Combined Narrow and Sloping Shoulder Alterations

I zipped through the tissues changes , except for the shoulder alterations.  I wasn’t satisfied with Cheethams L shaped NSA followed by adding 5/8″ at the neck point to adjust the slope. The L shape, cuts out a block following the lines of the armscye down to the notch and up to about the halfway point of the shoulder. The block is then shifted towards the neck which reduces the shoulder length. That part is successful but it leaves an incomplete armscye which must be redrawn. I was nervous doing that.  I think I’ve ruined my Knit Block based on Connie Crawford’s knit pattern through a combination of re-drawing the armscye and then tweaking; and tweaking; and tweaking some more. So I’m nervous. Plus, I want an elegant solution. Something where the solves the shoulder issues without creating other problems.  First I tried making the L bigger. I cut the block to include 1/2″ below the armscye.  I was moving half the shoulder with the whole armscye.  Good thought, except I couldn’t line up the L-block with the remaining pattern lines. I needed to keep the width.  I’m narrower across the upper chest.  I have a normal depth from shoulder to bust point and average width.  I’m standard issue in those areas and need to keep the ease. As I rotated the block, trying to combine NSA and SS in one move I ended up with wonky shoulder, wonky underarm or adding length to the side seam.  The latter I knew unequivocally didn’t need to happen.   I taped it all back in place and ran off to think.

I also watched movies. At Craftsy. On DVD. On YouTube…. where I came across a lady I had subscribed to long ago and forgotten: Katrina Kay.   Now, Katrina works with a computerized pattern drafting program.  She’s really an expert and makes the whole thing look very easy.  She prefers the precision of working with the stitching line rather than the cutting line as I do.  As I watched these movies again, I realized it might be possible for me  to use her 7-Steps to Custom Shoulder procedure. It’s my experience that everything we do with computers today, were once done with pencil and paper. So I stopped the video. Rewound and started making careful notes.

Back down stairs I started by measuring the armscye.  Marked a shoulder point 1/2″ in from the tissue shoulder and 1/2″ down.  I drew my new shoulder line from this point to the original neck point. Next I retrieved my ‘Fashion Curve‘ — these things have a tendency to migrate on my cutting board. (The curve I’m linking to has only one armscye. The one I own has a front and back armscye.)  I drew in a new curve using the measurements I had taken earlier.  I was astounded. My first time through should have been slow, very slow. Took maybe 5 minutes.:

Blue lines denote the new shoulder and armscye.

I walked seams. Tweaked the front neckline about 1/16″.  Trimmed all my excess tissue and prayed it would work. Yep prayed because if this works, it is the elegant solution for which I’m looking.


2 thoughts on “Combined Narrow and Sloping Shoulder Alterations

  1. Katrina uses Wild Ginger software and it does nail your back & front shoulder widths since they’re a required measurement. I’d never had a good shoulder fit with no pattern chopping before I tried it. I have a narrow, rolled square shoulders and that’s a lot to fix on most patterns. < : ) I am particularly fond of the knits software. Of course the automated part of the software can't do everything, which why that CAD editor is very cool.
    Hope this latest tweak works for you, fingers crossed.


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