Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Sleeve Series--boring!

I am kinda hesitant to post this, as it is just one more in a series of excrutiatingly boring blog posts! Who wants to read about this kind of stuff? No one! Even *I* would prefer to see what works and what is lovely to sew and wear! But I must document this, for my own sake (and reference) so bear with me yet again. I’ll try to keep it brief…


According to the company, there are guidelines that your patterns (and measurements) should reflect. Some of these include:

  • The Center Front Measurement should be 1.5” less than the Center Back Measurement.
  • Your WAIST should be located where your body indents the most between bust and hips, and this location will not feel ’natural’, but high.
  • Your BUST CUP size should be chosen based on your RTW bra size.
  • The WAISTLINE on the front DRESS pattern (and sloper) should be fairly straight across, rather than curve upward near the sideseam.
  • The SHOULDER ANGLE on the FRONT pattern should be about the same as that on the BACK pattern.
Many of the measurement and setting changes I have tried/tested were attempts to follow these rules, hoping that might give me a better fit in garments with sleeves. I figured that if I was having less than satisfactory results, perhaps it was because I wasn’t following the ‘rules’. Perhaps my waist was too low? Perhaps my CFL was too long as compared to my CBL? That sort of thing.

Based on the fit of that last blue cotton/Lycra blouse, I worked out some measurement and setting changes that I hoped would improve the fit of my PMB blouse/sleeves and cut a basic bodice from this ‘loverly’ blue floral decorator fabric in my muslin stash (it was a gift!). I put sleeve after sleeve into this bodice…evaluating, making changes, redrafting, then putting it the next sleeve! I exhausted the supply of that fabric, and began cutting the sleeves from a second ‘luvly’ fabric (also a gift!). After trying 4 sleeves in this same bodice without relieving the binding, I began to again change the measurement chart to change the armholes…because, apparently, the AHs weren’t ‘just right’ after all. With each change to the armhole, I would try another sleeve.

The PMB sleeve is now more level at the hem (cross-grain)…which hopefully means I am getting my pattern’s F and B armhole depths closer to being correct for my body. But there is STILL that pulling at the front armhole…the feeling of constriction…of not being able to stand to wear this to do anything.

I tried lowering the cap height by .5” and by 1.25” and everything in between! I tried a cap height lowered 1.25” with only .66 cap ease. I tried a cap height lowered 1” with 1.38” cap ease. I’ve used a minus .5 cap height with 1.5” cap ease. And I’ve used a minus .5 cap height with .78” ease….a cap height of -.75” with .8” cap ease…etc. My conclusion? The problem is NOT the sleeves! It is the armhole…and the bodice!!!

I got poufiness in the back, so I reduce the BSW (to reduce the size of the bk sh dart)…then the back was too tight, so I had to increase the BSW!
I go round and round with this! I needed a wider shoulder area…but couldn’t figure out exactly what combination of numbers to use. I just COULD NOT get a comfortable blouse with sleeves!





Notice I am now using a wider neck circumference. That is one of the chart changes I decided to make since the last blue cotton/Lycra. For over a year now, I have been using a 13” neck circumference (although my neck actually measures 14.25”), but with these wider shoulders, I need a wider back neck opening, to control the size of the back shoulder dart. The front neck width remains as it was…so the neck on the back pattern is much wider than the neck on the front pattern.



Oh, and I am again testing with the NECK POINT tool to move the neck point on the pattern backwards. I can use a longer CBL, which produces a longer B-ah and smaller bust dart, then use the NP tool to move the neck end of the shoulder seam backwards where it looks better.

Anyway, I will report my conclusions and solutions later…for now, here is the sleeve series.

Some of the sleeve numbers will not coincide with the number of fingers I am holding up. Ignore the fingers….the sleeves are matched up with the correct patterns and statistics.
__________________________________________________________________

Sleeve 1--- low cap height, low cap ease. Binding at front arm.
No, Marilyn, I am NOT sniffing! :-)






Armhole Depth: 0.25
Dart Override: -0.25
Sleeve Cap Ease: 0.66
Sleeve Cap Height Adj: -1.25
Back Armhole Shape Right: 0.3 clicks

Chest Circumference: 41.5
Back Shoulder Width: 16.25
Neck Circumference: 14.25
Natural Waist: 34
Hip Circumference: 42
Crotch Length: 29
Height: 66
Weight:
Bra Cup Size: B
Center Front Length: 15.5
Front Shoulder Width: 14.5
Front Shoulder Slope: 18.25
Shoulder Length: 5.125
Center Back Length: 15.75
Back Shoulder Slope: 17.75
Bicep Circumference: 12


___________________________________________________________________



Sleeve 2 (3 fingers, don’t ask)…best so far…. The PMB sleeves are now more level at the hem…which hopefully means I am getting my pattern’s F and B armhole depths closer to being correct for my body. But there is STILL that pulling at the front armhole…the feeling of constriction…of not being able to stand to wear this to do anything. Also, it has a poufy cap but is better looking than any of the previous others. Plus, did I mention that the hem (cross-grain) is now fairly level?!



