How to False Graft (horizontal seam for underarm)

Many top-down sweater patterns call for picking up stitches from the body gusset to form the underarm gusset of the sleeve. I like more stability in a spot that will get friction when the garment is worn. So, instead, I use cast-ons for both body and sleeve gussets and a quick horizontal-to-horizontal seam to close the gap that this method leaves. You’ll need to work in tails here anyway, so I combine the two tasks and get a nice firm underarm gusset.

For my tip on how to keep this seam tidy before seaming, check out this video; How to Use Claw Clips



Set-up and Step 1

You can use the tail from your sleeve underarm cast-on to work this seam. Thread it onto a tapestry needle. Look at your underarm gap.

Notice the V’s on each side of this gap. Think of the V’s as arrows pointing toward this slit; upside-down V’s on the lower edge (which point up toward your seam), right-side-up V’s on the top edge (which point down toward your seam).


Step 2

Slide your needle behind the first V at its base. If the edge stitches are loose or stretched out, you can begin the seam one stitch before the gap on one or both sides to neaten them.


Step 3

Thread needle behind corresponding base of V on other side.


Step 4

Continue threading from base of V on one side through base of V on opposite side across the gap until it is closed. Note that if you have more stitches on one side than the other, you will need to erase the large number of stitches into the smaller. Do this by threading through one arm of V on larger side, repeating as many times as necessary. Pull the yarn every few stitches to close seam.


Step 5

Once finished, pull yarn to back.


Step 6

Turn your work to the wrong side.


Step 7

Thread the tail in a figure-eight back across the seam you just made. Cut yarn, leaving small tail.


Step 8

Tease tail to keep it from slipping through to the right side.

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