My Experience with a Wide Shoulder Adjustment

by | Jan 16, 2017 | Clothing, Tutorials, Women | 0 comments

Originally posted Monday, October 24, 2016

I feel a bit scatter brained…I’ve been working on several projects I haven’t finished, am just not ready to share, or haven’t taken decent pictures yet.  But I thought I’d share a part of what I’ve been working on.

Wide Shoulder Adjustments.

My shoulders seem to be wider than the average woman, at least for the average woman clothing companies and pattern designers draft for.  So I’m learning to alter the patterns I sew with to fit me correctly.

I first attempted this kind of adjustment when I tested the Wardrobe Builder Tee back in January.  You can read about it here.  All I did was extend the shoulder seam the desired amount and then kind of trace in a new armcye, tapering to the original armcye somewhere in the middle.  Just eyeballing where it looked good.  The shoulder seam hit me in the correct place but then created a boxy shape that would stay until I tugged on my shirt.  I wasn’t sure if this was caused by my fabric selection, the pattern, or the adjustments I made.  But I for sure didn’t know how to fix it.

Okay, I was pretty sure it wasn’t the pattern design because I trust Christina’s drafting and none of the other testers seemed to have this problem.  But when I tested the Telluride I didn’t have any problems.

Now I’m trying out a different pattern from a different designer.  (I’ll share more about it another day.)  It needed an adjustmeant as well but I’ve used a slightly more sophisticated method to do basically the same thing as before.  (I followed this tutorial.) It took way more time because I read and read and read about how to do it and then analyzed and then fretted if I was doing it wrong (I still hate to waste fabric…).  But I’ll probably do the same thing in the future because I feel like it is more precise.

Ignore the million pencil lines. I was also comparing and altering the shape of the arm.

Just like before, the WSA brought the shoulders out (they may need to come out a bit more even…) but made this annoying box thing in the shoulders.










What I also noticed was that most of the problems seemed to be in the back part of the sleeve.  So I took the sleeves out, trimmed 1/2″-3/4″ off the sleeve cap height and then changed the sleeve shape from cut on the fold to asymmetrical.  The front part of the sleeve has a steeper slope than the back part.  I also created more hook in the underarm area of the sleeve.

When I put the sleeves pack on they looked MUCH better.

They still aren’t perfect (they still make a small box thing when I lift my arms-but then lay back down by themselves.  And yes-the stitches are visible because my tension was messed up)  At least now I feel like I can wear this shirt without being annoyed at the sleeves all day!

I feel like my WSA also needs a shorter and asymmetrical sleeve cap adjustment.  My material may still be a factor because the navy is a sturdy knit with strong recovery.  Probably a ponte but I bought it last Thanksgiving and am just sewing with it, so I don’t remember for sure.  I’ll be doing this again the next time I make a shirt and will post any new thoughts or discoveries I have.