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Alter blouse for no shoulder pads

BetsyV | Posted in Fitting on

This is my first posting to any kind of forum. I have many years’ experience sewing for myself, but I am largely self-taught and therefore sometimes get stuck on the basics.

I have a very simple blouse pattern (like a T-shirt, jewel neck, single button at the back) which includes 1/4″ shoulder pads. I want to make the blouse without the pads. I can change the angle of the shoulder seam easily enough, but how do I redraw the sleeve cap so it then fits together? I have made it without the pads and without altering the pattern, but the sleeves just don’t hang right.

I checked several books, but no one addresses removing shoulder pads from the pattern. I couldn’t conceptualize inverting the directions for adding shoulder pads.

Thanks, everyone, for your help.


  1. FitnessNut | | #1

    When a basic pattern is altered to include shoulder pads, the shoulder point is raised on the bodice front and back pieces. The head of the sleeve is raised the same amount at the point where the shoulder seam is matched (there is a notch here), tapering to nothing near the front and back notches. Since you wish to remove the pads, you have to go in reverse - drop the shoulder point on the bodice pieces and lower the sleeve head the same amount, gradually drawing the new seamline back to the current one near the notches. Double-check by comparing the seamline lengths of the new sleeve head and the armhole. Remember that you should have some ease in this area on the sleeve pattern.

    Hope this helps.

    1. BetsyV | | #2


      Thank you for your quick reply! I had visualized the process in the wrong direction. I will try that as soon as I finish the suit jacket I am making. I maintain a one-project policy excepting repairs, and I only have a few steps left on it. This spring, it WILL be finished!


      1. FitnessNut | | #3

        LOL! I hear you!

        1. BetsyV | | #4

          Thanks again for your help with this! It worked perfectly, and the blouse fits great, the sleeves hang properly without the shoulder pads!

          Now for the best part of any project - picking out the next one!


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