In Fitting Fashion

  • Fitting Sleeves - Ease

    To catch up on the progression of this sleeve check out "Fitting Sleeves" and "Fitting Sleeves Continued".  

    I think I am finally happy with my sleeve!  Granted, it took me three full days of trial and error to bring it to this point but I feel most satisfied with this version.


    Here is the comparison of the sleeve pattern.  If you remember, the black dotted line is the sleeve draft, the blue is my first successful sleeve, the red is my second (not entirely) successful sleeve, and the green is the pattern for the sleeve pictured above.  The higher cap height on the green is created by adding ease and allows the bicep line to hang more level.  This sleeve also has a slightly more forward pitch which allows for greater forward arm movement.



    This brings me to the subject of sleeve head ease.  As I have already mentioned, I have never been able to eliminate all of the ease in a sleeve and this one is no exception.  In fact, this sleeve has 3/4" total ease.  The sleeve draft called for 3/8" ease.  In my opinion, contemporary fashion calls for a narrow shoulder width and close fitting armhole, so in order to keep that styling intact, ease is required in the sleeve head in order to address the deltoid muscle and achieve a good fit.

    Now, just to give you some idea about the relationship between the bodice and the sleeve, consider the information below.  Keep in mind I am working with my size 8 which has a body shoulder width of 14 7/8" and a body bicep of 11".

    Bodice:  shoulder width= 15 1/4"; across back= 14 1/4"; across top chest= 13 1/2"; armhole depth= 7 1/2"

    Sleeve:  bicep= 13 3/8"; sleeve head ease= 3/4"; sleeve head height= 5 1/2" 

    Comparing the bodice and sleeve measurements, you can see that the sleeve head height is 2" shorter than the armhole depth, the sleeve bicep is 2 3/8" larger than the body bicep, and 3/4" of ease was added to the sleeve to accommodate the deltoid muscle. 

    Although this sleeve head ease might be "bogus", it is the only way I could achieve an acceptable fit for this garment without adding to the shoulder width.  I welcome any advice to the contrary as I am always open to expanding my knowledge in pattern making.  As it stands now, today, in this moment, this is my best fitting sleeve.

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