Too tight sleeves

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Joanna Jones:
 The sleeves on my wool dress have always been a little too tight around the bicep.  Can I insert a gusset to help (not enough material left to completely re-do the sleeves)?  Should the gusset be inserted in the seam (which is more forward and thus more noticeable) or directly under the arm where it is less visible?

Thanks as always

Carolann Schmitt:
Yes - a gusset is an accurate and effective technique for solving this problem. It will be easier to put it in the seam, and that's where I usually find them on originals. If the fabric has a pattern - woven or printed - and you can match it, the gusset will be invisible. If it's a plain fabric, or it will be very noticeable, then put it under the arm.

Carolann

Joanna Jones:
It is a light grey wool with a very small white windowpane check - not really noticeable until you are close, so I think I will treat it as a plain. 

Ugh.. this means new piping all the way around, too  :P

I gotta start projects earlier so I have time to get them right the first time.

Carolann Schmitt:
Joanna -

Good luck with your gussets. It's frustrating to do the alteration, but you'll be much more comfortable in the dress.

Altering sleeves for fit is an overlooked area in the construction process. It's common for a sewist to make an alteration that changes the size of the armscye and forget to alter the sleeve accordingly. Those of us with generous figures often have generous upper arms,as do very active women with very toned biceps. Even if the size of the armscye doesn't need altered, the circumference of the sleeve may need to changed.

Sleeve length is another issue: too short and it's uncomfortable moving your arm; too long and they drag in the gravy.  I've encountered some women who didn't like coat sleeves because they were uncomfortable. Frequently they had arms that were very long or very short from shoulder to elbow, which put the elbow curve in the sleeve somewhere other than their elbow. No wonder they were uncomfortable.

And please let me know if you find a method of starting earlier and getting it right the first time. Almost 40 years of experience and I'm STILL trying to figure that out.  :D

Carolann

Joanna Jones:
And please let me know if you find a method of starting earlier and getting it right the first time. Almost 40 years of experience and I'm STILL trying to figure that out.

Oh, no, don't tell me that!! :o

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