Oct 8, 2013

Sleeveless? It must be summer somewhere...

I'm a little late for summer in the USA unless of course you're living in one of our warmer southern states, but nevertheless, in this blog I thought I'd address the sleeveless armhole.

There's been a few times when customers have emailed to say that their armholes are fitting too tight.  I always check to find out if they have a large upper arm and didn't do the large arm tune-up, or perhaps they've done a sloped shoulder tune-up and forgot to lower the underarm level, or maybe the seam allowance wasn't trimmed away and is causing extra bulk.  If all of these issues are not the cause, perhaps....just perhaps, the set of dots for the sleeveless bodice was used inadvertently.  I've seen this happen in a fitting class and it took a little investigative work to find that the wrong set of dots where used when drawing the bodice and that is what was causing the armhole to feel too tight.

When drawing the regular bodice for a set-in sleeve, use the lower series of dots. If you want a sleeveless bodice, make sure to use the upper row of dots as shown in this photo.  They bring the armhole up closer to your underarm and closer to your torso. Let's take a look.

Here's a close-up view.

Please make sure these dots are used only for a sleeveless bodice.  You may still have to bring the armhole a little higher or tighter to your body especially if you are using a knit fabric, but these dots offer a good starting point.  The rest is personal preference.

Let's take a look at some tops and dresses sewn by our SFD seamstresses.

Thanks for sharing your happy creations.


  1. Waving... waving!!! It's been 30+ 'C here in South Australia today, and we are heading for months of short/sleeveless tops, so this is timely for us here in the southern hemisphere.

    Beautiful tops and dresses, ladies!!!

  2. Whew! that is HOT! On one trip we were in Roma, Queensland where the temp was 35+ C - we about died!! Please send photos of your summer creations...I'm sure others would like to see them.
    Kindly Glenda
    PS...Keep the fans and AC plugged in!