McCall’s 6044 Sleeve Adjustment

The Springtime Seersucker Shirt project continues.

If you recall, last time I made a muslin of McCall’s 6044 in the Medium version, and determined I needed to take some fabric out of the short sleeve because it was a bit too large.

Today I modified the pattern. The alteration doesn’t change the size of the armscye on either the bodice or the sleeve, which is good; it merely takes in the seam on the sleeve.

Before we get started, I just wanted to remind everyone that this blog is a notebook of my adventures learning various sewing techniques.  You might have a better approach than the one I’m taking here; if so, I’d appreciate it if you let us know, either privately or in the comments.

I started by using the Fashion Design Ruler to trace out a curve on the fabric. It matches the line established by the pins used to take out the offending fabric. (Click/tap on photos for larger versions).

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Next, I used a seam ripper to pull the sleeve off the shirt. This was more work than necessary, since I sewed on the sleeve with the same stitch length I’d use for regular garment construction, and not a basting stitch.

After undoing the hems, I continued the new seam line. Since the hems fold up, the seam line is drawn to flare outwards a bit, so the hem matches the fabric line when folded up. I’ve seen commercial patterns do this and so thought I should too. I drew this flare by flipping the ruler and tracing the curve back out from the point it ended:

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Since this new line is a seam line, and not a cutting line, I need to back up 5/8 inch and trace a new cutting line onto the fabric. Note that the new cutting line does not extend into the seam allowance at the armscye:

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The sleeve pattern is actually not symmetrical front-to-back (which I learned when reading a pattern drafting book I will review here soon). So I folded over the sleeve and traced a new cutting line on the other side as well.

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I pinned the pattern piece back onto the fabric and cut the pattern paper at the violet cutting lines.

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I note that the alteration basically tapers the sleeve from the “M” size at the armscye to the “S” size at the hem.

Since I also cut the fabric, I resewed the sleeve and tried it out.

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Much better!

The only glitch I encountered was that the new hem had a divot in it, right at the sleeve seam:

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This was caused (I think) because I flared out the hem 1 inch from the bottom, rather than 1 1/4 inches (the actual hem height).  Also, one side flared out the hem a bit too much.

I adjusted the flare on the hem, which required taping some paper back onto the pattern piece on one side.

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Looking forward to seeing how this will look on the finished shirt.

Next time, as promised, we’ll match plaids with our seersucker fabric.

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