I knew I would have to redraft McCall’s 6927 after my muslin was pulling at the lower armhole and the sleeve was gathering too much at the sleeve cap. The armscye depth would need to be raised and the sleeve cap would also need to be lowered, most likely.
From Kathleen Fasanella at Fashion Incubator:
If you have no idea what I’m blathering about, you can find more in sleeve cap ease is bogus. If you do the heavy lifting of redesigning your armholes to match the range of motion, you don’t need sleeve cap ease to compensate for a poorly made armhole and or sleeve. And an idea of how you might go about doing it for this style is shown at right. (below)
One pattern designer I trust to know her stuff is Liesl Gibson. I recently bought B6183 from her Lisette Butterick line. I compared M6927’s sleeve against her B6183. As I thought, my sleeve cap was much higher than the Lisette sleeve draft. I traced her sleeve cap onto M6927, removing at least an inch from the sleeve cap height.
The sleeve cap had less gathering and did look less “Becky Home Ecky’. But this didn’t solve my armhole pulling at the front. The armholes were still too uncomfortable.
I suspected that the armholes were also too low and scooped out too much.
My next step was to raise the armhole depth, now that I had fixed the sleeve cap. Hopefully my sleeve wouldn’t be too small once I did that.
McCall’s 6927 pattern comes with a sleeveless version, as well as a sleeved one, and I noticed the same pattern piece was used for both the sleeved and sleeveless versions, raising a red flag warning . To understand this concept more, this article from Threads is a good post about raising armhole depth on sleeve patterns.
Illustration from Threads. The lower length is fine for a sleeveless top, but will limit mobility if a sleeve is added.
If you look at the orange top in the pattern photo ,view C , you can see the pulling at the armscye. I believe this happens because they used a sleeveless block for the sleeved design. In design school we would drop the armhole about an inch or so for sleeveless tops. You can’t just add a sleeve to a sleeveless block. If you do that pulling happens, because the armhole is too low. A higher armhole actually gives more mobility even though it seems like the opposite should be true. My muslin looked exactly like view C.
I got out the Liesl Gibbons Lisette Butterick 6183 pattern to compare armholes. Since this pattern also has a D cup I could compare the two. The front armholes on both patterns were almost identical. They were both very short already from the FBA. An Fba shortens the front armhole.I decided to compare the back pieces, too. The Lisette pattern’s armscye was at least 1.5 to 2 inches higher in the back! (photo above) Interestingly enough, it was the extra long length of my back armhole that seemed to be creating the pulling in the front. I traced a new back muslin piece with the Lisette Butterick back armhole on the left.It was so much more comfortable! I still needed to do a narrow shoulder adjustment though. Stay tuned! Looks like my apex is a bit high here, too. Or I just need a better bra lol!
Fitting can be so time consuming. But the alternative is spending time and money on a garment that never gets worn because it ‘just doesn’t feel right.’