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Need help with armhole change

nannygoat | Posted in Fitting on

Hi, I am new to this forum.  Hopfully someone can help me. I am making a Santa suit for a very large man.  He will be wearing it over a warm jacket.  I have been able to make all the alterations needed except the armhole.  I made a muslin and slipped it over his jacket.  I cut deeper at the bottom of the armhole by about 4 inches.  Now the problem is making a sleeve to fit.  I have the basic pattern I started with but do not know how to alter it. Can anyone help? Thanks in advance.


  1. mem | | #1

    You have made the circumference of the arm hole larger and therefore you need to add half of the difference between old and new measurement to the front and back of your bodice arm hole .

  2. zuwena | | #2

    Lay the sleeve on the table flat.  Draw a vertical line down the center from the shoulder notch point to the  wrist and several parallel lines equidistant on either side of this grain line   Draw a horizontal line across from one seam side to the other intersecting the center line at the point where the sleeve curve ends.  Now, if you only need room to make the upper sleeve/upper arm  fit the increased amount you've added then you will cut across the horizontal line to separate it from the rest of the sleeve, then cut along the parallel lines spreading the sleeve to the same amount that you added.  Add paper inserts where you have spread the sleeve apart, then tape.  Return the taped/spread piece to its place matching center grain line.  Finally, reshape the side seam lines with a ruler.  If the entire sleeve needs to be enlarged to accommodate a larger arm, do not cut on the hoizontal ine.  Instead, cut along each of the parallel lines down to the wrist but do not detach (assuming the wrist measurement fits).  Spread as above in a fan shape.  Insert paper to hold the shape, tape.  Hope this makes sense.  

    If I've missed or complicated something, somebody else will add in.

    1. nannygoat | | #3

      Thanks for your help.  I understand and will give it a try. 

  3. User avater
    Becky-book | | #4

    from the pages of THREADS #121 pg.66

    "When you deepen an armhole, you will need to INCREASE the biceps circumference and SHORTEN the cap, creating a looser-fitting sleeve."

    that means adding width to the sleeve at the sides and taking some off the 'top'.

    make your changes, then check them by doing this:

    take your tape measure and measure around the armhole, then measure along the seam line of your sleeve.  Compare size; If the sleeve is no more than 1 inch larger it should fit in nicely. If the sleeve is smaller, you need to add more.

    So the end result may be to add to the sides and add in the center of the sleeve.  You may want to measure his bicep over his coat to make sure the sleeve will go on over it too.

    Hope this helps,


  4. nannygoat | | #5

    Thanks to all for your help.  What I ended up doing was splitting the sleeve down the center and adding there.  This gave me more width in the bicep and cuff so that the sleeve would fit over a coat.

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