Sloping Shoulder Alteration: Fitting Technique

Someone in my house is continually getting sick this fall and yesterday I spent an entire morning at another

Simplicity 4978:Girl's School Uniform

unexpected doctor’s visit.  I keep looking at my daughter’s unfinished school blouse muslin hanging on my bedroom doorknob but not much sewing is getting done around here.  I had hoped to review the pattern with both a muslin and finished blouse to show you today, but alas.

The practice blouse has a little pin in it at the shoulder.  My daughter it seems has inherited my slightly sloping shoulders. I am hoping that when I alter the excess from the pattern that some of the boxy-bigness in the shoulder area will go away. 

Though for many of you this is old hat, when I was a newbie, I wish someone had told me not only how to make this alteration, but how to follow through on the consequences created by that alteration

Shoulder alterations  are often so glaring obvious that you can’t even call them intuitive.  Even new sewers will take that sucker in if they see a shoulder seam standing away from their bodies like a wing. 

And they often get perfectly fitting shoulders – with too tight armholes.

Because your shoulder slopes does not mean that your arm is necessarily thinner.   Those with small arms may not notice the tighter fit, but if you have average to larger arms taking away at the shoulder seam if giving you less ease to move around.

When you take in the shoulder, you decrease the armscye.  You have to get that amount back.   Below are three Paint Illustrations that take you through that process.

The First Step: Cut the excess out of the shoulder.

The Second Step: Now your shoulder fits.  But your armsyce is decreased.

The Third Step: Getting back what you took out of the armscye.

The Fourth Step: Make the same changes to the back bodice.

This method works for me on most bodices and blouses.  On most shoulder seams I take out less than one inch front and back.  Since I have to ease the sleeve cap anyway I have not noticed any sleeve distortions with this method on basic tops. 

I used to get very frustrated when one small fitting alteration changed the appearance of my garment for the worse. If you have made a sloping shoulder alteration in the past and have gotten a too tight or boxed-in fit, please consider what I have shown. 

Next Post: Thursday, November 11,2010: Is Fashion Design Entering a New Phase?

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Colette Crepe: Ice Cream Social Dress | Miss Parayim

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