Facebook Email Pinterest Twitter X Instagram Tiktok Icon 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

article for the magazine.

mem | Posted in General Discussion on

I would really appreciate a well illustrated article on how to change the arm hole shape and then how to change the sleeve head to fit into it.For instance I have a pattern where the arm hole is too low and I would like to raise the arm hole and then change the sleeve head in order to create a high fitted sleeve . I often find that I like most of the design details of a pattern but then don’t like the sleeve .I have used sleeves from another pattern made by the same pattern company but this is not ideal .  


  1. carolfresia | | #1

    That's a topic I've been pondering myself recently. I'll bring it up at our next ed. meeting as a possible future article. Thanks for your input!


    1. dotty | | #2

      YES armhole issues are a big mystery to solve. I've gotten the bodice to my sloper near perfect, but I can't figure out how to reduce the length of the sleeve cap seam to fit into it. I really don't want to add back what I'd elliminatd from the bodice to make room. I can't really make the sleeve skinnier either. I'd like to see photos of whats acceptable in terms of wrinkles/drag lines with a shortened cap or other cap styles.

      1. FitnessNut | | #3

        Are you drafting your sloper? When working on a sloper, I never draft the sleeve until the fit of the bodice is perfected. Then I draft the sleeve to fit that armhole.Working from a ready-made sloper is a whole 'nother ball game.

        1. Sue2000 | | #4

          That is a great idea! 

          Even when I can rework a bodice or jacket to fit my body just the way I want, getting the sleeve redrafted to fit armhole changes really stumps me.  I can raise the armhole but am never sure if it's better to redraw the bottom of the sleeve to fit or fold out part of it ... I'd appreciate this article too.


        2. dotty | | #5

          I did draft it. I made so many changes to it that I had to put it away for a while so that I could see it all freshly (and calmly). I had tried adding sleeves at an earlier stage and realized the sleeve problems I had were related to the bodice(armhole depth, ease in back ,uneven shoulders,etc.)The point at which I stopped working on the sloper,the bodice looked pretty good, but I felt a strong urge to make something I could finish and actually wear,so I gave it a break.I've really lost track of any "system" I had for drafting, since in the end I was eyeballing the corrections of various wrinkles and sags. So now how should I go about tackeling the sleeve?
          I'm not sure this should all be part of this thread, but what the heck?

          1. FitnessNut | | #6

            Putting things away for a bit is sometimes the best approach. ;-)Now that your sloper fits, go back to the drafting instructions and make a sleeve using the armhole measurements AS THEY ARE NOW to calculate the dimensions of the sleeve head. Make it up in muslin (you may only need to do one, unless your body is asymmetric) and baste into the armhole. Fit.

          2. dotty | | #7

            thank you- I needed some prodding to get back to it.

          3. FitnessNut | | #8

            You're very welcome. Glad I could help.;-)

    2. User avater
      Becky-book | | #21

      I am a fairly recent subscriber to Threads and have read everything written there about sleeves! And I still have trouble getting sleeves to fit my now overweight biceps and still fit my bodice (there are other difficulties in fitting my 50 something body now!) basic patterns that I have used for years (decades) don't quite work any more! Yes, I know, loose 30 lbs and some of the difficulties will go too; but in the mean time I need to wear something!  My sleeve fitting experiences are mostly trial and lots of error!  I'll take all the help I can get!



      1. mem | | #22

        hello try getting a decent book on fit . This is a very common problem and not hard to fix and you will be so happy with the result. I use Fit for Everybody by Palmer Pletsch. Its fantastic and easy to understand.

        1. User avater
          Becky-book | | #23

          Thanks!  My husband buys books on his hobbies so why not me!  I probably should have looked for this type of book years ago, too cheap I guess. I use the library a lot, but this kind of book must be on the shelf at home when needed!!


  2. busybee | | #9

    Hallo,    I've just read your thread on sleeve difficulties etc and wonder if i can help.  I have become a member of Pattern Review and there are two articles by 'Mini'  called  ' What the pattern doesn't tell you'   These two seem to deal with this issue.  Hope this helps.. BusyBee

  3. KathleenFasanella | | #10

    The whole sleeve thing is something I've written about extensively (a whole section in my book). Shaping the armscye, the sleeve cap etc. For example, did you know that if your sleeve is made correctly, you don't *need* sleeve cap ease? Yes, you can get perfect horizontal stripe matching across the sleeve on a well made suit (for example) with no sleeve cap ease. The proof is here (sleeve cap ease is bogus) along with suggestions on how to correct the problems:


    Regarding an article in Threads, this is a rather complex subject. I don't see how it could be done in one article. I'd think it'd require a series of articles for a good discussion of the topic. And who would write it? This is really advanced stuff.

