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Concepts in Sleeve Fitting: How to Increase Mobility

Kenneth D. King demonstrates how fitting pants is like fitting a sleeve. Watch the video to learn about his intriguing philosophy.
Threads #183, February/March 2016

Evamarie Gomez and Carol Fresia; Videographer: Gary Junken

In this video extra from “A Fresh Way to Fit Sleeves,” Threads #183 (February/March 2016), contributing editor Kenneth D. King models a pair of “hip-hop” pants to demonstrate how fitting pants is like fitting a sleeve: Sometimes more space doesn’t equal more comfort or mobility.

Previous: A Fresh Way to Fit a Sleeve Next: A New Way to Fit Sleeves


  1. User avater
    LuvThreadsMagazine | | #1

    Senor King,

    Ring the bell, school's back in.

    Again, you tie things together, and fitting makes vastly more sense.

    In reviewing the M. C. Hammer video for "U Can't Touch This", the pants the men are wearing have ballooning about the thighs, but taper to more traditional pants about the calves. The fabric-rich area above allowed for maximum movement, in keeping with what you described.

    Thanks for breakin' it down.

  2. berauschend | | #2

    The video that comes up when I try to view is Running Stitches with Judy.

  3. roselynbette | | #3

    Thank you Kenneth, this was a very clear explanation and the example was rather descriptive. Thank you for your input, looking forward to similar guides from you.

  4. Evamarie | | #4

    @Berauschend - I was unable to duplicate the problem you have reported. Please try refreshing this page and let us know if that works.

    Threads Web Producer

  5. [email protected] | | #5

    Thank you Kennet D. King for explaining and presentation on similarity how fitting pants and fitting sleeve.

  6. sandysewin | | #6

    Thank you so much, Kenneth, for the wonderful visual explanation. It makes perfect sense as you are showing it, but is a wee bit counter-intuitive to think about.

    Because of your clear explanations and great visuals, I certainly won't forget this fitting lesson!

  7. User avater
    [email protected] | | #7

    Thanks to Mr. King for the video and the article in Threads. I read this article and possibly need to go back and re-read it again. I have a slightly fuller bicep (13"), and find that a good number of RTW garment sleeves, as well as blouse patterns armseyes are too large (deep), which means a fuller sleeve, which also means excess fabric. If I understand your article correctly, I would need to reduce some of the sleeve cap and raise the armseye on the bodice to get it to fit properly.

    Back to the drawing board!

  8. tinainanderson | | #8

    Thanks for this visual explanation as it helps tremendously and is a great aid to the magazine article which I have read & studied. I have one question, how do I measure the bicep depth on my body so I can compare it to the pattern's bicep depth?

  9. Mamato8 | | #9

    You hit it on the nose! I have tried to explain this to others. They just don't get it. Your video helps those who need to see it.

    This is one reason girls can't wear women's clothes. They might have the widths, but they are not as tall. Like you showed, the extra actually gets in the way!

    Thank you for the visual!

  10. User avater
    NathanGreen | | #10

    I love that you started posting more videos on your website. It was a much needed thing.

  11. User avater
    finchelicious | | #11

    Cool, so they don't carry them that loose, they are just loose ;D

  12. User avater
    kennethdking | | #12

    To Grandma2six: If you have a full bicep, and want to have a smaller armscye, you'll raise the underarm of the bodice to reduce the armscye measurement--the "rule" is that you raise (or lower to increase) by half the amount. For example, if you want to reduce the armscye by 1 inch, raise the underarm by 1/2 inch--the total decrease will come out as 1 inch.

    You will do the same thing to the sleeve by raising the underarm up, half the total amount of change.

    Now, to increase the bicep so the sleeve will fit onto the bodice, you'll raise the bicep line by swinging the two halves of the armscye up, which reduces the cap height by raising the bicep line.

    It's a balancing act here, and you can create two sleeves that will fit onto the same bodice: For more smooth appearance, you'll have a higher cap, a shorter bicep. For more mobility, you'll have a shorter cap height, and a longer bicep.

  13. User avater
    kennethdking | | #13

    to tinainanderson: Generally I don't measure the cap height on the body, but how it's done:

    Place a ruler snug up under your arm, parallel to the floor. Then take another ruler, and sit it on the shoulder where your armhole seam will by, making that ruler parallel to the floor. Measure the distance between these two rulers, and that's a cap height.

  14. User avater
    kennethdking | | #14

    And in regards to the funny clothes, I'm not shy about looking ridiculous to make a point.

  15. User avater
    mayabayer | | #15

    Nice hip hop dress

  16. User avater
    graceross | | #16

    I'm curious though: what if you WANT that low crotch and you want to be able to dance in it, a la B-boys? They live with all that extra fabric?

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