Chart: Shrtr_CBL_SHP_frward 8-31_Trish_
_0_0831_wdnk_shrtCBL_NEW_SLV
Armhole Depth: 0.25
Dart Override: -0.25
Sleeve Cap Ease: 1.44
Sleeve Cap Height Adj: -0.75
Back Armhole Shape Right: 0.3 clicks

Chest Circumference: 41.5
Back Shoulder Width: 16.25 Neck Circumference: 14.25
Natural Waist: 34
Hip Circumference: 42
Crotch Length: 29
Height: 66
Weight:
Bra Cup Size: B
Center Front Length: 15.5
Front Shoulder Width: 14.5
Front Shoulder Slope: 18.25
Shoulder Length: 5.125
Center Back Length: 15.75
Back Shoulder Slope: 17.75
Bicep Circumference: 12
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________






Sleeve 3— Same Chart: Shrtr_CBL_SHP_frward 8-31_Trish_



This is a self-drafted pattern…the Aldrich sleeve. This one has a low cap height, comparable to PMB’s (-.75) cap height. Not pretty. And not really any better for comfort.












________________________________________________________________





Sleeve 4-- again, same chart
Chart: Shrtr_CBL_SHP_frward 8-31_Trish_
…upper cap was shifted forward 0.25”, then mid and lower front moved outward 0.5”. This was done in an effort to provide the front of the sleeve with more ease. Didn’t work. It MUST be the armholes!

_0_0831_wdnk_shrtCBL_NEW_SLV
Armhole Depth: 0.25
Dart Override: -0.25
Sleeve Cap Ease: 1.44
Sleeve Cap Height Adj: -0.75
Back Armhole Shape Right: 0.3 clicks

Chest Circumference: 41.5
Back Shoulder Width: 16.25**
Neck Circumference: 14.25
Natural Waist: 34
Hip Circumference: 42
Crotch Length: 29
Height: 66
Weight:
Bra Cup Size: B
Center Front Length: 15.5
Front Shoulder Width: 14.5
Front Shoulder Slope: 18.25
Shoulder Length: 5.125
Center Back Length: 15.75
Back Shoulder Slope: 17.75
Bicep Circumference: 12

________________________________________________________________


Sleeve 5—In an effort to change the armholes, I changed chart this time--- to widen the BSW, with NO RESHAPING of ah. I used a lower cap height again…-1...with a ‘normal-high’ amount of cap ease…but still, no cigar. It’s got to be the armholes!

0_0901_wdnk_shrtCBL_shp_forw_1cp_ht
Armhole Depth: 0.25
Dart Override: -0.25
Sleeve Cap Ease: 1.37
Sleeve Cap Height Adj: -1

Chest Circumference: 41.5
Back Shoulder Width: 16.5**
Neck Circumference: 14.25
Natural Waist: 34
Hip Circumference: 42
Crotch Length: 29
Height: 66
Weight:
Bra Cup Size: B
Center Front Length: 15.5
Front Shoulder Width: 14.5
Front Shoulder Slope: 18.25
Shoulder Length: 5.125
Center Back Length: 15.75
Back Shoulder Slope: 17.75
Bicep Circumference: 12







In order to test a wider shoulder without starting over with a new bodice, I would scab on pieces of fabric to the bodice. I would superimpose the NEW pattern over the old one and PRINT…then align the old pattern to the existing bodice and cut the new pattern based on the additional lines. I can make multiple changes this way, widening the shoulders, raising the armholes, etc.

___________________________________________________________________


Sleeve 6—…BSW widened even more (another .25” ) to 16.75 (remember, that is what I measure across the blades at mid back, even though the shoulders measure less).
---front of sleeve was altered manually to move seam outward 0.5”…to widen mid part of front cap where pulling is. But still not great.


