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A Garment Hangs From Your Shoulders | Video


Your shoulders are one of the most important areas to consider when fitting a top. The angle of your shoulders, or shoulder slope, affects the fit of every aspect of the garment below. If your shoulders are very broad and erect, they can pull your garment up and out of alignment with the other features of your body. If your shoulders are more sloped than the pattern, a common fitting issue, then the garment collapses in areas, forming unsightly wrinkles on your top.

Either situation is easy to address by checking your shoulder slope before you cut out your pattern. Here’s exactly how to do that.

For more fitting information, check out other Threads videos, such as how to get started fitting pants, or learn in general how one fitting expert, Sarah Veblen, assesses fit.

This detailed tutorial is one video in the comprehensive Teach Yourself to Sew series.

Teach Yourself to Sew

Judith got her first taste of sewing when she took the free lessons that came with her mother’s sewing machine purchase. Judith was 9 at the time. Soon after, she was sewing her own clothes and feeding her passion for the craft. In her Teach Yourself to Sew series, Judith shares her enduring love of sewing and her invaluable years of sewing experience.

Getting started

She starts with discussing the equipment and the essential sewing notions for anyone who sews. You’ll learn about shopping for fabrics, choosing patterns (including selecting the correct size), and planning the perfect pattern layout. From machine-sewing simple seams to inserting zippers and stitching buttonholes, Judith demonstrates the key steps to making a custom garment.

Discover methods for clean-finishing seam allowances and applying facings so all edges are neat. To add shape to garments, Judith explains how and why to sew darts, and how to gather fabric for volume. Other garment elements, such as sleeves, pockets, and elasticized waistbands, are shown in easy-to-follow video tutorials.

Advancing your skills

When you’re ready to challenge yourself further, tune in to Judith’s overview of couture garments and sewing techniques. Even if you never intend to become the next Coco Chanel, you’ll learn methods that add quality to your everyday wardrobe. Find out how to perfectly match stripes, plaids, and prints; baste seams; and insert underlinings and linings.

Finally, Judith shares the basics of pattern fitting and adjustment. Her method begins at the shoulders, ensuring the garment hangs properly. Follow along as Judith shows how to create a shoulder template that you can use again and again to adjust patterns before cutting the fabric. As a bonus, you’ll even learn how to create a custom dress form so you can fit garments on a body that truly represents your true body shape.

Previous: Fitting Revelations: Read Your Clothes to Identify Key Fit Issues Next: How to Measure Your Shoulder Slope | Video


  1. mjz | | #1

    I've been sewing for over 40 years. My shape keeps changing, so I don't make labor-intensive garments. But I have learned a lot of fitting tweaks over the years. This is the first time I've been truly gobsmacked in a long time! Ms. Neukam, you are amazing. I just wish I had learned from you in my formative years.

  2. mkk5000 | | #2

    This was so helpful!!! Thank you.

  3. koenigin | | #3

    I've known for a long time that I need to make this adjustment but never felt I could do it. Thank you for this!

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