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arm hole depth in coat ? gusset

jennys | Posted in Fitting on

I pulled out a not quite finished coat, that was put aside 3-5 years ago . ( Beautiful wool cashmere fabric, vogue 1266 ). Trying it on ( it’s up to putting the lining in ) , the armholes are too deep, and restrict the arm movement too much.
Would this be fixed by putting in an underam gusset- I kept all the offcuts of fabric, as it was diabolically expensive, so I have enough to do it with.


  1. Ralphetta | | #1

    I haven't seen your pattern, but I frequently have to reset sleeves in RTW I buy and I often use gussets because I'm left  with armholes that are too deep.  Someone might have a better solution for that pattern, but gussets have saved the day many times for me. 

    1. jennys | | #2

      Dear Ralphetta, thank you for your reply. I will try the gussets. I had a few other reasons for putting the coat aside ( house renovations, and 2 chronically ill children ), but I think the fit always bothered me, without quite realizing what it was.

      1. Ralphetta | | #3

        Don't you think that sometimes taking a break from a project is the best thing to do?  For me, I realized that the stress was from my trying to avoid ripping out and redoing something. I wasted time and energy tring to convince myself that I could keep going forward if I could just think of the "right" thing. Usually when I come back to it I'm quicker to admit that the only solution is to go back and redo something and I have the patience to do it after a break.

  2. Kiacomm | | #4


    Would it help at all to change the sleeve style at all?  Say go from set-in to a slight dolman?  Just a thought.  I usually find my answers or at the very least inspiration from Fast Fit by Sandra Betzina.  I hope it will give you answers too.  Good luck.

    Best, Disha

    1. jennys | | #5

      Thank you for the suggestions. You were certainly right about putting it aside when stressed - it's been very helpful. I will look at the Sandra Betzina book also. I always find her stuff very interesting, and I had forgotten to look there. I'll let you know how I go.

  3. BernaWeaves | | #6

    My favorite winter coat is a loden coat from Austria that I got years ago.

    It has no underarm seam!  It's left open.

    The sleeve is fitted at the top, but the bottom third of the armscye is not sewn together.  There is a nice seam binding covering the raw edges.   This does not show at all when I wear the coat.  I didn't even notice that there were huge holes under the sleeves the first few times I wore the coat.

    It allows me to move my arms very easily without moving the rest of the coat.

    I tend to think of it as a blind gusset, but I'm sure it has a real name.



    1. jennys | | #7

      Dear Berna,
      that sounds like a really good idea. I've had a little play with the gusset idea, and while it certainly improved things, it wasn't quite enough. So, I will give your idea a try.
      It's taught me a real lesson about trialling patterns. Since then, I've started drafting my own, using an old copy of the Rohr pattern book ( a copy of it is being uploaded to http://www.vintage sewing .info currently ) that I was given many years ago. The book is eccentric, very short on instructions, and I trial the patterns, but I can now get most things, particuarly the tops of things to fit really well.
      Thank you for your idea.

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