0_0901_wdnk_shrtCBL_CpHt_5
Armhole Depth: 0.25
Dart Override: -0.25
Sleeve Cap Ease: 1.5
Sleeve Cap Height Adj: -0.5

Chest Circumference: 41.5
Back Shoulder Width: 16.75***
Neck Circumference: 14.25
Natural Waist: 34
Hip Circumference: 42
Crotch Length: 29
Height: 66
Weight:
Bra Cup Size: B
Center Front Length: 15.5
Front Shoulder Width: 14.5
Front Shoulder Slope: 18.25
Shoulder Length: 5.125
Center Back Length: 15.75
Back Shoulder Slope: 17.75
Bicep Circumference: 12

____________________________________________________________________


Sleeve 7--- I lowered the cap height to .75 and cap ease to .8”…and used the same BSW (16.75). Still, not right…and this sleeve wings out (as if it needs a higher cap height!). There seems to be excess fullness at the back of the sleeve and armhole.


Armhole Depth: 0.25
Dart Override: -0.25
Sleeve Cap Ease: 0.8
Sleeve Cap Height Adj: -0.75
Back Armhole Shape Right: 0.2 clicks


Chest Circumference: 41.5
Back Shoulder Width: 16.75
Neck Circumference: 14.25
Natural Waist: 34
Hip Circumference: 42
Crotch Length: 29
Height: 66
Weight:
Bra Cup Size: B
Center Front Length: 15.5
Front Shoulder Width: 14.5
Front Shoulder Slope: 18.25
Shoulder Length: 5.125
Center Back Length: 15.75
Back Shoulder Slope: 17.875
Bicep Circumference: 12

____________________________________________________________________


Sleeve 8--- The BSW was narrowed again by .5” because of the fullness in #7. It looks ok-ish, although there isn’t much cap ease. The bust dart is too large, resulting in ss pulls. And still, there is the sleeve binding.


Armhole Depth: -0.25
Dart Override: 0
Sleeve Cap Ease: 0.74
Sleeve Cap Height Adj: -0.75
Front Armhole Shape Down: -0.7 clicks
Back Armhole Shape Down: -0.5 clicks

Chest Circumference: 41.5
Back Shoulder Width: 16.25
Neck Circumference: 14.25
Natural Waist: 34
Hip Circumference: 42
Crotch Length: 29
Height: 66
Weight:
Bra Cup Size: B
Center Front Length: 15.5
Front Shoulder Width: 14
Front Shoulder Slope: 18.25
Shoulder Length: 4.75
Center Back Length: 15.75
Back Shoulder Slope: 17.75
Bicep Circumference: 12


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Sleeve 9 is actually LESS comfortable than 8, and provides LESS mobility! The Ah depth was raised .25”. Making the FSW narrower just caused the front to pull with arm movement. I should have known better than to try this again…been there, done that! But hope dies hard…but wait…#8 had this same reduced FSW…it is the BSW that is different! The one with the wider BSW is less comfortable? Hmmm…that makes no sense! Also, again, this sleeve ‘wings out”due to inadequate cap height (-.75).



Neckline Point: -0.25***
Armhole Depth: -0.25
Dart Override: 0

Sleeve Cap Ease: 0.72
Sleeve Cap Height Adj: -0.75

Front Armhole Shape Down: -0.7 clicks

Back Armhole Shape Down: -0.5 clicks


Chest Circumference: 41.5
Back Shoulder Width: 17
Neck Circumference: 14.25
Natural Waist: 34
Hip Circumference: 42
Crotch Length: 29
Height: 66
Weight:
Bra Cup Size: B
Center Front Length: 15.25
Front Shoulder Width: 14
Front Shoulder Slope: 18.25
Shoulder Length: 4.75
Center Back Length: 16.25
Back Shoulder Slope: 18.125

Bicep Circumference: 12

Also, this one (#9) creates a larger bust dart than #2 did, and #2 hung much nicer at the sideseams. These darts are just too large…so I guess D.O. is the way to go for me!
Notice that on THIS one (9) I used the neck point tool. By making the CBL longer and making the CFL shorter, then moving the neck point backwards (.25) using the tool, I get a smaller, more-level bust dart, plus, the front ah is a little lower. However, if I am gonna have to use the D.O. tool anyway, this might not be necessary after all!

It seems that the most comfortable sleeves are the ones with the most cap ease (duh). I am not a fan of gathers in my sleeve heads, but perhaps if I wasn’t using decorator fabrics, they could be better eased and pressed out.
____________________________________________________________________

This next one (#10) isn’t too bad. The bust dart is smaller again, so the sideseam hangs better. The sleeve looks like it needs more cap height, though. The sleeve's cross-grain at hem is *almost* level…slightly higher in front. I only used -.125 D.O. this time…using -.25 would increase the front sleeve a bit more and perhaps level that hem. But I hesitate to make the F-ah too large, because I don’t want to cause the garment to ride to the back with wear.


