Adjusting a sleeve cap to make more room to movePosted by Jennifer Stern on Apr 26, 2013 in Posts by Subject, Workshops | 2,070 comments
Hi Everyone, …I have tested the theory that “playing with the wings” on the sleeve cap can make more room to move.
Ok, Let me tell you what this adjustment did for me… and what it didn’t do. It didn’t keep my shirt from pulling up when I raise my arm. There are less wrinkles when I raise my arm when I compare it with the muslin before I did the adjustment. If having more room to raise my arm up over my head was my only goal… I would not be satisfied with the results I got.
But, this muslin feels significantly more comfortable than it did before I adjusted the sleeve cap. I was surprised at how much more room there was to more my arms around. In addition to having more room in the shoulders, there is more room in the bust and across the back. I’m also happy with the way the sleeve looks when my arm is down. There isn’t any extra fabric hanging around the armhole… (Wondering if I add more… maybe I can raise my arm more comfortably… but would there be extra fabric when my arm is down??? … a test for a later date)
Here’s the order in which I fit a shirt pattern… and when I would do this adjustment:
- Adjust pattern so that all key areas are in the correct spot vertically (slope of the shoulder, bust, waist, hip)
- Adjust shoulder (length of shoulder, forward shoulder)
- Adjust the muslin for fit in the bust and across chest (fba, or take in or let out depending on how the fullness at the bust fits)
- Adjust for ease across back
- Adjust for ease in middrift, waist and hip
- Adjust pattern for any body-specific challenges like high round back or asymmetrical features.
After these adjustments have been completed, sew a custom fit muslin to test the fit.
Adjust fit muslin to smooth wrinkles (wrinkles generally point to the problem.) For example if you have wrinkles from the armhole to the bust, you may need more room in the bust (or the fullness is not in the right spot).
…After all the wrinkles have been smoothed out, if your shirt feels snug when you move your arms (or when you hug yourself), I think this adjustment would be a good fix.
Here’s how to do to adjust the sleeve cap to make more room to move your arms… and achieve a more comfortable fit if your muslin is feeling snug around the bust level.
I decided to make a copy of my sleeve so that I’d have the original (just in case I wasn’t happy with the results!)
The firs step is to extend the underarm seam up about 1/2″.
Then, fill in some of the curve in the “wings”. I don’t have my French curve handy, so I’m going to dash in a new curved line that fills in the curve.
These two steps have to be repeated on the front side of the sleeve cap. Make sure to extend the underarm seam the same amount as you did at the back of the sleeve cap.
After dashing a new curved line to fill in both sides of the sleeve cap… and I”m happy with the new shape, it time to commit to the new curve by drawing it in “like I mean it!”
The process of dashing the initial shape of a curve, then committing to it with a solid line is an easy way to test a shape, without burning through your eraser….
I find that it’s easier to get a curved shape without a ruler by dashing along… vs drawing a solid line.
Because I do not want to adjust the armhole to accommodate a sleeve cap with a different measurement, I’m going to extend the new curved line so that it is the same measurement as the original curve.
Start by measuring the original curve. The original curve of my sleeve measures 5″.
Then measure the new curve to determine how much it needs to be extended to equal the original curve. The curve that fills in some of the sleeve cap will measure less than the original curve.
The new curve needs to extend 3/8″ past the underarm edge to be an equal length (5″) to the original curve.
The final step redraw the underarm seam. Starting at the end of the new sleeve cap, blend the underarm edge into the original underarm edge at the wrist.
Here’s what the completed sleeve looks like.
Please let me know if you have any questions about this adjustment! Thanks…. Have a great weekend! Jen