into the armhole when I moved the seam. There is less fabric on the sleeve, and the same seamline on the bodice remains the same. I trimmed off the excess sleeve cap, and then cleaned it up by serging.
This particular fabric was VERY resistant to easing. There are areas on the stitching line of any sleeve head that are on the bias. Any normal woven fabric would ease perfectly, especially along stitching lines that fall on the bias.
But not this fabric!! This fabric was woven in such a way that it simply refused to ease (verb) into the armhole.
On the other hand, this is a very comfortable jacket to wear. A woven with lycra in it will stretch when you move. So you can sew a closely fitted garment without worrying about enough ease (noun).
That's it. The story of the sleeves for my bright jacket #5 of 2012. Wow! Maybe the next one will be easier? Who knows?! I'll take it as it comes :D