The armhole depth seems high, though. I know, others keep telling me to raise my armhole depth, but it seems high.

Chart: longerCBL_wdr_FSW 9-03_Trish_
_0_0903b_reg_FSW_NP_DO25

Armhole Depth: 0
Dart Override: -0.125

Sleeve Cap Ease: 1.4
Sleeve Cap Height Adj: -0.75
Front Armhole Shape Down: -0.7 clicks
Back Armhole Shape Down: -0.5 clicks

Chest Circumference: 41.5
Back Shoulder Width: 17
Neck Circumference: 14.25
Natural Waist: 34
Hip Circumference: 42
Crotch Length: 29
Height: 66
Weight:
Bra Cup Size: B
Center Front Length: 15.25
Front Shoulder Width: 14.5
Front Shoulder Slope: 18.25
Shoulder Length: 5
Center Back Length: 16.25
Back Shoulder Slope: 18.125
Bicep Circumference: 12



I think I will alter the opposite side of the garment, too. I have been adjusting one side and comparing that to the opposite, best-so-far side, but I think it is time to make both sides the same.

****

Ok, now BOTH sides of this garment are cut from the same pattern! And it feels better…pretty good! There is still some binding at the front armholes, but not nearly as bad as before. I wonder if this is ‘as good as it gets’? The back seems to be fairly smooth, and so far, I don’t think it is slipping to the back with wear…we’ll see! Oh, and the armhole depth doesn’t seem so high anymore, now that BOTH sides of the garment are the same.

I am up to a 17” BSW…I wonder if I could go wider? :) I am really ready to make some WEARABLE clothes! But I can sort of imagine this one being better with even WIDER shoulders!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Fast forward a week. In an attempt to eliminate the remaining wrinkles in back, I decided to try lengthening the CBL…but NOT the BSS. This should give me more length over the blades. I decided to go big…adding 0.5” to the CBL. This puts .25” above the armhole depth and .25” below it. To continue using the same muslin, I had to scab on another piece at the neck and shoulder, plus, I needed to slash the back horizontally (at bust level) and insert a .25 piece….which meant a .25” reduction in the size of the bust dart, too. No changes to the sleeve.



Style Name: _0_0909_noNP_DO25
Chart: longerCFL_no_NP 9-09_Trish_

Neckline Point: 0
Armhole Depth: 0
Dart Override: -0.125

Sleeve Cap Height Adj: -0.75
Front Armhole Shape Down: -0.7 clicks (USED SAME SLEEVE AS #10)
Back Armhole Shape Down: -0.5 clicks

Chest Circumference: 41.5
Back Shoulder Width: 17
Neck Circumference: 14.25
Natural Waist: 34
Hip Circumference: 42
Crotch Length: 29
Height: 66
Weight:
Bra Cup Size: B
Center Front Length: 15.5
Front Shoulder Width: 14.5
Front Shoulder Slope: 18.25
Shoulder Length: 5
Center Back Length: 16.25
Back Shoulder Slope: 18.125
Bicep Circumference: 12



After making these changes (called 11), I could see that I had mixed results…I am STILL getting those wrinkles (side view) that remind me of a hammock (this hammock is hung on the blades and boobs!). More length was good, but I needed it ALL to be above ah level. The smaller dart was not good. So I ripped and restored the length of the back between ah and waist, and restored the size of the bust dart. I scabbed on even MORE fabric at the neck and shoulders to raise them further. But this time, I also decided to widen the BSW again….this time, to 17.5”. With the increased back length, the now-wider shoulder width did NOT steal from the sleeve…the sleeve remained the same.

















To increase back length, I add fabric at the top of the neck and shoulders, then recut.

_________________________________________________________________

Style Name: _0_0909_wider_BSW
Chart: wider_BSW_ 9-09_Trish_

Neckline Point: -0.25
Armhole Depth: 0.25
Dart Override: 0
AGAIN, SAME SLEEVE as #10
Chest Circumference: 41.5
Back Shoulder Width: 17.5
Neck Circumference: 14.25
Natural Waist: 34
Hip Circumference: 42
Crotch Length: 29
Height: 66
Weight:
Bra Cup Size: B
Center Front Length: 15.25
Front Shoulder Width: 14.5
Front Shoulder Slope: 18.25
Shoulder Length: 5
Center Back Length: 16.75
Back Shoulder Slope: 18.25
Bicep Circumference: 12


This one (#12) was much better! I still have the slightest feeling of binding at the front sleeve, but it is getting so much better! The wider shoulders are a good thing, as is the longer center back length. There is still a bit of pouf at the release of the bk sh dart, though.

