Shirt fitting - odd things happening. LOL

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Shirt fitting - odd things happening. LOL

Postby angelalee511 » November 23rd, 2016, 6:49 pm

Austin came today to fit his shirt and the back was perfect. Across the shoulders, side seams were spot on, and length perfect. The front is another story. He has quite the beer belly, so I had already anticipated needing extra width for his girth. but the chest also needs extra room and the front shoulders hang way off his shoulders. the back fits, but not the front. He doesn't want me to touch the shoulders. He says he thinks it will fit too snug. He only wants extra room in the front. And the sleeves need to be shortened. He's okay with that. I think I need to make a narrow shoulder adjustment on the front and a fairly good bit - like at least an inch. Think he'd notice? This is going to be checked flannel. I think it will be much more noticeable. He has plenty of room in the armscye, so I don't think it will be as snug as he thinks.
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Re: Shirt fitting - odd things happening. LOL

Postby genniewren » November 24th, 2016, 2:39 am

I can't see properly but is the pattern a yoked one? If so it is a lot easier to adjust the shoulders at the front only than if it has a shoulder seam. To be honest I would start with the sleeve first as it looks like there is too much ease in the sleeve head. You might find that trimming off some of the seam allowance before you sew it (i.e. move the seam line slightly) will help with that. A lot of commercial patterns have too much ease in the sleeve head. Men's shirts normally have a slightly dropped shoulder so the fact that the shoulder overhangs may not be a problem at all once you sort out the excess fabric in the sleeve head.

The "beer belly" is a difficult one to fit because adjusting for it is going to add fullness to the bottom edge. The best way is to do a slash and spread as that won't affect your armhole too much. Then just straighten off the front line and smooth out the side seam line if it changes much.

There's a tutorial on this historical site - it's for adjusting a vest/waistcoat, but the principle is much the same https://thepragmaticcostumer.wordpress. ... le-figure/

Good luck. I'm sure it will be great when you are finished tweaking.
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Re: Shirt fitting - odd things happening. LOL

Postby angelalee511 » November 24th, 2016, 5:07 am

Thank you Genine. I thought what I would do is spread the whole front section then taper at the bottom. He needs width at the top too which means I'd have to adjust the neck width and that means adjusting the collar and band. I didn't have this problem on his last shirt. I think that pattern had more room at the neck. It seems to me if we could "pull" the shirt up at the shoulder it would slide more in the front neck. I hope that makes sense. Almost like you are putting a jacket on a child and you give it a good yank at the top. :rotflo: :rotflo:

I do think you are right about the sleeve ease. I think Judy has done that before and posted the instructions here or on her blog. I would definitely like that more.

If the back didn't fit so well, I'd honestly go up another size. :lol:

Thank you!
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Re: Shirt fitting - odd things happening. LOL

Postby Bunbun5 » November 25th, 2016, 5:47 pm

I think you need to pin the two center fronts to get the fit right. Once they are pinned closed and you can see the pulling you can then see where to slash and spread. Those sleeves are way to big and are not hanging properly, appearing off grain. I also think the sleeve has too much "cap" but that will be more obvious once you decrease the shoulder seam which I would definitely do in the front. Don't tell him. Just give him the Yeah Yeahs. :wink: when he tells you how to fit. Here is what I would do with the muslin:

Pin the center fronts together on him. Slash and spread until it falls properly.

Adjust the shoulder seam for length. I agree with him that it is OK to have it off the shoulder a tad, but not as much as we see. By having if a little lower than you would on a woman's shirt it visually widens the man's shoulders and "looks right".

Put your muslin sleeve flat out on the table. With a Marker mark the straight of grain from the dot that goes at the center of the shoulder seam. Draw a line from the cap to the hem, to do that. You are following the grain line on the pattern. Now with a ruler and at the biceps area, mark the cross grain on the sleeve. This should be at exact 45 º to the straight grain you just drew. So now you basically have a cross across the sleeve.

