Fixing Bust Wrinkles in a Knit Shirt without a Full Bust Adjustment

by | Mar 27, 2017 | Clothing, Uncategorized, Women | 4 comments

Fitting Bust Wrinkles

Wrinkles above bust

A year ago I tested a T-Shirt pattern, hoping to be able to fit my shoulders.  I left the test without feeling I achieved a good fit.  You can read my post about the test Here.  Since then I have continued making Wide Shoulder Adjustments using various techniques with various results.  A couple months ago I returned to my shoulder fitting project and turned to some Facebook sewing groups for some advice to smooth out some bust wrinkles.  Many of the women have years of experience making and fitting garments and I got a lot of great suggestions.

All of the suggestions were a bit overwhelming.  So many possible reasons for the bust wrinkles and so many possible fixes.  I just didn’t have the time, fabric, or mind power to try them all out right then.  I get consumed with the quest for the perfect fit and neglect my family.

But I still want to conquer fit!  So here’s my list of possible ways to fix the bust wrinkles after I get the shoulders widened.  I hope to be able to try each one in turn until I figure out the magic combination for me.  And I figured writing it down would help me be systematic about my fitting as well as be a good resource for other trying to smooth out bust wrinkles.

Change the Armscye Shape

Two of the most suggested fixes were to lower the armscye so it didn’t ride up in my armpit and to scoop out the front of the armscye.  Scooping the front makes the most sense to me since that is where the wrinkles are and because I really don’t like when t-shirts are far below my armpit.

Sleeve Cap

Many knit patterns have sleeves cut on the fold or symmetrical sleeves.  This means the curve of the sleeve cap where it attaches to the shirt is the same for the front of the shirt as for the back.  In theory, knit allows for this because it is stretchy.  However, maybe some of my wrinkles would be fixed by a better shaped sleeve cap.

I also have been adding more then 1 inch to the shoulders-which is a lot.  With that much change I think the sleeve cap also needs to be adjusted by taking out some of the height.

Forward Shoulder Adjustment

The shoulder seam should be right underneath the ear and run along the top of the shoulder to the middle of the shoulder.  Mine tend to slide towards the back, suggesting I am hunching or rotating my shoulders forward a lot.  (I guess sewing and nursing babies will do that…)  The idea is by adjusting so that seam sits correctly, the shirt won’t shift and the wrinkles will go away.

Shoulder Slope

Sometimes the angle of the garment shoulder doesn’t not match the natural angle of your shoulders, which can cause wrinkling.  Either making the angle more square or more sloped may help.

Side Seams

Unless the pattern intentionally shifts the side seam, the seam should hit the middle of your armpit and run straight down your side.  Mine hits towards the back.  This, combined with the shoulder seam shifting towards the back, make me think I need more room in the back of the armscye.

Sleeve Cap Length

The sleeve cap needs to be at least as long as the armscye along the seam line.  You shouldn’t need to stretch the sleeve cap to fit the armscye at all.  Otherwise you get puckers or wavy seams.  I’ve had both.  When I measured my pattern, indeed, the sleeve cap was shorter then the armscye…

Size Up

I don’t think sizing up will give me all the width I need in my shoulders (I’ve been adding at least an inch!) but it might give more width across my high bust area, where the wrinkles are.  However, my bust is smallish so if I size up I may need to then do a SBA (small bust adjustment).  But I don’t really want to do that…so it’s probably be one of my last tries.


Do you know of anymore ways to get rid of bust wrinkles?  Comment below and let me know!  Have you tried some of these out and had success?  Let me know!  I’ll be blogging each time I try one of these suggestions.