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Message Board > Fitting Woes > shrinking or other fix for gaping armscye ( Moderated by CarolynGM, Deepika)

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shrinking or other fix for gaping armscye
dealing with gaping armscye on sleeveless cotton dress
Finicky Petite
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Finicky Petite
Intermediate
MN USA
Member since 11/4/10
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Date: 8/14/11 7:12 PM

Hi everyone,

I'm working on a sleeveless dress with princess seams (M6279), which I'm making with a cotton sateen with about 5% lycra for stretch.

It took me a while to get the fit right, due to my hypercorrect posture, small back and shoulders, and large bust, but I've finally gotten it right. The front is the right length and width... but I have gaping in the lower front armscye. I imagine that this may be normal for women with large busts and/or small shoulders...

I've got about 3/4" of extra fabric to take up, and I could easily make a dart, but I think that would be ugly with the princess seams, so I've been trying to steam-shrink the extra volume at the armscye. It's not working... well, maybe I've managed to take out about 1/4" after about a half an hour of wetting and pressing the fabric, but not more. Is it not possible to shrink cotton sateen? Is the synthetic component of the fabric not susceptible of being shrunk?

I could leave the "gathered" look I've achieved in this part of the armscye, but I'm afraid it will just look like poor construction. Does anyone have any strategies other than darts or shrinking for taking care of this problem (really, I can't alter the fit any at all at this point)?

Calendria
Calendria
Advanced Beginner
AK USA
Member since 7/4/05
Posts: 603
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Date: 8/14/11 8:28 PM

Isn't there any way you can increase the seam allowance in that area and then taper it down farther down the side seam and then take out the previous stitches, press it flat and then no one wud know?

tourist
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tourist  Friend of PR
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BC CANADA
Member since 7/23/07
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In reply to Finicky Petite


Date: 8/14/11 9:01 PM

I know the thing looks like it "wants" a dart, right? Try lifting up the outer edge of the shoulder seam. That is the key fix for me after the fba. Sometimes it works by itself. I have a fab sleeveless blouse that I got on super-clearance that I was able to fix that way. Often I have to take a wedge ( really a rotated dart, I suppose) out of the outer edge of the front only and sometimes it has to be a wedge out of the front and back.

Good luck!

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http://bgballroom.wordpress.com to follow the progress on my next ballgown.

ryan's mom
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ryan's mom
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Date: 8/14/11 9:18 PM

I would dart it. Even with princess seams. I think it seems more noticeable to us garments sewers, but when we look at a great-fitting dress, we observe the total look as does everybody else. People typically do not "see" armhole darts. We sewers are the ones that do, and we are the minority. And we, as sewers, know that armhole darts are not unheard of, just not common in today's fashions.

I guess it just depends how much work you want to do for the alteration. As tourist mentioned, you could try lifting up the outer edge of the front shoulder seam.
-- Edited on 8/14/11 9:19 PM --

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Big 4 Pattern size 12, RTW bottom: 6, RTW jacket 8, RTW top (no size fits me well!)
Measurements: 34 HB/36 FB (34C bra)/27.5/36 (and working hard to keep it that way.)
Machines: Sewing/Embroidery Combo Machine: Janome MC15000. Sewing Machines: Elna 740, vintage Kenmore Model 33 (1967), Janome Gem Gold 3. Sergers: Babylock Imagine and Babylock Enlighten. Embroidery Only: Janome 300E

If you think your sewing is better than everyone else's around here, get out of my way b****. I hate sewing snobs.

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Elona
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Elona  Friend of PR
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Date: 8/14/11 11:03 PM

Unfortunately, for those with small frames and generous bosoms, it's either darts or princess seams. You have a certain amount of volume to deal with, and it's not going to go away.

tourist
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tourist  Friend of PR
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Date: 8/15/11 2:11 AM

I am one of those people who protest "but I'm not that big!" when told I need an fba. And though I am a petite, my shoulder seam to bust point seems quite long, though I don't really know what "standard" is for that measurement. Nevertheless, these adjustments do need to be done to satisfy good fit.

And I agree about the total look. We don't really see seams and darts unless they happen to be part of the design or if they are really awful in some way and even then, only sewing people notice.

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JTink
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JTink
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VA USA
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Date: 8/15/11 8:04 AM

I agree with both Tourist and Ryan's Mom. First try pulling up on the shoulder. If that doesn't work, make the dart. I'm going to throw this in here: are you sure you have made a big enough FBA? I have a dress that I thought was a great fit, with the exception of the armhole "dart" that was happening. I went ahead and made the dart in the first few dresses. Later I took the time to increase the FBA a bit more and it eleminated the dart. My Bust was pulling from the armhole area and creating the dart.

Finicky Petite
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Finicky Petite
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Date: 8/15/11 10:05 AM

Hi everyone,

Unfortunately, I can't pull up the outside shoulder seam... I actually need that length to go over my bust! The FBA of 3/4" seems excessive to me, since I only wear a C-cup, but I have a big ribcage. I have a high bust measurement of 36 1/2" and bust of 39 1/4", but a back width between the shoulders of only 12 3/4" and a shoulder length of only 4 1/2", so you can see what kinds of fitting woes I have.

I tried a muslin with only a 1/2" FBA, and it wasn't enough. 3/4" is working, and but I still have the armscye gape.

I'm going to leave the armscye as is, unfinished and slightly shrunk, for now, and put together the rest of the garment. If I still have puckering, it looks like I'll have no choice but to put in a dart.

JTink
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JTink
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VA USA
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In reply to Finicky Petite


Date: 8/15/11 12:51 PM

Petite, I think you need to make a bigger FBA. Even if it means making an adjustment in the back. I'm a 34D and make a 3/4 to one inch FBA. My high bust is 32, full bust is 36. If you have a copy of FFRP, check page 141. It mentions that a B cup with a large rib cage may have to make a larger FBA.

Lynnelle
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Lynnelle  Friend of PR
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Subject: Topic moved Date: 8/15/11 2:09 PM

This topic has been moved from Sewing Techniques and Tips to Fitting Woes

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