Facebook Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Headphones Icon Favorite Navigation Search Icon Forum Search Icon Main Search Icon Close Icon Video Play Icon Indicator Arrow Icon Close Icon Hamburger/Search Icon Plus Icon Arrow Down Icon Video Guide Icon Article Guide Icon Modal Close Icon Guide Search Icon

Conversational Threads

Armhole changes

tsanders39 | Posted in Fitting on

When I make jackets (and blouses to some degree) the armholes are too low.  When I raise my arms the jacket comes up too far and it is actually difficuat to raise them.  What I want is for the armhole to fit more snuggly to my arm pitt.  Is this as simple as adding more fabric in the seam?  Has anyone else dealt with this problem successfully?



  1. ElonaM | | #1

    It's not at all a simple alteration, because any change you make in the size of the armhole will affect the sleeve cap. If you raise the armhole, you make it smaller. The sleeve head thus has to be reduced in size to fit in. There was a very nice article about this in a Threads magazine a few years back. I think you can access it using the online index, and searching with terms like "narrowing extended shoulder," "raising armhole,' and so forth.

    The essence of it is that you take a pattern whose shoulder/armhle you like and superimpose it over the one you want to alter, matching fronts, waistlines, and bustpoints. Pin or tape them in place and trace off a new pattern. Then, since the armhole is changed, you do the same thing with the sleeve.

    There are other ways to do it, of course, but they're all pretty complicated.

    1. tsanders39 | | #2

      I found an article in issue 57 about how to make the armhole bigger/looser on a vintage jacket.  The author did say that a tighter armhole allows more freedom of movement, which is what I am looking for.  However the article was talking about how to alter an existing jacket so had nothing on altering the pattern (which I could just reverse). 

      I don't have a jacket pattern that fits the way I want it to.  Does anyone who has used a new Vogue  vintage pattern know if they fit tighter in the sleeves?  I think I remember reading that they had altered them to fit more like modern patterns because modern girls did not like their sleeves tight.

      I am thinking that I can just add fabric to the armhole pattern and then add the same at the underarm part of the sleeve.  If someone knows that this will or won't work please let me know.

      I am an intermediate to advanced sewer, so don't be afraid to give instructions if you know how to do this.



      1. ElonaM | | #3

        Theresa, the pattern line by Loes Hinse is hugely popular at http://www.sewingworld.com, but a design feature that drives the users nuts is that many, many of her patterns have this low armhole. I wouldn't ordinarily suggest that a Gatherings member visit another site, but there isn't a lot of discussion of this problem here, whereas there is over there, in the Techniques section.

  2. lindamaries | | #4

    These are my thoughts on this low armhole thing:

    Do you think that by drawing a line horizontally from front armhole notch to front armhole notch (likewise do the same on the back pattern piece) AND also drawing a line horizontally from front sleeve cap notch to back sleeve cap notch THEN fold out along these lines say 1/4" (which would be a total of 1/2" with the fold). I'm thinking that the real problem here is not the armhole, but the distance from your shoulder/neck to bust apex. By decreasing the pattern's upper chest length, the armhole will get smaller and rise into place. The armhole / side seam joint should be about 1" down from the pit. Sometimes the weight of the fabric will settle this joint lower than the tissue pattern maybe another 1/2" so fitting the tissue pattern could be a little snugger to about 1/2" below the pit.

    You might have to adjust the curve then of the armhole, but if you do make sure to measure with your tape measure standing on the edge/side the armhole stitching line compare with the sleeve cap stitching line. The cap should be 3/4" to 1-1/4" greater in size than the armhole depending on the fabric...some fabrics just don't want to blend in nicely and relax so the ease should be 3/4". But try to have the greatest amount of ease that the fabric will allow because ease helps in movement. Kind of looks like to know this ease ability before you cut out the pieces, you'll have to practice an ease example for yourself.

    Edited 10/15/2002 9:13:50 PM ET by lindamaries

    Edited 10/15/2002 9:18:52 PM ET by lindamaries

This post is archived.

Threads Insider

Get instant access to hundreds of videos, tutorials, projects, and more.

Start Your Free Trial

Already an Insider? Log in

Conversational Threads

Recent Posts and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |

Threads Insider Exclusives

View All
View All


Shop the Store

View All
View More