This section is from the book "Clothing For Women: Selection, Design, Construction", by Laura I. Baldt. Also available from Amazon: Clothing For Women: Selection, Design, Construction.
In order to place a sleeve correctly, it is necessary to have some point in the armhole at which to set the seam of the sleeve, as well as points between which to scatter the gathers. To ascertain these, first measure one inch back of the shoulder seam on the armhole; from this point fold the armhole in half; this locates the point at which to place the sleeve seam. Then fold the armhole again so that the underarm and shoulder seams meet; the gathers are to be distributed on the top of the armhole between the two points just found. Lay waist on table, slip sleeve in armhole; pin seam to mark, and sleeve as far as it is to be plain, holding waist towards you while pinning and basting the sleeve in place. Hold under part of sleeve easy so as not to draw waist and make it fit badly. Gather sleeve at top on seam line, and again one-quarter inch below. Distribute gathers between the two points marked in the armhole, keeping most of fulness at top of shoulder, and baste to place, sewing directly on line of gathers. Try on to see if it sets properly. Before stitching sleeve in armhole take a piece of bias seam binding, open crease on one side, and baste to inside of sleeve, letting crease come directly upon line of gathers. Hold binding easy. Let ends meet at the underarm seam (Fig. 187A). Make a bias join. It is simpler to baste binding to within one inch of each end and then fold ends back so as to complete the circle; overhand turned edges. Stitch binding and sleeve at the same time, turn back flat on waist, baste carefully to place, one basting at edge of armhole, holding right side towards you; the second on edge of binding. Stitch at edge of armhole and on edge of binding (Fig. 1885).
Fig. 188. - Binding sleeve; A basting binding, bias join; B, binding stitched, turned and basted ready for outside stitching.
See Middy Blouse pocket, p. 300.
A general rule for placing buttonholes in shirtwaists: Buttonholes should be cut lengthwise of the material in shirtwaists, that is, lengthwise in the box plait, collar band, cuffs and placket facing and crosswise in coat openings. In spacing, the top buttonholes in the box plait should be as far from the collar band as the buttonholes are apart. Use from three to five, according to the length of the figure. Do not let the bottom button fall below the belt. Cut the buttonhole in the collar band so that the outside end of the buttonhole is on a line with the center of box plait (Fig. 186F), to prevent waist from spreading apart at the neck. The buttonhole in placket-facing holds sleeve together well if cut not more than three-quarter inch above cuff. Let the outside end of buttonhole be one-half inch from the edge of the cuff and up one-third depth of cuff, measuring from lower edge. If studs are used, or buttons with shanks, work eyelets and use fasteners, so buttons may be removed before laundering. Either four-hole or the two-hole buttons may be used, or buttons with shanks and fasteners (Fig. 189), the size depending somewhat upon the width of the plait. Buttonholes on tailored waists should be barred at both ends to add to the tailored appearance.
Fig. 189. - Shirtwaist buttons; A, four-hole; B, two-hole; C, buttons with shanks and fasteners..