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Adjusting shoulder size

tzipi | Posted in Fitting on

I am in the process of sewing a coat from Vogue pattern V1129 . I finished it but then saw that the shoulders droop too far over, so I took off the sleeves and and shortened the shoulder length. Should I take off the same amount all around the sleeve opening or just on the upper half?

Also in the same coat, most of the seams are top stitched. I have an industrial machine. There is no way I can top stitch the second- final – sleeve of the arm once it is a tube. Any ideas for that?
thanks for any suggestions.



  1. jjgg | | #1

    If you are referring to the coat front and back (not the sleeve head itself) it depends. (Don't you just love those precise answers). If all it needs is taken in at the shoulders then yes, just taper from the shoulder point down about 2 inches on front and back. If it needs taking in under the arm, the whole armhole has to be re- cut. Think of a circle, if you trim it all the way around, the hole in the middle gets bigger. The sleeve won't fit if you trim the entire armhole evenly.

    1. tzipi | | #2

      Right. That makes sense. So I did as you said. I trimmed from the top and tapered down the front and back. We'll see how it goes. Thanks

  2. cat42 | | #3

    It appears this style has a pretty high crown on the sleeve; you may need to alter the crown when you trim back the armhole near the shoulder.The only suggestion I have for top stitching the sleeve seam (after it's a tube) is to do it by hand, with a back-stitch.Cat

  3. Palady | | #4

    >> ... no way I can top stitch the second- final - sleeve of the arm once it is a tube. Any ideas on that? <<

    I'm doing some catch up and your post is from Nov 10.  You mention your coat being finished so it's likely you'd be unable to consider my thought for this project.  For future planning maybe sewing in the sleeve & top stitching before the side & sleeve seams are done would work.

    This method is usually done sewing yoked shirts.  Personally, I've used it with set in sleeves on children & adult fashion.



  4. jjgg | | #5

    If you want to top stitch the underarm sleeve seam after it's a tube, you have to turn the sleeve INSIDE OUT, start at the shoulder end, sewing on the RIGHT side of the sleeve you are sewing IN the tube, you have to go slow and adjust the tube every few stitches or so, but it can be done (not easily)

    1. tzipi | | #6

      Thank you. I'll see if that is even worth it to try

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