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Video: Adjusting a Sleeve for a Forward Shoulder

Threads #184, April/May 2016

Mather Doplh, Carol Fresia, and Gary Junken

In this video excerpt from the all-new How to Fit a Changing Figure┬áDVD, Threads contributing editor Louise Cutting demonstrates a clever technique developed by Threads author Sandra Miller for reshaping a sleeve cap to better accommodate a forward shoulder. The technique supplements Louise’s recent article, in Threads #184, April-May 2016, in which she shows how to correct a pattern to fit a forward shoulder, a common fitting issue.

To learn more about fitting, look for Threads on the newsstand, or sign up for a one-year subscription.

Previous: Fitting the Shoulders Next: Video: Quick Tips – How to Adjust Shoulders


  1. HollyJo | | #1

    So nifty, thank you for sharing.

  2. catstexas | | #2

    Thank you, Louise. I have this issue and never knew what to do with the sleeve. Yea.

  3. cynthiabaxter | | #3

    After making the adjustment Louise points to the former notch at the cap and says the notch will match the armhole. Is that correct? The notch would be in a new place after the adjustment with measurements taken away from the front and added to the back. How would the notch - in it's same (former) position - match the armhole?

  4. User avater
    ustabahippie | | #4

    I can't wait to try this But I, too, wonder if the shoulder notch will match the shoulder seam, or will the seam have to be moved forward at the sleeve end?

  5. Rabia | | #5

    Why do they NEVER EVER address the issue of "straightening shoulders? Some of us have such straight shoulders that they have NO slope whatever; in fact I almost have NEGATIVE slope! When I sent my measurements to a company to have a sloper computer generated for me, they thought I had MADE A MISTAKE with the shoulder measurements; I hadn't! I told them: WHY do you think I want this sloper? Because NOTHING EVER FITS PROPERLY! And I wanna know WHY!" It was a REVELATION to realize about this my shoulder problem! But then I find that practically NOWHERE is the problem addressed...is there a simple alteration to be made that I don't know about or am I doomed to forever ripping apart the entire top part of EVERYTHING I own?

  6. user-1071324 | | #6

    Quick, easy, brilliant!! Thank you.

  7. user-5632685 | | #7

    I've made many shoulder forward pattern adjustments for myself and others. Making the sleeve adjustment was more
    work than this. This is so much easier! thanks for sharing.

  8. phyllisfreeman | | #8

    Since I too have this problem, I have watched this video many times. I feel like I'm missing something as straightening the grain line appears too move the shoulder point back again lengthening the front armhole of the sleeve. Please advise.

  9. User avater
    user-137240 | | #9

    The grainline of the fabric is straight under the pattern tissue. This alteration moves the cap of the sleeve forward to fit the ball of the shoulder. As stated, the grain line would be redrawn straight. The straight of grain can be anywhere with in the tissue, it does not have to start at the clip at the top of the sleeve. What this short segment of the video show is how to change the sleeve, it only has one suggestion that the shoulder seam was also altered (first). When you take 5/8" off the Front of the garment pattern tissue and add it to the Back of the garment pattern tissue all that is doing is making the garment 'look' better with the should seam running along the top of your shoulder. That has nothing to do with the fit of the garment. It is the sleeve that has to change and that is what the video is showing. The notch at the top of the cap of the sleeve will now match the shoulder seam. This right now (April 2016) is an article in the latest Threads Magazine.

    The front and back notches along the sleeve seam rarely match the garment front and back, often they can be close, but trying to match them exactly often put too much ease in one section of the sleeve and pulls in another section of the sleeve...I use them as one notch is the front of the sleeve and two notches are in the back of the sleeve. I ease the sleeve in with pins wrapping the garment and sleeve over my index finger to add ease. I show this method in all Cutting Line Design patterns that have set in sleeves, either high cap or drop shoulder. It is also in one of the Industry Insider Techniques videos.

    I start with the clip (notch) at the top cap of the sleeve pinned to the shoulder seam and then pin the sleeve and garment together toward the underarms...front and back.

    For those of you that have straight shoulders, often called square shoulders. The Fitting Video does address that also. Its starts with measuring from the back neckline to your waist and then with the beginning of the tape measure at your waist at center back, up to the outer most edge of your shoulder. These two measurements are then measured on the tissue pattern to see if the slope of the shoulder line on the pattern needs to change.

    Louise Cutting

  10. Carly_Sue | | #10

    This looks like it will work for ladies who need a forward sleeve adjustment. I am none of those ladies so I am anxious to try this. thanks for all of the wonderful tips and videos that help us severe much.

  11. whoneedlesthis | | #11

    After Louise has showed you how to draw a new grainline on your altered sleeve cap, she is pointing to where you draw the new notch for the shoulder seam.
    As usual Louise, brilliant, can't wait to try it out!

  12. [email protected] | | #12

    Please address how you access exactly where the 'hinge' point should be.

  13. fabrictragic | | #13

    I've just tried this on a knit pattern and it worked brilliantly. I'm so pleased, thankyou.

  14. VYinLA | | #14

    I'm a bit concerned about the prevalence of the "forward shoulder" itself: it seems to me to be caused by "TextNeck": this constant tendency of our citizens to hunch forward to be on their digital devices.

    We are quite literally changing our silhouette as a people.

  15. User avater
    RubeRue | | #15

    Thank you for this other trick! simple and practical

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