Need help altering set-in sleeve

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Hi all,

I would post this question to my trade group, but don't have access to
the mail list right now. I hope someone out there can help.
I am making a shrug for a client out of silk charmeuse, with silk
chiffon sleeves. I've done a muslin for fitting, and the sleeve was too
tight under the arm. I already had to adjust the back of the sleeve
seam, as it was too tight for her to raise her arms. (She is the mother
of the groom, and will be hugging a lot.)
Here's my question--if lower the seam in the underarm area, how do I
adjust the sleeve? It seems that if I drop the seam on the sleeve to
correspond, I'm back to her not being able to raise her arms.

Thank you in advance for you suggestions!

Juliette in Texas


Re: Need help altering set-in sleeve
TxMouse wrote:
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To get greater freedom of movement in the sleeve head and shoulder area,
you may need to RAISE the underarm, not lower it!  Think about it...
you want MORE fabric there, not less, but you still want the close fit
when the arm is lowered.  You may also need to put in greater width
across the sleeve head itself... And possibly add a little to the back
shoulder width.  It's amazing what a half inch here or there can do.


--
Kate  XXXXXX  R.C.T.Q Madame Chef des Trolls
Lady Catherine, Wardrobe Mistress of the Chocolate Buttons
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Re: Need help altering set-in sleeve

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Bolero patterns generally have very little ease in the sleeve cap and
upper arm.  I have a lot of vintage (40s & 50s) shrug/bolero patterns
and without exception, they are very tight fitting.  You were just not
supposed to move around very much I guess!

To adjust for a *tight armhole* on a set-in sleeve, you slash the bodice
front and back horizontally about one third of the way from the shoulder
point and then add in the amount you need, making sure to adjust the
pattern line as needed at the neck/front and to keep the armhole smooth.  
This lowers the depth of the armhole and shortens the side seam.  You do
the same thing to the sleeve pattern, slashing it horizontally thru the
cap, about 1/3 of the way down from the center seamline and adding the
same amount that you did to the bodice front and back.

For a *full upper arm* adjustment, you slash the sleeve pattern
vertically thru the middle and horizontally thru the underarm seam
intersections so you can add width to the sleeve in the middle with the
most width occurring at the line of the underarm sleeve intersection.  
This one is very difficult to explain so you might want to look for a
diagram online.  For a two-piece sleeve, you have to put the pattern
pieces together as though they were one to make this type of adjustment
to the pattern.

Phae

--
I fear me you but warm the starved snake,
Who, cherished in your breasts, will sting your hearts. (Henry VI, Shakespeare)

Re: Need help altering set-in sleeve
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I'd adjust the armscye first on the muslin, and balance it. You'll want it
high under the arm, but not tight.  Then I'd draft a custom sleeve for
it, and finally, adjust the custom sleeve for more movement.  Do you
have access to Connie Crawford's Art of Fashion Draping, or her new
pattern book? If so, turn to the chapters on fitted sleeves... it's
a very straightforward process.

If the customer is well into the plus sizes, be sure you fit the sleeve
"tailorwise" -- she'll probably need more room in the upper back sleeve,
so you'll be wandering out onto the seam allowance there on the
sleeve only.  That adjustment is unusual for smaller sizes, but I've seen
folks who needed it.

Kay

--
NewsGuy.Com 30Gb $9.95 Carry Forward and On Demand Bandwidth

Re: Need help altering set-in sleeve
Thank you, Kay!

I do have Connie Crawford's book, and will take a look today. I was
worried that I had explained the problem poorly, especially considering
the first response.
Regarding the upper back sleeve, I pinned out along both the sleeve and
back seamline, and it looked okay and gave her the ease she needed. I'm
tempted to add a center back seam with vent, though, instead of messing
with the sleeve so much.
I'll admit I'm leary of drafting a sleeve--it's the one thing my
pattern drafting class in college didn't cover...

Juliette in Texas


Re: Need help altering set-in sleeve
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If you look at the sleeves of commercial jockey silks (those guys are
definitely reaching forward!), you'll see the back of the armscye
is not shifted outward onto the arm (as it would if you add more ease
to the back of the garment), but there is more room in the upper back
sleeve.  That gives them the freedom of movement without having the
back armscye bind.  The actual seam stays on the anatomical joint.
I don't know how to "predict" how much extra to build
into the back sleeve any way except by direct draping/pinfitting.  

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Easy.  Just remember to walk the sleeve into the armhole first, and then
adjust it for more movement, which involves drawing a new biceps line
higher, and pivoting the original sleeve to give a longer underarm seam.
Don't forget your notches, too!  <g>

If you've got the second edition of the draping book, you want chapter
7, basic sleeve, and chapter 14, the section on "adjusting the sleeve for
more arm movement".

Kay

--
NewsGuy.Com 30Gb $9.95 Carry Forward and On Demand Bandwidth

Re: Need help altering set-in sleeve
Dear Juliette,

I posted this yesterday, but apparently it got lost in space.  I hope
this will be helpful.

Altering the armscye of a garment is usually not a good idea.  It seems
impossible, but that's the most difficult part of a bodice to "get
right" when it has been changed.  Instead, start by giving the sleeve
more room by using the pivot and slide method.  Here's how:  Put the
sleeve pattern down on a large piece of paper, and draw a ling across
the paper at the location of the bicep (the widest part of the sleeve
at the underarm).  Stick a pin in the dot at the shoulder in the cap,
and pivot the sleeve in one direction, so that the underarm section is
about one inch above the drawn line. Trace the new cap. Do the same
thing in the other direction.  You may have to re-draw the top of the
cap to fill in the "dent" from the alteration.  What this does is widen
the bicep, but without changing the size of the armscye or cap.  They
should still sew together without a problem.

Kate is right about RAISING the underarm seam for more room.  But if
you don't have that much to add, this adjustment works very well
without the hassle of trying to make the armscye and sleeve match
again.  As always, do a muslin first to test.

Teri


Re: Need help altering set-in sleeve
Dear Friends,

I just tried to post instructions for drafting a sleeve, and it
wouldn't go through--too big.  So, if anyone wants them, please e-mail
me and I will be happy to send them.   snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com.

Teri


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