Altering Sleeves

Everyone's arms are different.  This pattern was designed for the average woman, with average arms.  But we know that many women have muscular arms, wider shoulders and meaty upper arms, due to a lot of factors, weight, workouts, sports, etc.  So what if your sleeve is too tight?  Too short to reach over your shoulder?  Never fear, you can make adjustments to your sleeve.  It might require a couple of tries, do NOT get discouraged, and once your sleeve is just right, don't lose it!  


Make your muslin, try on your sleeve.


 If it is too tight all the way up and down, we can make a couple of easy adjustments.  There are two size of sleeves in your pattern, use the larger one and follow the steps below. 


First trace your sleeve pattern onto tracing paper or light weight interfacing.  For these pictures I used oaktag, I like transferring all my pattern pieces onto oaktag and use it a lot.  Draw a grid onto your traced pattern as shown.  


Slash your traced pattern as shown in two places, this will preserve the overall shape of your pattern pieces.  The you will place the slashed pattern onto paper, I like to use graph paper, but any plain paper will do.  Even a brown paper bag.  Place the slashed pattern onto the paper and spread it apart.  Add 1/4 inch to each slash, this will increase your sleeve by 1/2 inch which is usually enough.  If you don't need that much, spread apart 1/8 of an inch.



Trace around the spread out sleeve and you have a new wider sleeve.  Mark it with the date and what you did to the pattern, so you will remember. 


What if the sleeve fits from the seam down on the lower arm,  but is really tight around the upper arm?  We will now put the width where we need it, slashing and spreading the upper portion of the sleeve only and leaving the lower sleeve alone.




If you need more height and width, then you will spread it apart in three places.  The sleeve head needs to reach over your shoulder.