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gape in sleeve front

Maezy | Posted in Fitting on

Sewing skills a bit rusty after many years of helping my daughters with 4H projects!  My daughter is making a jacket from dupioni silk, and we are having a fit with fitting the upper chest area, and consequently the sleeve.  Right about even with her armpit is too much fabric, which pinched together equals about 1/2″.  A dart up that high is out of the question.  Should we have cut the pattern using her high bust instead of chest?  (We haven’t cut the silk yet, she is making a muslin).  Appreciate the wisdom of other sewers!


  1. User avater
    Becky-book | | #1

    Just guessing.... but the problem may be in the angle of the side seam right under the arm.  rip out that seam and try overlapping the edges until both front and back are smooth. pin the layers together straight down the side (as if it were the seam) mark new seamlines and add seam allowances to that.  You may find that the back and front need different amounts of adjustment, just keep the seam length the same.

    Beware of over fitting....a jacket needs room to move(or rather room for her body to move inside it)

    Do you have back issues of THREADS mag.? there was an article on fitting the bodice not too long ago

    Hope this helps,


  2. HeartFire2 | | #2

    you can rotate that 'dart' you want to pinch up and put it in the bust dart. (I assume there is a bust dart or perhaps a waist dart?). What you would do is on the muslin or pattern, draw a dart from where you are piniching up the fabric taking it all the way to the bust point. now cut along one of the dart legs of the existing dart on the pattern (all the way to the bust point), and cut along one of the dart legs of the dart you just added. Now, slide the pattern to close the dart you drew, this will widen the other dart by that same amount, but will be shifting it to wher you want it.

    I hope this makes sense.

    1. Maezy | | #4

      The jacket does not call for a dart, I would need to add one.  The jacket is a showmanship jacket for showing horses, and the Western style of showing means pretty form-fitting clothing.  I don't know if I have the back issue you refer to - I have a few that I've bought, as I only recently began subscribing.  Do you think it was less that 2 years ago?

      1. HeartFire2 | | #6

        What pattern are you using? If it needs to be form fitting, but has no darts, how is it fitted? are there princess seams? If the front of the jacket is flat with no princess seams or darts it will not be a fitted jacket, and will have excess fabric that will form 'unsewn' darts. There is no other way (unless its a knit fabric) to form fit the female chest. What cup size is your dauaghter? patterns are drafted for the B cup, if the pattern has a princess line, you can take that pinch you did earlier, slice it to the bust point on the princess lineand close the dart you made, this will widen (lengthen) the princess line, you will need to fix the curve along the princess line, and this is best done as a pin fitting when she is wearing the jacket to get a really good form fitting curve over the breast. Depending where the princess line falls (over the bust point or to the side of the bust point) , generally you only take in the side front. the center front is more or less a straight line (princess shoulder seams) but it can be adjusted as long as the seam line does not go past the bust point lineNow, if there are no princess seams, forget everyting I just told you!!!Hope this makes sense

      2. Teaf5 | | #7

        On very form fitting active wear, the armscye has to be very high and tight, so that the underarm seam runs right up into the armpit, and the armhole is very small compared to most bodice patterns. That keeps the body of the jacket from riding up when the arms are lifted and may also solve the problem of gaping in that area.Patterns with a "European fit" often feature this higher armscye, and there was a very detailed discussion of it on the Threads forum under Fitting earlier this year, complete with photos of a completed muslin.

  3. Teaf5 | | #3

    Does she have a flat upper chest but a full bust? That can lead to some strange gaping in the armhole area, and a full-bust adjustment (covered extensively in fitting books, magazines, and websites) might solve the problem.

    However, I wouldn't do anything until you've set in both sleeves of the muslin and checked the fit again; that extra space may be essential for sleeve ease, as mentioned by another poster.

  4. mem | | #5

    hello , You have to do a full bust adjustment. The cup size is too small and pushing the fabric forward thus creating this "dart". Look up Fit for Everybody and you should be fine.

    1. Maezy | | #8

      Thanks everyone for the help.  There is no princess seam, so I think the bust/armhole adjustments (as well as upper chest) is going to be the key.  The pattern is by a company called Suitability, who designs patterns horse show clothing, as well as other equine items.  The horse show industry has a very specific 'style'; for western it is form-fitting, heavily embellished with swarovski crystals, etc, leather and suede.  So, I've got a lot of brushing up to do!  I've purchased some fit books, and am just starting to go back thru the Threads issues that I have. 

      Most imporantly, this forum is pretty darn helpful!

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