    1. happy2sew | | #11

      I, too have had many years of difficulty developing a proper sleeve and armhole for myself. I read your resonse and went to the link, but I only saw a tread discussion about your method of developing a different sleeve cap.  What is the name of your book? Is it still in print?  If that information is inappropriate for this venue, then can you please email me?

      1. KathleenFasanella | | #12

        It would be inappropriate and inaccurate for me to suggest the book (yes, still in print) would represent a value for you. Only one section of it deals with fitting (basic anatomy, range of motion etc). It's designed for people who want to start a clothing line and who are starting out very small, usually from home and who have little to no money. It's called The Entrepreneur's Guide to Sewn Product Manufacturing. It's available from Amazon or my website. I've been thinking of putting out that fitting section in pdf for people who'd be soley interested in that section because I don't like for people to have to buy the whole book when that section is the only reason they're buying it.

        1. happy2sew | | #14

          Oh, please do think about publishing the fitting guide (sleeve) in pdf file.  I would be so happy to read and learn that material.

    2. FitnessNut | | #13

      "I'd think it'd require a series of articles for a good discussion of the topic. And who would write it? This is really advanced stuff."Ummm......Actually, I think you could write it. ;-)Advanced material would be welcome by many of us who read Threads, although they seem to have gotten away from anything at that level in recent years. C'mon, your audience awaits!

    3. mem | | #15

      Well i agree with the others . Why dont you do it . Wasnt threads asking people for input to their articles some time ago?

      I am specifically concerned with raising a low armhole so that range of motion and sillouette are improved and then how one alters the sleeve to match the new arm hole. I have been looking at drafting books and I can see that the length of the arm hole is used to derive the relationship between the underarm to top of sleeve measurement. My problem is that I am writing this to you away from my books which are all at home so forgive me if I am a little vague

      1. KathleenFasanella | | #16

        Well for one thing, Threads has never asked me to write an article for them so it's a moot point :). Also, the article would contradict a lot of what they've printed in the past. I mean, the cognitive dissonance over my stance that sleeve cap ease is unnecessary in a well engineered armhole/sleeve is just too much for some people to handle. They have too many articles invested in the position that sleeve ease is required and have printed many articles on how to affect this "couturely". :)Lastly, it'd need to be a series of minimally two if not three articles (four articles if they wanted an article on horizontal stripe matching across the sleeve). I can't ever recall that they've ever run a continuing series. Regarding a series, the first article would be informative/education with (probably) no applied techniques or solutions and the magazine is very much based on each article educating AND providing solutions and editorially, I could see how this could be a risk they wouldn't be willing to take. I mean, they know their readers and it'd be arrogant for me to suggest otherwise.

        1. KarenW | | #17

          Why not just propose it instead of waiting for an invitation?  I think that's how a lot of articles get published and if you think it would be beneficial for the sewing public - help us out!!!!   It seems they do read these boards and maybe seeing enthusiasm for these topics will influence which article proposals editors accept regardless of what's been published in the past.  There's a new editor and publisher and I suspect "'that's how it's always been done" probably isn't the editorial philosophy!Thanks!Karen

        2. FitnessNut | | #18

          Actually, I think potential authors submit article proposals to Threads, rather than Threads initiating anything. Considering the direction Threads has taken recently, I doubt that this may be of interest to them. (I could be wrong....I would love to be wrong.) That doesn't mean, however, that there aren't many of us out there that would be more than interested in such a series of articles.BTW, I would like to compliment you on your website. I read your blog regularly and find it very enlightening, though I have not summoned the courage to comment on anything you have written.

          1. KathleenFasanella | | #19

            oh please, jump in. No courage needed! The more the merrier :). You never know, you could inspire someone else who's timid.

          2. dotty | | #20

            I would LOVE an article about the sleeve/armhole issues. I also love reading contradictory advice and deciding what makes sense to me or for the specific problem. Thats what makes sewing/life/cooking/movies etc., etc. interesting.

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