I took time to carefully consider my options and motivations. I do want an attached cap sleeve pattern that fits me well. I’m saddened, frustrated and even angry that it’s no longer easy to fit patterns. I’ve added *one change -an increased shoulder slope. I feel like I should be able to trace the new pattern; make my NSA, BWL and (the new change) increased shoulder slope. I have yet to make that procedure work with a commercial pattern. In fact, I have spent more time trying to get a pattern to fit than had I draped, muslined, pinched and whatever 3 or 4 times. My quickest and best fittings occur when I trace my sloper (or a TNT) and copy a style line or two. Since I really like the attached cap sleeve, I’m determined to create an attached cap-sleeve sloper. I’m so close to that now, that I decided to delay working with either the in-armscye cap or kimono shoulder and work through the last possible tweaks. Well last tweaks that I can think of.
I began by tracing the front and back of my woven blouse sloper. Ignored the sleeves, after all the point is to create the sloper with attached cap sleeve.
- Starting with the back, I rotated 1/2 of the of the shoulder dart to the hem. My shoulder dart is a total of 1/4″ Not much, but makes a huge difference in how blouses look on me. So I rotated 1/8″ from shoulder to hem. The remaining 1/8″ will be eased to the front shoulder seam.
- I marked the underarm 1.5″ lower.
- Raised the shoulder point 5/8″. I contemplated raising in 1/8″ increments (3/8, 1/2, 4/8 etc) but decided that I wanted dramatic differences. I wanted to be able to clearly see if my changes were having an effect. Besides, if I’ve raised the point two high, I can stitch the seam allowance deeper. Much eased that trying to add fabric in 1/8″ increments.
- Extended the shoulder 4.5″. I think I may take that down as far as 3″ but when I first drew that on the paper my new pattern looked really odd. I thought this time I should use smaller increments and more subtle differences. I could trim the cap sleeve some more after basting it together. Probably won’t do that.
- I thought about shaping the shoulder and underarm seams like you do for pants hems. But didn’t think of that again until the fabric was cut. So a future option, eh?
- I drew the side seam by joining the 4.5″ plotted shoulder point to the 1.5″ lowered underarm.
- Thought a lot about the next step. Even took a long lunch break to think this through. Using Pivot and Slide instructions, I added 1/2″ ease at the underarm and 6.5″ below the waist. This is import for a couple of reasons. Top of the list, is I’m not getting the ease I add to the back placed where it is needed. Rotating 1/8″ of the shoulder dart to the hem, added 1/4″ (1/8″ *2) across the back between the shoulder blades. At the hip 1″ (1/2″ *2) ease was added. Nice when one alteration corrects two problems. Using P&S to add 1/2″ at underarm and hip added another 1″ across the shoulder blades and across the hips. I’m really happy to have added this much ease right where it is needed. I’ve noticed that I could use a size larger in back. Well almost. Across the top of the shoulders where my blouses and tops hang from, I don’t need any changes.
That’s a lot of changes; and that was only the back. Fortunately the front required far fewer changes.
- I marked the 1.5″ lower underarm.
- Raised the shoulder point 5/8″ (same reasoning as for the back).
- Extended the shoulder line 4.5″ (same reasoning as for the back).
- Connected the cap sleeve point and the underarm by drawing a straight line.
I know pics make a blog post more interesting but a pic of the new pattern wouldn’t really show anything. The changes from the B&R draft are subtle. Definitely effective but not something that you immediately notice. So, no pic of the modified pattern extended shoulder/cap sleeve bodice.
*Well two (2) physical changes. The sloping shoulder and the just recently acknowledged uneven shoulders (my left shoulder is higher than my right). The uneven shoulder is not really a new change — just one that I’m finally acknowledging and correcting.