However, I can now see that the front length also needs to be increased, to help eliminate the ‘hammock effect’ in front. I want ALL the extra length to be ABOVE ah depth, though, so I’ll have to use negative Dart Override with this longer CFL/FSS.

Plus, I think the shoulders should be even wider, although I wish to maintain the width across the mid-back at 16.75”, which is what I measured there. I will use a few inward clicks on the AH shape tool after widening the BSW to 18!!!

This next pattern looks good enough to try in REAL fabric, so I am going to use the remainder of the blue floral cotton/Lycra to test this out! Wish me luck!


7 comments:

Sew4Fun said...

Wow! I'm speechless. You need a medal for perserverance. I would have given up weeks ago. :)

pamelac858 said...

Hi Trish!

Great job on the sleeve front; I'm so bleary in mine that I am about ready to run up the white flag and just try to fit as I go. I still have those dreaded wrinkles. I will send you a note later.

Thanks so much for sharing!

Pam

Sue said...

Trish -
I feel your pain! I had similar issues fitting the shoulders in an earlier PMB version. With Karen's assistance I finally "tricked" the measurements enough to deal with my very square shoulders and a slight indentation below the collarbone. In Version 4, something was fixed so it drafts correctly, so I am now a happy customer.
I never did get a satisfactory yoked jeans fit with PMB, but no commercial pattern ever fit me either - I finally copied and tweaked an "almost perfect" pair of RTW capris and now have perfectly fitting capris, slacks, jeans, and skirt from the block I created. When I look at the shape of the yoke I finally cut, I can see why I didn't get a fit with PMB - I rejected every draft attempt that had the oddly shaped piece!
Do you have a well-fitted sleeve, either in RTW or a commercial pattern that fits you comfortably, even if it is not perfect? If so, have you tried comparing it to identify the differences?
When I was drafting pants for my pickiest daughter and kept getting complaints about "pulling", I slashed the muslin everywhere she said was too tight. The resulting fish-eye shaped openings showed me how much additional fabric was needed in each spot. I got the needed space with a combination of style choices and ease settings, but without changing any of her measurements in PMB. I just spent the weekend watching her dance, and see that her body mechanics and posture are very different from her sister's - perhaps this is the case with you as well, and contributes to the pulling you feel.
For myself, I no longer wear fitted blouses - I cannot buy or make one that doesn't leave me feeling like I am in a strait jacket - even if I use stretch wovens!
Sue in MN
Now I can draft patterns for her just by keeping her

Trish said...

Sue, I think perhaps I am like your DD when it comes to body movement. I wish you were here to slash *my* muslins for me! :) However, I do think I am making progress...it is just that there are so many 'points' to consider, and I have to be careful not to change too many things at once. I am discouraged to read that you cannot wear fitted blouses...I don't want to give up that part of a wardrobe!

Oh, and no, I don't have a well-fitted sleeve in my closet to compare to...and really, I am thinking the issue is the bodice fit, and that once I get the bodice and armholes just right, the sleeve will be just right also!

As to the yoked jeans in PMB, as I recall, that pattern doesn't allow for waist tilt or CB slant (?), so for me, it would NEVER work! Better to create my own from the slacks.

Marion said...

Have you considered a CB seam in your fitted blouse similar to a suit jacket? You can maintain a close fit at your neck, but give yourself the room you need for your back. Should be do-able in PE.

I found the blouse sleeve ill fitting compared to the sheath dress sleeve. When I questioned Karen about the difference, she said they were the same? The sheath dress sleeve is wider at the bust level, and much more comfortable.

I enjoy your blog. Thanks for taking the time to share your experiences.

Liz said...

Sorry for coming in years later! It looks like the arm holes are tipped so that the top is forward of the back (most noticeable in sleeve 1). This would mean that the sleeves would look good with your arms at your side, or even pulled back like a soldier at attention.

The problem with this is that you can't do anything with your arms back like that. Your armhole needs to have space in front for your arm to move into.

Anyway, this was 4 years ago, so I'm sure you figured out a comfortable sleeve, but maybe this will help someone else. =D

Trish said...

Thanks, Liz! With hindsight, I can solve so many of the issues posted here! These sleeves and armholes are all wrong!

For one thing, back then I was using a B cup to draft... now (in 2013) I am using an E cup! That change alone really affects the armholes, and thus, the sleeves.

 
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