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Forum > Fitting Woes > sleeve/armscye adjustment ( Moderated by CarolynGM, Deepika)

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sleeve/armscye adjustment
lifting weights has changed my shoulder shape!
Mandi Ballard

Mandi Ballard
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Texas USA
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Date: 12/6/06 10:44 AM

I'm trying to make vogue 2923 (jacket) to wear this weekend. Foolish me, I didn't realize that I would need such drastic sleeve changes. I think with the weightlifting I've been doing I've changed the shape of my upper arm/shoulder area, and now sleeves bind and pull way too much even with small movement.
In my muslin I can't even move my arms up a few inches without it pulling so tight I think it would rip.
I will raise the underarm seam on the bodice. I'm considering also adding to the length of the underarm pattern (this is a 2 piece sleeve) to increase the amount of fabric I have to move.
But I'm wondering if I should then shorten the sleeve cap? I need to do some sort of bicep enlargement to allow a bit more room in the area that covers my deltoid (my biceps aren't that big, it's the shoulder muscle above that is feeling the pinch).
I've also got to slightly move the seam where bodice meets sleeve at the shoulder closer towards my neck, as it looks too sloppy as is. I guess I'm wondering (since it's been years since I did any sleeve work) if I move this seam, will it compensate for needing a shortened cap?
Is there something I should watch out for in all of these adjustments? Other than this dang sleeve, the jacket is perfect, so I don't think I need to go up a size.
Maybe someone here has some ideas on this sort of adjustment, because I'm stumped. I had no idea that I'd end up making such a drastic change to my body when I started lifting heavy weights. At least my arms look good in sleeveless tops...

Elona
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In reply to Mandi Ballard


Date: 12/6/06 10:53 AM

Is there any way you could give us a front, side, and back view via photos, Mandi? This could be a trapezius problem, too, but it would be helpful to see the stressed garment on your person to get a better idea.

Mandi Ballard

Mandi Ballard
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Date: 12/6/06 1:49 PM

Thanks Elona, I'm posting links to my PR photo album.

click here
click here
click here
click here


I've put in 4 pictures of the jacket. The first one is with my arm down. You can see where the seam is coming down my arm, though it's not a drop shoulder and the pattern doesn't have pads. The second through fourth pics are of me moving my arm little by little.
I think you can see where it's pulling horizontally across my upper arm, above the bicep, and right at the deltoid muscle.
I'd sure appreciate some help with this one!! Sleeves are tough, but so much harder to do on ones' self!!
-- Edited on 12/6/06 1:53 PM --

Nancy K
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Nancy K
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In reply to Mandi Ballard


Date: 12/6/06 4:43 PM

I think that you need to do a narrow shoulder adjustment. Mark where your shoulder joint ends and see how much difference there is. I think that you will find that if you move the shoulder seam up you will increase your range of motion. I also think that you might have a foward shoulder which would pull on the front of the armskye. See what happens if you add a 1/4" more to front of sleeve from just in front of the shoulder mark blending into the front bottom curve. Remove the same from back sleeve. You can do this by moving the seam on the sleeve. See if this helps you. How much ease can you pinch out of the biceps area? You need at least 2" or 1" pinched, more if you want to wear a thicker sweater under jacket.

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www.nancyksews.blogspot.com

Elona
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In reply to Nancy K


Date: 12/6/06 10:11 PM

It looks like a really cute jacket.

I agree that a narrow shoulder alteration in front would be a worthwhile effort. Can you see in the photos how there's a little fold inboard of the armscye? It looks as though that seam is too far out relative to the crease where your arm joins your body. It's restricting your forward reach.

There might be something else going on, though; it does seem that there's a lot of strain between your shoulder blade and your bicep. I hope Julie Culshaw of timmelfabrics.com won't mind, but I saved a message she posted about this problem:

Quote:
Timmel Fabrics
Sewing World Member
Member # 1412
posted October 11, 2003 05:07 PM
On Creative Machine Newsletter some time ago, someone wrote in her advice for back shoulder width alterations. She sewed professionally for dancers and such and always had to be sure they could move their arms enough.
She measured the back width across the shoulder blades as we all do (oh, yes!), but she also did another measurement. She would ask the person being measured to bring their arms in front of them and cross them. Then she would measure the back width again. The difference between the two measurements was the required amount of ease for that person.

