OK, so those deep armholes . . . I spent some time looking at the pattern and deciding on an approach. I finally realized that I could just fold out some excess, right across the middle of the armhole both front and back, like this:
Because I have high armpits, I needed to take it up a lot - I folded out 1" right across the middle of the armhole. The original was pretty straight at that point, so I didn't even have to true up the edges!
Taking an inch out of the front and back meant I had to do that to the sleeve cap as well. You can see above that I did this in two 1/2" folds rather than one 1" fold. I did it that way so that the truing up was easier. Take a look at the two photos below to see what I mean:
Much nicer to do it in stages! At this point, I traced a new sleeve, truing up the line.
The great thing about doing the adjustments this way is that all the notches remained the same and I didn't have to completely redraw the sleeve. I took measurements of the armscye and the sleeve cap seam both before and after doing these adjustments; in the original, the sleeve cap is 3/4" longer than the armscye. In my new version, it is 1" longer. I've found that adding 1/4" doesn't affect the ease too much - these sleeves set in as easily as the original.
To check this out, I made a quick muslin just of the shoulder and sleeve, extending a couple inches below the bust. No need to make a complete dress to check the fit of the sleeves!
Version 2 fit pretty well - better than the original. I didn't take any photos because I'm way too old (and smart) to share my exposed midriff on the interwebz. I did notice though that it was pulling toward the back - this is true on the original dress as well, although the weight of the extra fabric helps mitigate this a bit. Shifting toward the back is a sign of forward shoulders, so I went ahead and corrected that as well with a 3/8" forward shoulder adjustment across the entire shoulder seam. Forward shoulder adjustments are standard for me - I really don't know why I didn't do one from the get-go!
To adjust the sleeve cap for the forward shoulder, I did a slash and slide in the same amount. I cut across the sleeve cap about half way up, then shifted the top toward the front 3/8" like this:
(I cut this from the lay plan of the pattern, and didn't realize until after I'd taken the picture and thrown away the pieces that I shifted it toward the back, as the drawing didn't have a double notch for the back. Just imagine that it's shifted toward the front.)
Time to true up the seam line again - I use my hip and armhole curve to do this. Now take a look at my new sleeve (which now has a reduced cap and forward shoulder adjustment) compared to the original:
The sleeve seams and notches remain the same as the original, but the shape of the cap above the notches is completely different. Notice how the slope is longer and more horizontal at the back (right side) and shorter and more vertical at the front (left side). This shape gives me a really good fit.
There was just one more adjustment I wanted to make. It's something I've been thinking about a lot lately and this was the perfect place to try it. On a lot of tops, I often feel like there's too much fabric right at the front of the armhole on the bodice. In other words, my upper chest is narrower than most patterns are drafted for. So this time, I scooped out a little bit of the front armhole - just 3/16". That small amount meant I wouldn't have to worry about the sleeve cap fitting, but it was just the right amount to remove the excess fabric that digs into my arm/shoulder joint. In the photo below, I'm pointing at the amount I scooped out and you can see it in comparison to the original seam line. The original is the purple dashed line, and I've already trimmed the seam allowance to match my new line.
Finally, I added 1" of length in the body to both the front and the back. I'll feel more comfortable with a little more coverage, especially with that vented hem at the front. The pattern gives 2 lengthen/shorten lines: one just below the armhole and another a few inches above the vent. I chose to lengthen at the lower line; if I'd lengthened at the upper line, my width placement for the hip adjustment I showed in the previous post would then be an inch too low!
By that time, my pattern pieces were a cobbled-together mess! So I retraced everything and drew new pieces for the facings, and it's all set to go for tomorrow (I hope) so I can sew together Version Two. I have a piece of linen I bought last year for culottes that never got made; I think it will be just right for this dress. And if it fits as well as I think it will, I'm hoping that I have enough of a piece of Nani Iro in my stash for version 3! The Nani Iro is a narrower fabric, so I'm not sure it will all fit on the 2 yards I have. Fingers crossed!
SUCH A GOOD POST! I wouldn't have known how to fit the armscye, and I love seeing it all laid out like this. Thanks Gail!ReplyDelete
Thank you, Gillian!Delete
Thank you for the detailed post! I plan to finally sew up the Inari for Spring/ Summer, so this comes in very handy.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Anne-Rose! Have fun - it's a great pattern! I'm looking forward to making several more :-)Delete
Thank you for this. Perfect timing I am hoping to fit my Inari dress today! Like you I have short armholes so will have to make the same adjustment as you.ReplyDelete
Excellent! Thank you!Delete
Thanks so much Gail. You're such a clever lady! Great explanations. Did you see in the recent Threads mag the adjustments made to the sleeve for a forward shoulder? They just added to the width of the back sleeve seam and removed from the front. No change to the sleeve head.... I look forward to your next versions!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Sarah! No, I didn't see that - I haven't picked up that issue yet. I've also seen that approach in FFRP, although I haven't tried it myself.Delete
I've been doing these exact adjustments since I'm rather petite in the upper body! Nice job explaining it all, kinda verifies that I'm on the right track myself. I have done the other forward shoulder sleeve cap adjustment in the past (moving the underarm seam), but I prefer the method you show here, though for no particular reason... it just feels more right to me!ReplyDelete
Oh interesting - I'm not recalling the adjustment where you move the underarm seam. Is that all you do? Or do you adjust the shoulder seam too?Delete
Yeah, so by shifting the underarm seam you move the shoulder cap forward (take off a bit from the front, add the same amount to the back). Pretty sure the shoulder seam gets moved forward, as usual. Think I saw this in the P/P FFRP book... but it's been a long time since I've looked at that one!Delete
Yes! I was actually looking for something different in FFRP and saw this and remembered what you were talking about. I tried this one once, but wasn't a huge fan. Somehow this slidey adjustment just gives me a better fit. It can take a while to figure out what works for oneself, but I'm glad there are multiple ways of doing things. Always better to have more choices!Delete
Loved this post! I I think I need to make the length adjustments on my husband's dress shirt and jacket patterns as the sleeves are restrictively low. And the way you did your forward shoulder adjustment is super interesting... going to have to muddle on that for awhile. Thanks for sharing your expertise!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Morgan! The whole armhole depth thing is very interesting to me. I took another look at the pictures of the model wearing the Inari - her dress is right up under her arm! A much tighter fit than I got! And hers is a knit fabric! So many different kinds of bodies :-)Delete
That sleeve head adjustment is cool, isn't it? I've gotten mostly good results from it. I originally learned it from Heather B's blog (Handmade by Heather B) - it's the first link on her tutorial page. I do mine slightly differently though. Where she simply fills in the gap at the back and cuts off the excess at the front created by the slide, I use my curve to go half way between both front and back. (Now I'm thinking maybe I should do some detailed pictures of this.) For most of my patterns, I've found that gives a less abrupt curve. I also noticed the other day that the net result of the way I do it is basically the same as the "add on at the back and remove from the front" method given in FFRP. But I get hung up on how much to add or subtract, so this is a good guide for me. Yep, I think I need to write this all up!
