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Forum > Fitting Woes > help! my sleeves are too small! ( Moderated by CarolynGM, Deepika)

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help! my sleeves are too small!
Is there any way to save this dress?
meleliza
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meleliza  Friend of PR
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Date: 9/10/12 7:02 PM

Yes, I failed to muslin the sleeves because I don't usually have trouble with sleeves. I made this bodice before minus sleeves with wonderful results and didn't feel the need to make another muslin.

I did, however, pin fit the sleeves many times as I wanted to get the length right. They seemed OK. I should have tried it on just to be sure when the sleeves were only basted into place, but I didn't. So here's the problem:

The sleeves are tight above the bust and when I try to raise my arms, the waistband shifts all the way up above my boobs! I have to completely re-arrange it when I bring my arms down. Plus, I have a limited range of motion.

The sleeves are also tight around my bicep, which is really not huge at all. I think I could probably live with that, though.

If I look at FFRP, I probably should have made a broad shoulder adjustment - and in fact, my shoulders are on the broad side, but for some reason it hasn't been a problem until now.

Is there a way to salvage this? I just adore this fabric and have spent a LOT of time on this one. Could I re do the sleeves with a smaller seam allowance?

I planned to wear this to a party Saturday night and today was my big sewing day. Everything is going wrong with this project. :(

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Melanie

goodworks1
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Date: 9/10/12 7:13 PM

If you could link to the pattern, that might help with ideas...

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meleliza
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Date: 9/10/12 7:41 PM

Right, sorry. Vogue 8409

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Melanie

heathergwo
heathergwo
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Date: 9/10/12 8:17 PM

Do you have enough fabric left to just re-make the sleeves??

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wendyrb
wendyrb  Friend of PR
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Date: 9/10/12 8:50 PM

Fitting a sleeve is the hardest part of fitting a bodice IMHO. Please know you're not alone on the battle front! A fitted bodice needs a spot-on fit before adding the sleeve- ask me how I know. You're right, your particular shoulder and back body shapes will definitely impact the sleeve fit.

Suggestion- on the bodice, try extending the shoulder seam and back at the armscye further out- as much as you can. By releasing those areas, you'll gain extra fabric and room to move your arms. Likewise, try pin fitting in the sleeves, stealing from the sleeve head seam allowances to increase the width of the back cap and also cap height. Sleeves can be drafted with a flat-ish cap that is easier to set in, but don't work so well with our anatomy.

Another thought, release the side seam too. Maybe if the torso's a tad looser it will restrict your movement less and stay put at the empire line and not rise above it- owch!

Sorry for your understandable frustration and keep us posted with your progress. We're cheering you on.

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Pfonzie- my honey Pfaff Creative Performance, Bernina 930 and 830, Evolution serger.

meleliza
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Date: 9/10/12 11:18 PM

No, I don't have enough to cut new sleeves. I already scrapped one pattern in this fabric and cut a new bodice altogether. A pattern that I did in fact muslin seemed ok but just looked dumpy in the fashio fabric. I kept the skirt from the original and decided to use this bodice since I'd made it before. I should have muslined the sleeves, but I guess I was already feeling frustrated and rushed. I imagine we all have projects that go this way! So thanks for the enocuragement.

I think I will try to very carefully unpick the sleeves and set them again with a much smaller seam allowance, hopefully this will give me a little more room. I can't change the shape of the sleeve head, but I certainly won't neglect to muslin sleeves ever again. I see what you mean about the smooth design vs actual body logistics.

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Melanie

meleliza
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Date: 9/11/12 7:32 AM

Ok, fresh start this morning, not that I have much time for sewing, but I also can't sleep thinking about this.

I do actually have enough fabric to eek out new sleeves if I cut really carefully. So do I copy sleeves and armscyes from a different pattern? That will be really complicated and time consuming. Can I just use a different sleeve and somehow keep the armsyce? Do I just stick with the Pattern I've got and maybe slash and spread the sleeve a little for more fullness? While also gaining room in the armsyce by using a smaller seam allowance?

I can let out the side seams a little too, as suggested above.

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Melanie

a7yrstitch
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In reply to meleliza <<
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Date: 9/11/12 9:02 AM

Had you considered a diamond gusset? The pattern already has multiple details including the v shape at the neckline. I think it will blend in with the design and might work if you can go to a minimal seam allowance in the bicep area.

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meleliza
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Date: 9/11/12 9:26 AM

I hadn't considered a gusset. I've only read about them and never done one. I'm working with a self imposed deadline and would really like to have this finished for the weekend.

I was able to get some pictures this morning:

And here you can see what happens if I want to do something normal, like brush my hair:


I have been comparing pattern pieces. I am considering replacing the sleeve with the cap sleeve from the dress in my avatar, S1880, but lengthened a little.

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Melanie

couturemom
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Date: 9/11/12 9:39 AM

I am by no means an expert on fitting armholes. But one thing to check is whether the seam is in the right place. If the armscye extends too far out in front, that can restict movement.

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