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Forum > Fitting Woes > New (or maybe very old) narrow shoulder adjustment ( Moderated by CarolynGM, Deepika)

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New (or maybe very old) narrow shoulder adjustment
Deb Fox
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Deb Fox
Intermediate
Florida USA
Member since 8/26/05
Posts: 1214
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Date: 5/11/09 9:15 AM

I have struggled for a while now with pattern size. I am a size 18 in the bust, waist and hips, I have a wide back, but most of my width is mid-back, due to over-developed upper back and neck muscles. My upper front is very small and my shoulders are also quite narrow, but my neck is quite large. My high bust is 35. By conventional wisdom I should start with a size 12 or 14 and alter up from there. I have always wished I could just take a size 18 and take huge dart out of the upper chest (back and front) but could not figure out how to do without having to figure out how to rotate out that dart.

Well, late last week, while wandering the internet, I found this obscure website that had sewing instructions. I was drawn to the pattern alteration section and got quite a chuckle, as the author stated that patterns come in newer printed versions, or the standard perforated versions! When was that, around 1950?
Well, anyway, for a narrow shoulder they had you slash from the waist (or hemline for a sheath style) to the shoulder. You then overlap the desired amount at the shoulder, tapering the overalp to nothing at the hem edge. With this method I was able to take an 18, do my length adjustments for petite, then used this method to take out 3/4 front and back.

It worked! I had to do no other alteration. It worked for every brand of pattern I own, including Burda and Hot Patterns. No FBA, no excessive slashing or dart rotation. I did a few quick trial muslins and the results were just great. I feel like I just learned how to sew all over again. You can believe I ran out to Joanns and bought a few more size 18 patterns! So far I have traced off and altered several patterns and can't wait to start sewing up a storm.
-- Edited on 5/11/09 9:15 AM --
-- Edited on 5/11/09 9:16 AM --
-- Edited on 5/11/09 9:17 AM --

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Deb: www.thinkingcouture.blogspot.com

Speech girl
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Speech girl  Friend of PR
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Georgia USA
Member since 5/11/03
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In reply to Deb Fox


Date: 5/11/09 9:41 AM

How cool! What was the website you found the alteration on?
I avoid big-4 top patterns because of all the alterations I have to do because I have to start with a smaller size at the shoulder/upper chest and then add to the back, arms, bust, waist . . . I'll have to try this new/old alteration.

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Kim
formerly mikkim
http://girlwithatimemachine.wordpress.com/

Deb Fox
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Deb Fox
Intermediate
Florida USA
Member since 8/26/05
Posts: 1214
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In reply to Speech girl


Date: 5/11/09 12:17 PM

I'm not sure I could find the website again, but I'll try...I too got sick of trying to add everywhere...and of course all the tried and true methods of altering for a wide back add width at through the shoulder, not at the center back where I need it the most. I would also have to add 2-3 inches for a FBA and forget the arms! I'll google again and see if I can find the site.

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Deb: www.thinkingcouture.blogspot.com

Deb Fox
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Deb Fox
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Florida USA
Member since 8/26/05
Posts: 1214
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Date: 5/11/09 12:26 PM

Here's the website...www.freeembroiderydesign.net/freeembroiderydesign13.php

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Deb: www.thinkingcouture.blogspot.com

Vintage Joan
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Vintage Joan
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Ontario Canada
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In reply to Deb Fox


Date: 5/11/09 3:32 PM

What a great resource that site/book is -- thanks for the link! He says the book (Silvia K. Mager, Guide to Home Sewing) was published in 1960; he's making it accessible for free for a limited time only.


-- Edited on 5/11/09 3:48 PM --

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my shield and my very great reward ~ Gen. 15:1

Speech girl
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Speech girl  Friend of PR
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Georgia USA
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In reply to Deb Fox


Date: 5/11/09 9:08 PM

Thanks for the website info!

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Kim
formerly mikkim
http://girlwithatimemachine.wordpress.com/

JTink
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JTink
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In reply to Deb Fox
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Date: 5/12/09 6:27 PM

I don't have the back issues you do, but I am narrow in the shoulders. I have always slashed my patterns from the center of the shoulder, down about 5 or 6 inches and then over horizonally to the arm hole, leaving a henge. Then fold out my one inch on the shoulder, tape and true the seam. I can't figure out why would would slash all the way down to the hem.

Deb Fox
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Deb Fox
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Florida USA
Member since 8/26/05
Posts: 1214
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In reply to JTink


Date: 5/14/09 8:44 AM

I've tried that alteration, but it does not work for me. It makes the armseye too big for me, and removes too much width just above the bust. I have to add that I am very short (5 foot) especially in the upper torso. The slash in effect is a dart that tapers to practically nothing above the bust point, and the same for the back, it tapers to nothing just around the tip of the shoulder blade. I slash to the hem on blouses, jackets and tops, but just to the waist on dresses and of course anything else that has a definite waist seam.

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Deb: www.thinkingcouture.blogspot.com

annie11
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Date: 5/14/09 9:42 AM

Thanks for this idea Deb! I will definitely give this a try also.

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http://sewbabynews.blogspot.com/

Bernie R.
Bernie R.  Friend of PR
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Illinois USA
Member since 3/9/07
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In reply to Deb Fox


Date: 5/14/09 12:22 PM

Deb -- This is a great tip! I have a similar problem with narrow shoulders and all the adjustments I've made have made the armscye too big, too. I'm eager to try this. Thanks for sharing!!

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