Sunday, February 17, 2013

Simplicity 1699 Jacket Muslin - Sleeve Head Adjustment

Wow - thank you guys SO much for your comments on my last post.  I am so grateful for your comments and suggestions. I really enjoy the sewing community - everyone I've "met" is so helpful and encouraging. 

I thought this jacket was going to be easy. Ha!  I've been working on getting rid of the pouf in the shoulder all morning.
So here's what I've done to fix my problem area:
  • I went up a size in the sleeve which worked great.  I have the ease I needed for my upper arms.  I'm going to line the muslin sleeve to make sure the ease is there once the lining is in.  If not, I'll adjust but at least I know what to look for now.
  • I removed over an inch of the sleeve head.  I'll show you in photos what I did.  There are quite a few photos ahead.  
 I used The Complete Photo Guide to Perfect Fitting, which can be found here

Author: Sarah Veblen 

This is a step by step illustration of how to adjust the sleeve head to fit.  Basically, you fold away the "extra" and pin to fit.  I pinned and basted and tried on a few times to get the right fit.
 Here's a photo of the "extra":
See that piece that I'm holding? That was the extra amount of fabric that caused the "pouf" I didn't like.
I measured the amount I wanted to remove (less the seam allowance).
After this, I went back to my pattern. Knowing that the way the pattern is designed will not work for me in the future, I decided to trace, copy and adjust the pattern.  I learned this tracing method from Sunni at A Fashionable Stitch - link here
To trace my pattern I start with tissue paper.  I use the type that goes into gift bags - I paid 99 cents for a pack of tissue paper.

I then placed a sheet of wax tracing paper on the tissue.  The wax part goes face down.  I purchased this large sheet from Sunni at A Fashionable Stitch.  

Next comes the pattern piece - just lay down on top of the face-down wax paper (creates a sandwich)
Then I used my tracer - Easy!!

The line is faint in the photo above but you can see the pattern traced here.  I put the book right in the middle - the perfect pattern weight!

After tracing, I pinned the pleats in the tissue as seen in the photo above.  It created the sleeve head and curved just like the fabric did.  This made it easy to measure and cut.
That's the extra piece of my fabric cut out (minus the seam allowance).  I pinned it to the tissue and marked the tissue where I needed to cut.
Here's the extra portion cut off.
Here it is sewn onto my jacket. The tiniest pleat is still visible.  It still made the sleeve head jut out a bit but the fit was much better than before.
 I'm not sure if you can tell the difference between the photo above or this one.  Here I removed the pleat and just gathered the sleeve head.  I also shortened the shoulder about a 1/4" and the shoulder now sits perfectly.  I think this is a vast improvement.  

The photo on the left illustrates the sleeve head that was adjusted.  The photo on the right is before the adjustment.

Did I make a difference by cutting off the extra fabric?  Yes, I did.  The bunch of fabric is no longer there and the fit is better.   

(Sorry for the dark photos).

What do you think of the adjustment I made?  Does it make sense the way I made the adjustment?   I think I'm ready to use my eyelet fabric for the jacket now. 

Also, thanks to Chris Lucas - here's a link to more help



  1. Wowser!!!! This is a huge difference and what amazing results! Really well done :D :D :D

  2. The fit looks a lot better after your adjustments. Shortening the shoulder was a good idea. Thanks for describing what you did, I am in the process of learning.

    1. I was hoping it would be helpful to someone if I described how I adjusted it. :)

  3. Wow, that's really neat! I've never seen that adjustment before!

  4. Thanks for such a detailed description of the method you used, your efforts have certainly paid off :)

    1. You're welcome! Now I can work on my real jacket :)

  5. That's made such a difference! Thanks so much for showing what you did in so much detail. I'm sure I'll be referring back to this at some time in the future.

    1. Yes, it definitely made the difference :)

  6. Much better! Muslin fitting can be a pain indeed...right now I am taking the craftsy class on's very useful but you need to be very patient.

    1. oh yes, patience is a must. Sewing has definitely taught me that!!

  7. This is great information and that book looks wonderful!Thank you for the link to Sunni's shop as well.

    1. The book is excellent for pattern fitting. I would recommend it to anyone. But I must say Diana, your workmanship is really beautiful. You have a talent with the sewing machine! I've seen many of your garments and I hope to one day do as well as you do :) Sunni has an excellent blog and great tutorials. I encourage everyone to read her blog and follow her.

  8. You need to check out The Fashion Incubator. She does an excellent treatise on the whole sleeve cap ease issue. It's genius.


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