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setting sleeves

Mary_Ann_Hoff | Posted in The Archives on

When I attached the sleeves to a mandarin collar dress I made, it constricted arm movement. Is there any adjustment I can make to the pattern to make it have more ease. Is there any way I can salvage the dress?


  1. lin_hendrix | | #1

    Hi Mary Ann,
    It's going to be difficult to tell exactly why the arm movement is restricted; there are numerous
    reasons you're having problems. I'll list the ones I find most common in my own sewing:

    ))armscye too low-- this is the bottom half of the scoop on the dress bodice. It's a common misconception
    that making this lower adds to wearing ease. Within reason, the higher the armscye the greater the arm

    ))armscye too long-- this is the entire length of the arm "hole" where the sleeve sets in. It has the same
    effect as above.

    ))sleeve cap too shallow-- I often have this problem on close/fitted sleeves because I have big, bony shoulders. Try this measurement to see if this is the case. Put a pencil up high in your armpit. Measure over the shoulder the distance from your shoulder bone down to even with the pencil. Add 1"-2" and compare with the sleeve cap

    On your existing dress: try adding a small shoulder pad if the problem is too deep/long armscye.
    Sleeve cap would be best adjusted by cutting a whole new sleeve with lots of seam allowance on the
    top curvy edge. Baste it in and adjust by letting out that top sleeve seam a bit at a time.

    hope this helps,

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