Once the shoulder seam is adjust and the front is adjusted and the sleeve muslin marked. baste it in and try it on again. tThere should be no wrinkles. The grainline should hang straight down from the top of the shoulders and if you look at the sleeve from the side the crossgrain should be perfectly level. If not, it will tell you where to move the fabric, either up or down until the the crossgrain line is level with the floor.

Hope this helps. Once you have a good muslin you will be able to make the shirt over and over with a great fit. Good luck!
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Re: Shirt fitting - odd things happening. LOL

Postby angelalee511 » November 25th, 2016, 5:55 pm

so I've made some changes, and it fixed the sleeves and looks better, but I still think they hang too far off the shoulder. And I have a mess going on in the front - but I think I know how to fix.

I shaved off nearly 2" of the sleeve cap and all those puckers are gone and the sleeve is laying flatter. I have not pressed it here. I also shortened the sleeves by a full 2". I think that was bit much. I still have a 2-3" cuff, but he needs a little more room there.
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There are also some drag lines that are worse since making the changes. I wonder if pulling that shoulder up slightly (a narrow shoulder adjustment) might fix those? I'd have to adjust the sleeve length back to the original.
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I did not need the extra room in the neck after all - or at least not that much. I don't know why it's fitting better there. I added a full 3" to the center front. And now I have an overlap of 3" at the neck, and it tapers down to the tummy just where it needs to be at about 1". I think rather than adding that width at the CF, I should add it at the side seam. Thoughts?
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Re: Shirt fitting - odd things happening. LOL

Postby Rosieq » November 26th, 2016, 2:43 pm

http://off-the-cuff-style.blogspot.com/ ... -hips.html

This shows a picture of Bunnies slash method on the front. That way you don't mess with the armsyce or the neckline. You could also add a bit more at the side seam by pivoting with a pin in the side seam line at the top and Mark what more you may need at the bottom and adjust your side seam. But I would make that slash in the front of the shirt. I have had to make that side and center adjustment on dresses for Ava with her little waist broadness. It works well. I saw this on a program by Nancy's Notions. Perhaps you can find that video. I remember her saying it is important not to mess with either the armsyce and maybe the neckline seam.
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Re: Shirt fitting - odd things happening. LOL

Postby angelalee511 » November 26th, 2016, 6:58 pm

Thank you both. I did not see your post Bunny until I made my adjustments. I'll go back and do it that way. It would definitely help to have those lines drawn to know where that sleeve should be.

Linda, thank you for that link. I love that blog and didn't even think to go there to look. And that visual helps tremendously.

I am armed now with info and will tackle this tomorrow. Thanks so much!!
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Re: Shirt fitting - odd things happening. LOL

Postby angelalee511 » November 29th, 2016, 4:48 pm

Fitting #3.

I'm getting close. The top at his neck is still too tight. He says he'll never close that, so I don't think I need to be as concerned with that. I think the shoulder seam is about where it needs to be. The right side looks lower, but I don't think I had it pulled up as far as the left.
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Side view. I think the sleeve from this angle looks pretty good? I don't like all the wrinkles. I wonder if that has something to do with my taking the ease out of the sleeve cap? But he keeps reminding me this is an overshirt. :rotflo: He needs more length in the front which I anticipated.
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The back.
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He wants me to go to the next size up shirt. He thinks this is too tight for an overshirt. But he wants me to keep this one for dress shirts that need to be a bit more fitted. So I'll cut that this weekend for comparison. But I'll finish this one anyway.
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Re: Shirt fitting - odd things happening. LOL

Postby angelalee511 » November 29th, 2016, 4:49 pm

two more pics.

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This is why he thinks it's too tight. LOL
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Re: Shirt fitting - odd things happening. LOL

Postby Bunbun5 » December 10th, 2016, 10:43 am

Really great improvement. Thoughts: He has sloping shoulders. I think some of the underarm wrinkling would disappear if you take in the shoulder seam, maybe a 1/4 inch at the arm tapering to nothing at the neck. Pin it first and see how it effects all the underarm and sleeve wrinkles. I have a feeling there may be an improvement there. I also read of someone recently with similar sleeve issues that defied tradition fixes. It ended up being an issue of how the person's elbow turned in or out and once they knew that it was easily fixed. I am going to see if I can find that for you.

