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Forum > Fitting Woes > Fitting the armhole & sleeve ( Moderated by CarolynGM, Deepika)

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Fitting the armhole & sleeve
Looks good until I move my arms......
Sarsez
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Sarsez
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Date: 6/9/12 11:05 PM

I need some advice on how to fix a problem fitting area that I've never really solved. Any woven garment that is fitted or semi fitted with set in sleeves looks perfect on me until I move my arms esp. reaching forward. The fabric will bind around my upper arms, usually my upper bicep. Until now I have worked around it by using stretch fabrics or raglan sleeves.

Yesterday, with help from a friend, we pinned up a little of the sleeve cap height and that did improve things some what. Also it looks as though I could cut the front armhole a little deeper too.

I would love to hear some other opinions on what else I should be trying and or looking at.

Thanks!

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24th Nov 12 to 28th Nov 13
Fabric and patterns rules for me.
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Remember to keep sewing to your wardrobe plan!

goosegreen
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Date: 6/9/12 11:29 PM

I made a top a few years ago and the sleeve does exactly the same thing. Yet the sleeve itself is big enough for my arm. I'm thinking the adjustment in "The Big Red Book" re Cylindrical Upper Torso might be the answer but I've yet to try it. The adjustment is adding more to the armscye just near the side seam & the same to the sleeves. How much I don't know.

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Alison in suburbia - Sydney Australia
My sewing blog: http://nosilasews.blogspot.com/

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Fictionfan
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Date: 6/10/12 0:57 AM

In general, if your arms are comfortable in the sleeves when still, but there is pulling when you are moving the arms at the shoulder, the problem is with the armscye, not the sleeve. To get the most mobility for the shoulder, the armscye should be as close to your body as possible. This may mean adding fabric to make the armscye smaller, not larger. If the sleeve itself is too small, binding would occur when you aren't moving and the sleeve will feel tight. If the armscye is cut too large, the sleeve will pull because there isn't enough ease in the body of the garment around the sleeve to allow movement. Cutting the armscye deeper would usually cause binding to be worse if this is the problem.

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Fictionfan

Lena Merrin
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Lena Merrin
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Date: 6/10/12 5:54 AM

Try adding ease across back, this usually fixes the problem

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JTink
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JTink
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In reply to Sarsez <<


Date: 6/10/12 7:34 AM

Sarsez, I have the same problem. I know mine is because the armholes are too low. If I slope my shoulder seams, that helps, but I would like to make the adjustments to the actual sleeve and armhole. The one time I did this, for some reason I got a lot of extra material in the underarm...I even followed the directions in one of my fitting books. Thanks for starting this thread, I might learn how to finally get my wovens to fit in the arm.

Fictionfan
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Date: 6/10/12 8:12 AM

Perhaps you could post some of photos, one with your arm at your side, one of your arm in the posture that causes the most obvious problem. In this case, a photo of the problem position from the back as well as the front and/or side would best help us to help you.

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Fictionfan

Sarsez
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Sarsez
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Date: 6/12/12 10:22 PM

Hello - Thanks very much for your responses. I took 'em all on board and then spent the next couple of days pondering and then fiddling with the toile.
I have a solution - the short answer is a gusset!! Absolutely no pulling or binding whatsoever! Yahoo!

The long answer.......

* Shortening the sleeve head wasn't really the answer. It did give a little more movement but it also caused spiralling wrinkle lines from the back of the arm.
* Definitely the problem was in the armscythe, I agree. In prior garments I have tried to fix the binding by adding fullness to the sleeve (pleats or gathers) with no success.
* So, I could lengthen or shorten the armscythe or change the shape of the armscythe or a combo of the two.
* In other garments I have tried to change the shape of the armscythe only to land in hotter water because then I would have to re-draft the shape of the sleeve head. It's possible but a real horror to do ....
* So that leaves shortening or lengthening the armscythe......

FictionFan I understand what you are saying regarding greater mobility in the arm if you take the armscythe closer to fit the body. I liken that to fitting pants. For example if you were to make of pair of running tights, the crotch would be cut close to the body. You wouldn't use a trouser style crotch draft because you wouldn't be able to lift your legs in a sprint. So your comment made me think about fitting problems with pants and crotches and really, armscythes are very very similar.

So....

If you try on a pair of pants and the leg binds as you walk forward, you add to the back crotch extension and problem goes away. So what if I added to the back armscythe extension and the corresponding amount to the sleeve? This is what goosegreeen and Lena mentioned.
I traced front and back of the pattern and put a "armscythe" extension points butted together and drew a horizontal straight line between them. Next I dropped a perpendicular line on both the back and front armscythe where it starts to straighten up. I measured the distance between the perpendicular lines. It was 10cm. Next I took a ruller with two elastic bands on it and stuck it under my armpit and used the elastic bands to measure the horizontal distance. It was 12cm. No wonder my sleeve binds!
I added 2cm to the back armscythe at side seam and the corresponding amount to the sleeve - Bingo - good fit and problem solved.
Of course, when was trialing all of this, I just cut little triangles of fabric to pin in to see if it would work and when it was all pinned up I realised I had added a gusset! Doh!!

Sorry for the long explanation. I was so happy to solve this problem I wanted to share.
I hope this helps other people because this problem has stopped me from sewing and wearing quite a few garments - notably cool summer shirts and nice tailored jackets.

Woohoo!

------
24th Nov 12 to 28th Nov 13
Fabric and patterns rules for me.
Remember to shop your stash girl!
Remember to keep sewing to your wardrobe plan!

JTink
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JTink
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In reply to Sarsez <<
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Date: 6/13/12 7:50 AM

Thank you for sharing your journey I had never thought of the arm hole as a "mini crotch" and adding to the front or back "points". Perhaps adding to the front or back, might be the answer to my issue.

Nancy K
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In reply to Sarsez <<


Date: 6/13/12 10:18 AM

You need more room in the biceps. Do a full biceps alteration where you split the center of the sleeve so that you don't enlarge the sleeve head circumference. This has plagued me until I took a fitting seminar with Kenneth King. He slit my muslin and inserted muslin to enlarge the sleeve. You can pin it under and try it back on to see if you've added enough. Depending on what you are making you'll need more or less ease.

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www.nancyksews.blogspot.com

SVN
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SVN
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In reply to Sarsez <<


Date: 6/15/12 9:12 AM

Thanks very much for your lengthy description of the fix. I'm trying to picture exactly where you added the extra 2 cm. Did you raise the armhole and sleeve by 2 cm at the back only?

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