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

jacket shoulder fitting

Marie_Dunn | Posted in Fitting on

Please can any body help me with altering the shoulders on jacket patterns, I have narrow shoulders and am full busted, so no doubt the sleeves will need to be altered too, many thanks to anybody who may help with this problem, Marie Dunn, England


  1. Helen_Michalke | | #1

    I have the same problem. I am hoping someone will help both Marie and myself. On a short, very loose fitting, dropped shoulder casual jacket, I am thinking about folding out some of the shoulder width from center of the shoulder line all the way to the hem. Do I have to raise the sleeve at the top by the amount I take out of the shoulders? Thanks.

    1. Liz_Maynard | | #2

      *I have good results using patterns that have princess seams in bodice or jackets for large busted women. A well fitted garment minimizes bust size and the shoulders can be made smaller to fit but the bust increased at the front curve of the bust and front side seam where the extra room is needed. You don't need room in the back. When I narrow the shoulders, I use a design curve and draw line from shdr. seam (e.g. take off 1/4") and taper back to original line at notch area, sometimes all way down to underarm. Most large busted ladies I sew for are used to buying the size that will meet in the front with no fitting curves at all. Scroll down the discussions in this list to the bridal gown bodice fitting for more info on princess seams.

      1. enidshapiro | | #3

        I have the same problem.  I took a class at Parson's trying to alter a tailored jacket.  I first made a muslin and the teacher tried to alter it to fit a size 32D bust on a size 4 woman (me).  Couldn't.

        She said I should get princess line jacket patterns which I haven't done yet, but will.

  2. ElonaM | | #4

    This is indeed a complicated fitting problem, and each case is a little different. A good first step, as has been noted, is a pattern with princess seams.

    Second, patterns such as Burda and Neue Mode have a tremendous range of sizes in each envelope, which means that when you trace off your pattern, you can move continuously from one size line at the neck and shoulders, say, to a larger size down at the armscye/bustline, and then smoothly in again for a smaller waist, out for more hip, and so forth.

    Finally, I would recommend two excellent fitting books: One is Palmer and Alto's great "Fit for Real People." The second is "The Perfect Fit," in the Singer series.

    1. ShannonG4d | | #5

      Another option is to start with a custom draft.....pattern software is a good route for this.  There are several companies that offer pattern software, and a couple of them sell "jackets only" packages for a reasonable price.  Once you plug your measurements into the computer, the fitting problems will be calculated into the mix.  Out prints a pattern that is correct for your sloping shoulders, small or large bustline, swayback, short arms, curved posture (I hate the term "dowager's hump:)"), etc.  I have used three of these software programs with happy success.  Measuring yourself is the key; I had to make one adjustment due to improper measurement, and then I had a beautifully fitting garment!  You might want to give it a look.

      Shannon Gifford

      1. carolfresia | | #6

        Keep your eyes peeled for Threads's upcoming review of several of the pattern-drafting software packages. Testing is still in the works as I write, but the article will come out in the April-May issue of 2003. I've been a "fit test dummy" and have found it fascinating to see how these programs handle drafting for my assymetrical figure. Without spilling too many beans, I can say that a LOT of muslin has been cut and sewing for this article!


        1. rmvjmv | | #7

          My April-May issue of Threads came today, with the article on sewing software, and it is great.  I own both DS4, Patternmaster Boutique, and am thinking about investing in Cochenille's program.  Why?  because each program has something worthwhile.  My favorite is DS4, because I am very different front and back, and DS4 addresses that.  Patternmaster does not.   Cochenille uses a few less measurements than DS4, but does address the front-back measurements.   PMB permits some CAD, and I like the multiplicity of options.

          If this seems extravagant,  compare it to the totalcost of the pattern libraries of many of us.   The only real danger is that you spend so much time on muslins and playing with the effects of slight changes in options that you spend less time of real sewing. Anyway, this article was very relevant.

          1. rjf | | #8

            Those pattern programs sound fascinating but I can see that you might spend more time on the computer than sewing........but perhaps when you get a good fit (and the novelty wears off?), it will be more sewing than programing again.  It sounds like it will be worth the time investment at the beginning.       rjf       

          2. rmvjmv | | #9

            It's true.  For example, I finally have a good fitted pants pattern, so now I don't have to play around  much with that.    I am close to a good blouse pattern, and I plan to just make several of those with just slightly different effects, i.e. collar,  band, bow-tie, etc.   Where I am still experimenting a lot is with jackets--don't want to risk my beautiful fabrics until I am satisfied.   Since my preferences are for classic clothes, I'm sure I will soon be spending more time sewing than at the computer.

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