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Topic: How do I shorten the shoulder?  (Read 5604 times)
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« on: March 08, 2008 03:11:54 PM »

I am brand new here and have looked for hours on how to shorten the neck to shoulder seam. I can't find anything.
I've got  a large chest, so in order for things to fit there, the shoulder seams are always hanging  over my upper arms. If I could just figure out how to shorten that up, the blouse or tee shirt would fit fine.
If you understand what I mean, is there a solution? I cut the sleeve apart and try to  take the upper shoulder seam in about an inch, it's impossible to put back together.
I am so glad I found Craftster-it's great.
Thanks for any input.
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2008 01:26:30 PM »

The better way to do it is to get a pattern that fits your shoulders and then do a full-bust adjustment. (Getting the pattern that fits your bust usually makes the shoulders too wide--and often the back is too wide as well).  I think I have a link to a full-bust adjustment... will try to find for you.

However... this can be a PITA if you're not used to adjusting patterns or if you're working with a previously existing shirt (recon, etc.)

Couple of things you can do, if you don't want to try the full-bust adjustment

If cutting a pattern, simply cut the size needed at the bust, then taper back to the line for 1-2 sizes smaller when cutting the armscye and shoulders.  Cut the sleeve to match the smaller-size shoulders.  This works OK, but I wouldn't recommend it as the only solution if you're doing a very tailored pattern or if you're much larger than a D cup-- you'd end up cutting back too many sizes.  If you taper your cuts this way, never cut back more than 2 size lines-- you get way too much distortion after that point.

You can also put in darts running from the shoulder seam toward the bust and down over the back of the shoulder (you may need the darts in the back anyway, if you're usually cutting a pattern based on your bust size).

Or pleated or gathered details are in right now anyway, so you could just gather or pleat the shoulder seam so that it's the right length.  If you're working with an existing shirt and don't want to have to unpick the whole shoulder seam, this may be the best option.

« Last Edit: March 09, 2008 01:29:34 PM by Gwydion » THIS ROCKS   Logged
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2008 02:20:36 PM »

Taking in the shoulder isn't the issue with an existing shirt, it's the sleeve, right? Therefore if you take down the size of the shoulder, you must also amend the sleeve accordingly. Unfortunately you can't do it all in one seam. Remove the sleeve, make your shoulder adjustment, then adjust the sleeve opening by the same amount on the seam under the arm & re-attatctch to the shirt. Not quick, but accurate Smiley
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2008 11:02:48 AM »

Thanks so much for the replies~

"Taking in the shoulder isn't the issue with an existing shirt, it's the sleeve, right?"
Nope, it really is JUST the shoulder seam distance is too long so it hangs over my arm.  I just want to recon tee shirts and blouses.
I have tried gathering the seam, cuz I only need to shorten the length about an inch and then the shirt fits fine, but the gathering looks really dorky. (I cannot think of another word for it at the moment).
I won't give up and I know somehow (someday) I can figure this out. I know I can't be the only one with this problem.
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2008 12:06:56 AM »

By the sounds of it, you would need to take the sleeve out and reset it though this may lead to other fitting issues further down the line.
Another suggestion would be to sew darts or pleats from the shoulder down the front and back to take up some of the excess fabric, it may be better than gathering and would be easy to pin in place to check if you like the final result before you start to sew.

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Terrified of cutting beautiful fabric!
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