Thursday, May 8, 2014

Shoulder Adjustment On A Pattern

 The Shoulders Are Too Wide On My Pattern.
How do I fix that?

If you are just new to the wonderful world of sewing, 

It's lots of fun, full of challenges, and yes, frustration too!
Learning how to make fitting changes on the flat pattern can save
time, dollars, and disappointment in the final fitting of your project.

My quick tutorial will show you how to overcome a common
fitting problem with a simple fix. 

Is the shoulder measurement
on a pattern wider than yours?

Having the shoulders fit incorrectly can negatively affect the 
look of your finished project. When I studied Apparel Design in 
college (Class of '76 believe it or not!), pattern-drafting was one 
of my favorite courses. To me, it was just amazing that you could
take a flat piece of paper, mark out some curves and darts,
and make it fit the topography of a body. 

I hope my tutorial makes sense for you. If it doesn't, just ask any questions in the comments and I promise to reply as soon as I can.

One very important thing to have on hand is some muslin 
or inexpensive cotton fabric, so that you can do a test run. 
I ruined a few garments before I finally figured that out!

Anyway, here goes:

The first picture shows how to properly measure your shoulder width. At the top of your shoulders, there is a little bone that kind of sticks up at the end of the collar bone. Measure across from one to the other, curving the tape slightly, as in my diagram. Following the curve will make your shoulder measurement more accurate, and keep your garment from pulling uncomfortably across the back. Divide that measurement in half. This will be the measurement for your 
pattern from the center back to the shoulders.

Drawing the Blue Lines as they're shown in the next photo 
gives you the starting point for the measurement you took. 
The Red Line indicates the curve from the center back 
of your neck to the shoulder edge. 
The Purple Line is where you mark your new pattern line 
taken from your shoulder measurement. 
Blend the purple line just to the curve of the underarm. 
Be careful not to cut all the way down under the arm,
or you will have pulling in the fabric of your garment.

You can also make this adjustment on a finished project or purchased
clothes. It's really quick and can make a big difference.

Hope you guys all have a great day, and keep on sewing!


Linking To These Fine Blogs:

Worthwhile Wednesdays @ Crafty Allie
Work It Wednesday @ The Happy Housie
Krafty Inspiration Thursdays @ Krafty Cards etc. 
Friday Link Party @ The Pin Junkie 
Say G'Day Natasha In Oz
Monday Funday @ Lines Across
Wake Up Wednesday Sewing4Sophia


  1. You're welcome Amy! Thank you for commenting!

  2. Good info to have for sewing and pattern drafting. I have learned so much about designing my own patterns the last several years after buying pattern drafting software - there are always some adjustment to make. Pinning this.

    1. Hi Kimberlee, thanks for your comment, and for pinning!
      Have a great day!


  3. Thank you so much! I actually have problems with my shoulders being bigger than the pattern is, so I have to add! I think I will use what you just taught me to add to a pattern! Isn't it fun how different we all are? :)

    1. So true Vicki, we are all uniquely made! I'm glad you found my tip useful. Hope you have a great day!


  4. Great tip,Val!so useful!Is awesome to share your knowedge and learn more people in the intricacies of sewing!

    1. Hello Anastasia, and thank you for the wonderful comment! I just discovered that all comments on my blog are going to the wrong email address. That is why I haven't replied until now. Have a great day!


  5. Thank you for sharing this!! I always love learning new techniques!! Stopping by from Sew Crafty Angel's Wednesday Wake Up Linky Party and following. Please stop by my page when you have a moment:


  6. great tutorial! thanks for taking the time ti teach others :-)


Thanks for stopping by! Your comments make my day!

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