You are brilliant! Thank you for sharing this!ReplyDelete
You know when you want to do an adjustment but then you over think things and make it way more complicated? That was how I was reducing my sleeve caps. Way too complicated. I can't believe I didn't think of folding it out!! Thank you so much! All BurdaStyle patterns are drafted with too high of a sleeve cap for my shoulders - I'm going to remember to fold it out now instead of re tracing and altering my way :DReplyDelete
Yes, I do know that feeling, LOL! I typically spend days pondering how to do things like this! And then once I figure it out, it seems so obvious!Delete
That's very interesting to me - I haven't had much trouble with Burda patterns in the armhole (yet!). And typically, the Named patterns fit me really well in the shoulder and armhole - I was surprised that this one didn't.
This is a great post, thanks for sharing. I've just finished my second Inari, and as I also found the armscye too low, I made a similar adjustment to it and the sleeve. Where you folded out the excess, I cut and overlapped by 3cm. I have a question, if you don't mind? I then figured that as I had effectively shortened the dress by taking out that 3cm, that I'd need to add that back in (I was happy with the length of the original). But then it ended up too long, and I don't understand why! I see you only added 1" because you wanted it longer - not to counter your sleeve adjustment - why? Where did I go wrong? By my reckoning, you adding an inch should have maintained the original length, but clearly that wasn't the case. Can you help?! It's an easy fix for next time, but it's driving me insane as I can't figure it out. Sorry for the giant comment! XReplyDelete
Hi Helen - I've been pondering this for a few days and I'm sorry to say that I don't know the answer!! I just know from experience that this is how it works. Part of me thinks that the area above the chest is "separate" from the rest of the body and that shortening that area won't affect the length from beneath the armhole down to the hem. The other part of me thinks that the dress hangs from the shoulders, so any part removed from the upper chest will affect total length! I can see how either way might be correct, but I'm not sure which one is!!Delete
I arrived at the need for this adjustment when I took a fitting class and the teacher diagnosed me as having a shorter upper chest/higher armhole. I didn't have enough experience at the time to think to ask how that measurement affects the length, but I'm wishing now that I had. You've got me thinking!
If you removed 1" height from front and 1" height from back I'm curious why you wouldn't take 2" out of sleeve cap height? Why only one? This post is so helpful, thanks!ReplyDelete
Would love to see a follow up post with how the dress turned out, fit wise!
Hi Nicole - The reason why only 1" was removed from the sleeve cap height is that this is a horizontal adjustment. To illustrate: imagine that the upper torso + arms is a cylinder, like a paper towel roll. If you cut across that cylinder and remove a piece 1" wide, that 1" measurement is uniform all the way around the cylinder. Now imagine that the paper towel roll is your body, and think of the 4 cardinal points on that roll: N, S, E, W. Think of N and S as your front and back, and E and W as your arms. Then think again of how we removed a 1" slice from the roll - that same 1" measurement was removed all the way around. This is why the front and back 1" pieces do not add up to 2" at the sleeve cap.Delete
I hope that makes it understandable for you, and that it's not overly simplistic! My training was as a Montessori teacher - it seems that I revert to elementary school level whenever I try to explain something to people!
Thank you so much for such a helpful post. I just finished my third Inari in Liberty using your tips- the first two are so ill fitting! Third time's the charm! Thank you!ReplyDelete
So glad this was useful for you, Sarah! Thanks for the feedback!Delete
Just wanted to add another 'thank you' for this extraordinarily helpful post! I finally picked up the Inari pattern last week and stumbled across your blog via checking out finished versions of the dress on Instagram. I made a muslin without alterations over the weekend, and that low armhole was definitely going to make me crazy - but once I pinned out a 1" tuck across the front and back, I could tell that was going to make all the difference! I adjusted my pattern just as you described here, adding 1" length back into the sleeves below the armsyce and to the body (1/2" between bust and waist, 1/2" between waist and hip) and cut right into my 'real' fabrics. My sleeves still set in beautifully, the overall fit is so dramatically improved. I will definitely be making more Inaris this weekend. :)ReplyDelete
Thank you, Emily! Glad this was helpful for you!Delete
This is so helpful, I made an Inari a few days ago and was not happy with the way the sleeves looked on me. I have adjusted the armhole and sleeve on the pattern as you show and am looking forward to making another one. Your previous post on how to grade between sizes was also fantastic, and I can see coming back to these two posts repeatedly!ReplyDelete
Thank you so much, Meghan!Delete