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Forum > Plus Size Sewing > Choosing a Flattering Sleeve Length? ( Moderated by JEF)

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Choosing a Flattering Sleeve Length?
Or, can the wrong sleeve length make you look fat?
Vivienne
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Vivienne
Intermediate
British Columbia CANADA
Member since 6/29/04
Posts: 1142
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Date: 6/20/07 2:35 PM

I have finally clued in clothing proportions can really affect the way your body appears. I've grasped the concept that princess lines, and any vertical seam lines, really elongate a stubby little body like mine. But I'm stuck on sleeves.

I'm 5'3" and I think I'd be a rectangle with a slight waist indent if I wasn't carrying around 30lbs of comfort eating (well deserved let me tell you). I think this puts me in the apple category.

So how do I choose a sleeve length for a summer dress? I think if I do 3/4 I will have a horizontal line right at my waist. If I do a short sleeve, the horizontal line is right at my bust.

Am I stuck with long sleeves even in the summer unless I want to look like a lady Hobbit?

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

mlt
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mlt  Friend of PR
Intermediate
North Carolina USA
Member since 5/25/04
Posts: 292
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Date: 6/20/07 3:45 PM

Yes, length does really matter. Just look at this.

Could you take a picture of yourself, make copies of it, and color in different dresses with different sleeve lengths to help you figure out what you like?

Did you see that Threads article on croquis (sp?)

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-Marcia
http://pimpmysewingroom.blogspot.com/

Janie Viers
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Janie Viers  Friend of PR
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Ohio USA
Member since 4/8/02
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Date: 6/20/07 3:56 PM

The sleeve should either be tight at the wrist if your top ends there, or should be no more than 3/4 length for sure!!!

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JanieV

hestiah
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hestiah
Intermediate
Virginia USA
Member since 5/21/07
Posts: 86
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Date: 6/20/07 4:30 PM

I think 3/4 sleeves are the best--and for me I think they 'balance' my figure a bit as I am quite hippy (not ending at the hip like a longer sleeve, but giving more fabric in the general bust vicinity than a general short sleeve). Although, I think cap sleeves look cute on anyone who can pull them off, and are so summery. Wish to death I could wear them, but I will never ever be exposing my arm jiggle to the general public!

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Come visit me at http://sarasews.wordpress.com

JudithE
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JudithE
Advanced Beginner
Illinois USA
Member since 6/12/07
Posts: 103
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Date: 6/20/07 4:50 PM

Can you adjust to get the sleeve length evenly between the short and 3/4 length? You might even do a 3/4 length and add an emblishment that draws the eye away from the waistline.

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JudithE

suegoodie
suegoodie
Advanced Beginner
UNITED KINGDOM
Member since 10/21/06
Posts: 43
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Date: 6/20/07 5:57 PM

A couple of inches above the elbow is flattering for me, it is long enough to hide the jiggly bit but short enough to be summery.

dresscode

dresscode  Friend of PR
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Florida USA
Member since 7/28/04
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Date: 6/20/07 6:52 PM

I think that removing excess width is as important as correct length. This includes making sure that the underarm seam (lower armscye) isn't too low or large. A higher armscye, without cutting into you, is very flattering and allows "space" to be visible between arm and body. Set-in sleeves are always more flattering than raglan and dolman. (Ok, for most people)

My biggest complaint about pattern companies is that the sleeves are drafted too large below the cap. I almost always taper the cuff/hems almost an inch to remove the frump.

KiwiWendy
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KiwiWendy
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International AUSTRALIA
Member since 8/24/02
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In reply to Vivienne


Date: 6/20/07 7:42 PM

A couple of inches just below the elbow suits me best, but I'm a hefty hourglass - vast acreage of bust and broad of beam. You could try cutting a simple shirt/blouse in calico and keep trimming more off the sleeve until you find a point that you like. If you've got a digital camera, take a pic of each level and look at the pics to pic the most flattering length.

Make sure the sleeve isn't far too loose either, cos that implies you're arm is that big and not that the sleeve is.

For me, cos of my broad beam, I don't have the sleeve and shirt/jacket hem finish at the same point, cos it's just like someone draws a line right across saying "look how *wide* she is".

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Sydney, Australia

Rhonda in Montreal
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Rhonda in Montreal  Friend of PR
Advanced Beginner
Quebec CANADA
Member since 12/9/04
Posts: 2008
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Date: 6/20/07 8:20 PM

I would echo---echo--echo the picture idea... Just got holiday pictures back. All dressed up with a FAT, dimply elbow below my sleeves. Ugggghhh!!
Won't do THAT length again!!
Rhonda

------
You are most welcome to visit us at:
www.rhotos-rag.blogspot.com/

cmarie12
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cmarie12  Friend of PR
Intermediate
New Jersey USA
Member since 4/8/03
Posts: 418
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Date: 6/21/07 11:13 PM

You know you can always make the sleeve longer than you need and when you are fitting the garment, cut it off and hem it where it looks best for you.

------
Carolyn
My blog: http://sewingfantaticdiary.blogspot.com/
"I've always maintained that freedom of speech does not mean freedom from responsibility. Choose your words carefully ~ Susan”

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