Here you go: http://gksagenda.blogspot.com/2015/12/arcane-adjustment.html

Hope this helps. Keep us posted.

Also, it always amazes me how people get in these unusual positions and then say it doesn't fit. Wanting it to fit while he's hammering giant nails on a construction site is one thing but the fit for a nice shirt doesn't demand the same adjustments. That being said, can we get a pic of him standing straight from the back? All that puddling could indicate that the back has either excess length that is landing on his upper butt or that the hips are not wide enough and it is sticking OR a combination of both. Then again, he's in the odd position. See if he will agree to a simple stand straight pic from the back.

This is really coming out great Angela and I really admire all the work you've put in to this. It will be so worth it in the end to have a tried and true pattern that you can just go to and cut when you want to make him a shirt. Great work!

Well silly me. I just clicked on the back pic and see it great now. New assessment: A tiny adjustment to the seam of the yoke/ back bodice. If that is lifted, it will also help eliminate the big wrinkle in the back. But this is touchy. Do the shoulder adjustment first. If that back wrinkle is the same, open up the yoke/bodice seam. Do nothing to the yoke. Instead just move up the bodice at the armscye maybe a short quarter inch, tapering to nothing to the right of his wing. You can definitely try this out with just pins. You only need to do this if the shoulders don't take care of it all. Now, if you've taken in the shoulder and taken in the bodice at the yoke, your sleeve will now have less room in the armscye to fit and back to wrinkles. That is easily., really, fixed by simply scooping out the underarm area to bring the armscye back to the size that worked with the sleeve. For these adjustments I would scoop out a half inch at the side seam and taper to nothing about an inch short of the notches. This way the sleeve will still fit as you've done already.
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Re: Shirt fitting - odd things happening. LOL

Postby angelalee511 » December 12th, 2016, 10:16 am

Thank you Bunny for the complete and very well explained directions! I will hopefully get back to this shirt this week. I've made another muslin going up one size for his jacket type shirt. I still want to work on this one for his nice shirt.
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Re: Shirt fitting - odd things happening. LOL

Postby Bunbun5 » January 17th, 2017, 6:34 pm

How's the shirt coming? Are his arms hanging normally? See if you can get him to just dangle them straight down. Those red lines should really be vertical and the cross grain parallel to the floor all the way around. What I would do is take out a sleeve. Now put it back on the shirt, unsewn. Make sure his arms are dangling straight down. Turn the sleeve, lift the sleeve cap, whatever it takes to get those lines perfect. These are called Horizontal Balance lines. Once you've got it, pin and sew. This may involve moving the whole sleeve in the armscye forwards or backwards. Let me know how it works out. I think your bodice looks good, just a little work on the sleeves and you are there. Did you clip the neckline to the seam line before he made his judgement on the neck fit? Sometimes I just cut off the seam allowance on the neckline.

If your library has it I highly recommend Sarah Veblen's book "The Complete Guide to Fitting". It's all about the horizontal balance lines and a great book.
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Re: Shirt fitting - odd things happening. LOL

Postby angelalee511 » January 18th, 2017, 6:54 am

Thank you Bunny. I have not finished this shirt. I actually put this one down and cut the larger pattern so he'd stop whining. He still wants the other shirt for a more fitted look. I just haven't had time. I haven't even finished the new shirt. Life has gotten in the way. :rotflo: I hope to get back to this over the weekend so he can wear it before spring. :rotflo: :rotflo: I so appreciate your help. And taking the sleeve off is a great idea. I need to look into that book too. I don't have that one. I have David Page's shirt making book and looked through it briefly. Honestly, I can understand your explanations/directions better than his. :shock:
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Re: Shirt fitting - odd things happening. LOL

Postby Karens Krafts » January 18th, 2017, 8:12 am

What a great post!!! I'm learning so much watching this process. Thank you so much for letting us see this process, and be sure to tell Austin how much we appreciate his willingness to let us learn along with you.
I'll be looking forward to the finished shirts.
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