Create Defined Shoulders by Borrowing a Vintage DetailIt's easy to bring emphasis with a vintage-inspired detail
The defined shoulder is having a moment. It doesn’t have to be broad or heavily padded, though. Incorporating a design detail that calls attention to a strong shoulder line will do the trick. I was inspired to replicate a flange detail from a vintage jacket. The jacket features an inserted band over the armhole at the shoulder. This shoulder can give an otherwise plain jacket a lift; it is reminiscent of suits from the 1940s, but it looks modern.
The flange is tapered and spans the upper armhole, with its widest section at the top of the shoulder. It is inserted into an added seam in the jacket bodice rather than into the armscye seam. This position offers the illusion of a broader shoulder without creating “wings” that extend beyond the sleeve cap. The insertion seam is shaped with a square corner at the front and back, for extra interest.
I’ll show you how to revise a basic jacket pattern to include this detail. You’ll need a pattern with a set-in sleeve and a side panel rather than a side seam. This method has the advantage of not affecting the lining, facing, or sleeve patterns; the original pieces fit into the armhole as before. When choosing fabrics, look for those with some body, to support the flange and the entire shoulder area. If you are looking to add powerful new interest to a tried-and-true jacket pattern, consider this feature.
Alter the pattern
This detail is easily drafted onto a classic three-panel jacket with a set-in sleeve. Make all necessary fitting changes before drafting the flange. You’ll need the front and back patterns; the side panel isn’t changed. Remove the seam allowances and add them back…
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