In Fitting Fashion

  • Fitting - Shoulders

    If you guessed we would be working on shoulder corrections for Vogue 8664 next, you are correct!  Yay!  Don't you love being right?  First, let's talk a bit about the key measurement points that determine the fitting of the shoulders.

    1.  Shoulder Width:  measured across the back from one shoulder bone to the other.

    2.  Across Back:  measured across the back at approximately 5" down from the CB neck bone.

    3.  Across Front:  measured across the front at approximately 3" down from the nape of the neck at CF.

    4.  Shoulder Slope:  the angle of your shoulder from the base of the neck to the shoulder point.


    These are the areas you need to address when fitting, and you may notice that these are the points that determine the shape of the armhole, which in turn determines the shape of the sleeve.  Can you see how important the shoulder area is in fitting?  After we agree on how important these points are, we could most likely have a huge discussion on what the appropriate amount of ease is in this area.  My answer will be "it depends".  It depends, on the style of the sleeve, current fashion trends, your comfort tolerance, your size, your fabric...and I am sure you can think many more.  The main thing to remember is that you need to be able to move in the garment when you set the sleeve in, so as a starting point, for a set in basic sleeve, I suggest adding 1/2" ease on shoulder width, across back, and across front measurement points.  This translates to 1/4" on each left and right side of the body.

    As for the shoulder slope, every single person is different but you can consider 1 3/4" to 2" shoulder slope as fairly standard.  This angle is also important in fitting, any discrepancy between you and the garment will show quite clearly as diagonal drag lines at the front and back shoulder or neckline area.

    OK, so now let's take another look at the muslin on my lovely friend Maureen. Please ignore the base of the armhole/side seam sticking out-we'll be fixing that soon enough.



    As we determined last time, the shoulder line is fitting quite smoothly.  The shoulder seam of the garment is following the natural shoulder line of the body and the front and back neckline area is fitting well.  This indicates that the shoulder slope of the garment is working with the shoulder slope of the body.  

    Next we need to make sure the shoulder width, across back, and across front of the garment is adequate for the body.  Although it is difficult to see, I can tell you that the shoulder width is slightly too small, the across back is too large, and the across front is OK.

    I have determined this based on the body I am fitting and the sleeve styling on this pattern which has a center sleeve pleat that extends the sleeve and allows room for the upper arm.  See how the sleeve is extended and jutting out beyond the armhole?

    Since this sleeve styling allows room for the arm, I can make a narrower shoulder width than if it were a regular set in sleeve with no styling.  Hopefully that makes sense, but for more info you can read this post

    I'll stop there for today, but next time, we are going to address those side seams that are sticking out at the base of the armhole, and then I'll show you the pattern corrections that we need to make for much better fitting armhole.

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