Rough Draft of Squared Armhole

I’m doing a re-run of the style I made in violet rayon, this time for me.

There’s at least a couple of ways of doing this draft. I’ve photographed the main stages in  one .

First the disclaimer. It’s a quick and dirty piece of pattern making. If you’re wondering why the paper is bumpy, it comes off a roll of the stuff sold to cover trestle tables for a street party, large family gathering or Moules Frites in the town square. Tends to rip, but ok for patterns that are getting one use.

Here’s the back and front block with a squared armhole drawn and the old one sliced off. The new shoulder point is 5cms in from the original and the new underarm point is 7.5 below the original. The bottom armhole line is 10cms. These measurements aren’t set in stone, and the shape can be varied of course.

Squared Armhole

Next the sleeve. To compensate for the missing part of the bodice, and to make some gathers over the sleeve head and armhole seam, the sleeve is enlarged.

Sleeve Block

My somewhat battered sleeve block has the Top Line (the one that goes between the two underarm points) extended 10cms each side, and the Centre Line extended 5cms .

Shape Sleeve Head

The bodice has been placed on those new underarm points and a T-junction going through the new top point to start the sleeve head draft. It’s going to have to fit into that square armhole.

Underarm Seam

A new provisional underarm seam is shooting off the bodice underarm points, and blending in roughly at the Elbow Line. I’m having the sleeves 3/4 length, so this is a good moment to lop off the excess. Now the Blue Peter stuff. ( the scissors and glue opportunity, if you weren’t  British child and have no idea what I’m waffling about)

Slash and Spread

The vertical slash lines are to put some gathers into the sleeve. The odd stuff at the top is to give the sleeve a bit of extra ease in the underarm area, like a gusset in a tighter kimono cut. About 7.5 cms length has been added there, by swinging out that squarish section that fits into the bodice.

New Sleevehead

The new sleevehead is raised 2.5cms, and the new sleeve shape drawn, not forgetting to shape the bottom edge.

Cuff Edge

The cuff edge of a sleeve dips in line with where the elbow will bend and curves up on the other side.

That’s the basic sleeve/armhole adaptation I’m using. There’s still a fair bit to do on the pattern – decide on the cuff arrangement, move the bust dart to somewhere more stylish, reshape the bodice side seams and replan the waist shaping, decide on the neckline, collar, buttonstand and pick a fabric.





About jay

I design and draft patterns
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4 Responses to Rough Draft of Squared Armhole

  1. Kim says:

    I understand the Blue Peter reference 😀.
    Your method of photographing and noting your adjustments is great. You will have a record of how you achieved the result – and not spend hours reinventing the wheel. I learn from you and hope to spend less time on reinvention in future. Good to hear that this is for you too.


  2. felicia says:

    I have no idea what you’re making, but will follow along with interest 🙂


  3. Fabrickated says:

    Jay – I love this post. I hadn’t even been thinking about a square armhole, but I like the idea very much now. I want to see it finished – I hope you will make it up – and then I want to have a go. In fact your posts often make me want to do some pattern cutting which I love much more than actually making clothes!


  4. mrsmole says:

    Absolutely fascinating! I love paper pattern work and to see it being done methodically is wonderful! Really looking forward to seeing the next steps!


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