Posts Tagged ‘shorten sleeve cap and shoulder’
Fold the excess fabric over at the top of the sleeve, raising it ONTO the shoulder so that when it is pinned it is pinned at the edge of the shoulder. For those of you with my book you will have an illustration to follow which is under Jackets – Raising at the sleeve cap. The pinning is the same, however as you come down to the underarm, slowly transfer the folding, until you are only pinning the sleeve and not the body, so that by the time you reach the underarm, you are only pinning the sleeve.
Remember to allow for flounce.
To determine how much to shorten from the shoulder and the sleeve, slide pins onto the shoulder, and if the sleeve has been folded up, place a pin at the fold. This means when the pins are taken out that held the sleeve up and onto the shoulder, there will be two rows of pins. One on the shoulder and one row on the sleeve.
Do a line drawing of an armhole and write down how much to take from the shoulder and how much to take from the sleeve. When cutting the excess drop of the shoulder try not to make the armhole too wide. This means not taking as much from the sides of the armhole.
Cut the sleeve the same as Option 1. For experienced seamstresses, cut beside the pins allowing for seam allowance at the shoulder, and seam allowance on the sleeve. Make sure to put a nick at the centre top.
Note – Do not cut too far in at the front and back sections. By this I mean that the shoulder is hanging over the arm, but generally the front and back section needs less taken from it. If too much is taken from the front and back the armhole will become too big. Your pinning should always be perfect, so that the sleeve is pinned into place when on the person at the fitting, making sure to not take too much away from the front and back sections, with more from the top and bottom of the sleeve, but absolutely NONE from the BOTTOM OF THE ARMHOLE on the body of the garment.
For those who are cautious, place dots where the pins were, plus a dot below it on the shoulder for the seam allowance and on the sleeve above it for the seam allowance.
Cut the top of the sleeve, making sure to keep the same curve for the back of the sleeve and the front of the sleeve.
Pin the right sleeve to the right armhole. Begin by pinning from the underarm around the back to the top. Then work from the underarm around to the front. The front top can have a little more ease because this is where the shoulder joint protrudes on most people. The back should have a slight ease as well. Some people baste the sleeves in before they sew, however I find that pinning and sewing the sleeve works just as well.
Pin and sew the left sleeve back on to the armhole.
Overlock or serge the edge.
If you do not have an overlocker or serger, you can always do a French seam to attach the sleeve.
When doing this type of alteration, the reshaping of the sleeve cap is the most important part. If you have made clothes before, and have an understanding of sleeve construction it will help, however the sleeve cap on a shirt is different from a sleeve cap on a stretch top. The shirt is a lot bigger, but it also means they are more forgiving in the shape of the sleeve cap.
My new 3rd Edition has 13 pages dedicated to Shirts and Tops for Taking Up and Taking In, including raising from the sleeve cap. Because the font size has also been reduced, there is more instructions, plus more illustrations.
Judith aka genie
Find out what the new length needs to be by pinning the excess fabric around the elbow area. I do this because I want the cuff to rest in the right position on the wrist. Remember to always allow for flounce. That means when the person raises their arm the cuff does not ride up the wrist too much.
Starting around the elbow area, at the outside arm, take the fabric in your fingers and press it together so that you have the fabric doubled over. Check and see if the sleeve is raised enough at the wrist. When you are happy with the length, place a pin across the fold. Measure the amount from the pin to the fold. Move around 5cm (2 in) and fold the fabric up in the same way, measuring to make sure it is also the same amount as the first pin. Move around the sleeve and pin every 5cm (2in) the same amount. Remember to allow for flounce!
Write this amount down on a piece of paper that you pinned all the way around and double it.
The example I have used is 3.8 cm (1⅝ in) folded which is 7.6 cm (3 in).
Special Note – The amount raised at the sleeve cap will be determined by the width at the top of the sleeve. The sleeve tapers the further it goes down the arm. The more the sleeve cap is shortened the tighter the sleeve will become on the arm. This is why it is better to pin at the upper arm, because it will give an indication if it will become too tight. As a precaution measure the person’s upper arm and the sleeve. There should be at least 5cm (2 in) of give in the width.
For ladies shirts, I usually put a dart at the front section towards the bust. I would have pinned this in place at the fitting.
For men the new armhole size of the sleeve will be smaller than the armhole on the shirt, so you may have to take in the side seam on the body of the shirt. When I have a fitting for this type of alteration, I would consider pinning the inside arm seam to see if it does not become too tight over the chest area. Usually a shirt is loose fitting, so it should not be an issue. It would only be an issue if the shirt was tight fitting.
To eliminate putting the wrong sleeve back in to the wrong armhole, before separating the sleeves, cut a piece of white fabric or calico and using a permanent marker, write “right sleeve” or RS and “left sleeve” or LS on two squares and using a safety pin, pin the fabric to the appropriate sleeve. I usually pin at it onto the cuff.
There are two methods you can adopt when taking the sleeve out. The first is unpicking the sleeve from the armhole. The second is cutting the sleeve out of the armhole. If you opt for cutting the sleeve out, remember to deduct the amount from your shortening measurement. For example if you cut beside the seam allowance on either side it will reduce the measurement by around .8 cm (3/8 in).
Lay the sleeve on your work bench and draw your new sleeve cap lowering it the desired amount (keeping the curvature of the armhole). This means working out to the sides from the centre top of the sleeve keeping the curve, but still working out to the side. You can take a little of the side out, as the sleeve is usually quite big. Then do the same at the underarm, taking out the same amount as at the centre top, but working out to the side.
Only a small amount of fabric is taken from the two sides of the armhole on the sleeve. The reason for this is that if the WIDTH is reduced too much on the sleeve, it will not fit back into the armhole. The WIDTH of the sleeve should be maintained as much as possible. The excess is taken from the TOP and BOTTOM of the sleeve, but still reshaping the sleeve as if it were a normal sleeve in any garment. The back should be wider than the front, just like you see on a sleeve pattern.
To insert the sleeve, sew two rows of gathering around the top of the armhole beginning at one side and sewing around the top and down to the other side. Give it a slight gather, but without a full gather. This will help the sleeve sit nicely into the shoulder.
You do not have to do this step if the shirt is a casual shirt, and particularly if it is a men’s shirt.
Note – the sleeve may have been inserted before the side seams were joined, and if this is the case, you can repeat, or close the side seam and insert on the “round”.
Judith aka genie