Julie


Several people have also suggested measuring your back width between the creases that form in your skin where the arm joins the body. You may be surprised to find how wide that is, compared to your front. Why not measure that and compare what you get with the width of the jacket pattern at those points?

Oh, one other thing, courtesy of Georgene (and again, I hope she doesn't mind my posting her response to a similar question):

Quote:
georgene
Group: Members
Posts: 907
Joined: Oct. 2002
Posted: Dec. 14 2003,23:23

...If your jacket pattern, and your RTW jacket measure about the same at the cross back, then I have to guess that the sleeve cap is lacking. The shoulder pad could be making a difference as well, since it would pick up the whole sleeve cap and it would have more width at a lower point. (Think of your sleeve pattern, its much wider every inch lower down on the head of the sleeve).
You can add that 1/4" back to the body that it is missing each side at the crossback (5" down from the high point shoulder, which is exactly where you figured it is!. You might even go for 1/2" added into the body width at the armhole, since you can always make it smaller, but you can't make it bigger.
If you need to add to the sleeve cap width, you can make the curve a bit 'fatter'. Compare your pattern's sleeve cap curve with you RTW jacket curve by folding your sleeve in half along the center, then lay the pattern on top of the folded sleeve of your garment and see if you have any difference. Even 1/4" can make a difference at that point, so don't discount small differences.
Skye
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In reply to Mandi Ballard


Date: 12/7/06 0:53 AM

Hi Mandi I to have been doing the weights and I didn't think to check my bicep measurement and made up a jean style jacket recently and I have got similar issues to you. So I looked up Sandra Betzina and she says biceps measurement plus 4" ease.
So I would measure you upper arm add the 4 "" and then do a flat measurement on your pattern - that should help tell you whether you need to add to that area.
I am interested in the replies that you get 'cause I want to sew my pattern up ijn another fabric. Just a thought if your fabric has some stretch this would not be such an issue IMHO

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Wellington, NZ

Sewliz
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In reply to Mandi Ballard


Date: 12/7/06 8:49 AM

The pattern describes this jacket as having "slightly dropped shoulders" which would explain the urge to to a narrow shoulder adjustment.

There is something called athletic arm adjustment where you cut away some of the fabric in the bodice in the front armscye and add that same amount to the corresponding area of the sleeve front. It may sound opposite of what you feel like you need but it does work.

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Liz

thefittinglife.blogspot.com

Kim Winson
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Kim Winson
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Date: 12/7/06 12:24 PM

Hi Mandi:
I have the same issue with my sleeves/armsceye/something binding my forward arm movement. Unfortunately, I don't have any advice for you since I'm trying to solve it myself. I hope that the suggestions help you..I'm also going to try some of the advice given here. Thanks for starting this thread!

Kim

------
Feeding myself for about $3.70 per day at http://mostlyhealthyrecipes.blogspot.com/ ; I update the blog weekly with my adventures in cooking cheap, healthy meals.

Mandi Ballard

Mandi Ballard
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Texas USA
Member since 3/4/02
Posts: 154
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Date: 12/7/06 1:58 PM

Well, the narrow shoulder adjustment didn't do much, and I took off 1/2". But after trying to "fatten" up the cap width (and with that added just a bit to the biceps), I did notice that the cap lost a bit of it's height. I am going to add some more cap height and shave off a bit more on the shoulder. I've debated how slightly off the shoulder I can get away with this, and it doesn't look good this far down. It really doesn't.
I wish this was a stretch fabric, but it's not. I've got to figure this out. It's driving me insane. I think I'll try some of the suggestions that Elona has posted. The crossed arms thing is very interesting.

Elona
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Date: 12/7/06 9:08 PM

This looks like a really fitted style to me, and I'd suggest just dumping the dropped shoulder altogether. It isn't appropriate to a close fit, and certainly not on a weight lifter.

If you take off an appreciable amount from the shoulder, you may find you have to increase the height of the sleeve cap by the same amount. Thank goodness it's a muslin, huh?

Do you by any chance have Judith Rasband's book, Fitting & Pattern Alteration? She has a lot of line drawings of wrinkles indicating figure problems, and the alterations one makes to the muslin or paper pattern to deal with them. She does address some things I've seen nowhere else.
-- Edited on 12/7/06 9:25 PM --

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