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Forum > Sewing for Petite Sizes > armholes in patterns ( Moderated by MissCelie)

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armholes in patterns
pinkrhody
pinkrhody
Member since 4/22/12
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Date: 10/12/13 5:55 PM

I've been having an issue finding clothing for work recently mostly because of the fit in the armhole causing trouble all over the body. I'm sure many of you have had this same issue. I'm wondering if the commercial patterns are drafted the same way as the ready to wear? The armholes are way too deep in ready to wear petite clothing probably for most of us and I don't see much of an alternative but to make my own tops and jackets. I'm really not sure what these companies think petite is but it's certainly not any petite person I know! I thought maybe it would be helpful to know a little more about this fit issue before I just dive in and select patterns.

JTink
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JTink
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In reply to pinkrhody <<
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Date: 10/12/13 6:58 PM

I think you will also find fit issues with patterns. Some folks feel the armholes are made too deep. It's an easy fix. The best thing to do, is just dive in and give it a go. Find a pattern on sale, get some muslin and put something together. Different pattern companies and different styles are going to determine fit. I know some folks who like to use a sloper. I can't see this as a fix for me, because I can have two blouse patterns by the same company and they will both fit differently. I have to fit and adjust each pattern individually.

Is there a pattern or garment in mind, that you would like to start with?

pinkrhody
pinkrhody
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In reply to JTink <<


Date: 10/12/13 7:26 PM

I'd like to try doing a shirt first. I have some experience but I'll probably do something simple like PJ pants and top first to get back into it. I've found that all the shirts and jackets in ready to wear that I try on have the exact same armhole. It didn't matter if it was cheap, expensive, or in between. I was worried that pattern companies are like this too but it sounds like probably not. A shirt is not exactly easy but I think I can do it if I go slow. I'm fortunate to have a couple of sewing studios nearby where I can go for help if I need and, of course, there's this site. I haven't done a shirt pattern search yet. Do you have a favorite?

Vivienne
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Vivienne
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In reply to pinkrhody <<


Date: 10/13/13 0:12 AM

If you wear t-shirts, I'd recommend trying out the free download Tonic t-shirt

Tonic

Just make sure you simply lay out the pages and tape, but don't overlap the pages at all.

What I usually do with big 4 is cut a size or two smaller in the vertical aspects. For example, i will cut shoulders, armscye and neckline at 10-12 while the garment sides are cut at 14.

------
Cheap fabrics, like cheap shoes, are a false economy.

SewLibra
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SewLibra  Friend of PR
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Date: 10/13/13 0:49 AM

You say most RTW armholes are too big, so I am thinking you have slim arms and/or body. But do you have one garment that fits you well in the armscye? Look at all your blouses and tee shirts. If so, turn that garment inside out and make your own sloper or block by tracing the front and back armscye on paper or muslin fabric. Then use that to alter your patterns. I know it sounds time consuming, but in the long run it will save you countless hours of frustration and seam ripping! Good luck.

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SewLibra
Brother SB4138, Bernina 1008, Brother 1034D, Janome Harmony 9102D

JTink
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JTink
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In reply to pinkrhody <<


Date: 10/13/13 9:36 AM

Pink, I can suggest a few patterns. McCall's carries the Palmer/Pletsch patterns and they are like little mini sewing lessons in themselves. Number 6076 is a nice shoulder princess. Number 6750 has darts. Both of those styles have an easy collar. If you are looking for a more traditional type of shirt with a collar(camp shirt), Number 6613 is nice. They are all Palmer/Pletsch. P/P also helps with bust adjustments, if you happen to be larger than a B cup.

pinkrhody
pinkrhody
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In reply to SewLibra <<


Date: 10/14/13 11:30 AM

Quote: SewLibra
You say most RTW armholes are too big, so I am thinking you have slim arms and/or body. But do you have one garment that fits you well in the armscye? Look at all your blouses and tee shirts. If so, turn that garment inside out and make your own sloper or block by tracing the front and back armscye on paper or muslin fabric. Then use that to alter your patterns. I know it sounds time consuming, but in the long run it will save you countless hours of frustration and seam ripping! Good luck.

The thing is that I'm not so slim. I'm about 5'1" and weigh about 118 to 120. I think the armhole shape is an issue too. I never thought to look at the shirts I own (most are 10 years or older) and copy them. Thanks!
pinkrhody
pinkrhody
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Date: 10/14/13 11:31 AM

Thank you all for these suggestions. I have so much to learn and so lucky that I have people to help!

DonnaH
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DonnaH
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In reply to pinkrhody <<
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Date: 10/14/13 1:05 PM

Quote: pinkrhody
The thing is that I'm not so slim.

I am also petite, but not so slim, lol.

I like your idea of PJs. You aren't putting quite as much pressure on your self, and will get some good fitting practice.

Might I suggest the (FREE!) Sorbetto as your top? There have been a few I've seen made as a PJ top. The only "fitting" is the bust dart, and you can even make it extra loose by sewing the front pleat as an inverted pleat - and only sew down the first few inches.

Anyway, as far as the armholes - I find them a little too big sometimes, but the problem is more that the shoulders are too wide - which puts the sleeve seam/armhole down my arm a few inches, and makes the shirt pull in ways it shouldn't.

Try a narrow shoulder adjustment (or here's another method).

Another thing you can do with patterns that you can't with RTW - trace the bodice and use a size (or 2) smaller for the actual armhole. Move the pattern under the tracing paper so the shoulder seam matches before you trace the smaller size of armhole. You may want to use a smaller sleeve if the top has sleeves (if the are gathered at the sleeve head, don't worry about it), and will need to extend the side seam up to meet the new armhole. Keep everything else at the larger size.
pinkrhody
pinkrhody
Member since 4/22/12
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In reply to DonnaH <<


Date: 10/15/13 5:19 PM

Thanks for the links and suggestions! I see many hours in my sewing space ahead of me!

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