Friday, September 25, 2015

The dropped shoulder

photo courtesy of the Cutting class, great site!

My latest project has a "dropped shoulder" albeit not too much. Given that I have very narrow shoulders and have also often seen these be very ill fitting, I felt I needed to to step up my knowledge  base and did much googling and reading.

I think most experienced sewists know that a kimono, dolman,  raglan or cut on type sleeve will never hang the same way a "set in" sleeve does. Neither does a dropped shoulder. Here you can see what I mean.

Set in sleeve, smoothly going over the edge of the shoulder. The grey shoulder is a a traditional set in sleeve with a sleeve head and shoulder pads. The boucle shoulder has a "seam roll" installed to make that rounded curve. These are my own efforts





Raglan sleeves:  See those vertical wrinkles,pretty much unavoidable in this type of sleeve? Dropped shoulders can do the same as you see in the blue and white tee above. 

courtesy lydiasuniforms.com



Dropped shoulders:
Notice anything? As the shoulder seam drops, even to the point of disappearing on some garments, the armscye gets lower and THE BODICE GETS WIDER.  It gets lower and wider as the shoulder gets lower, I never knew that! But it explains why the MT  jacket fits my narrow shoulders and why the above jacket has no drag lines. That additional width prevents the wrinkling in the armscye. 
The lower the shoulder seam, the wider the bodice! The armhole needs to drop as well as be enlarged. It's a whole different animal. You can see a great article and more pictures at the Cutting Class hereThere are some excellent examples of what happens as the shoulder drops lower and lower and I would like to thank and give props to the Cutting Class. If you are not following this site, you are missing out on some great sewing info. They use designer examples and explain how the looks were achieved, very enlightening and the information is provided by experts. I love the blue lace on the above jacket, don't you? 

Bottom line, the Tilton foiled jacket is well drafted to get the look she is after. I will show you soon. Just have to get those big black buttons on!...........Bunny

22 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing this, Bunny!
    I've been looking at TSW new jacket pattern and wondering about my narrow shoulders... This explains A LOT!

    Brenda

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  2. I think, conversely, this information can help you improve the fit if there are issues. I thought the Cutting Class info was so very helpful.

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  3. I've followed The Cutting Class for some time. Terrific site.

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  4. Love the Cutting Class! And as the armholes drop and the jacket body gets wider...so does the wearer's. Most unflattering style for big busted women is raglan/dropped shoulder styles. It also draws the eye to the now widest part of the body and makes your bust look droopy and matronly...who needs that?
    Raglan sleeve seams "draw" an "A" shape on your body and the eyes assume the top is small and narrow while the rest of the garment continues to get wider and wider as in your waist and hips...who needs that? Dying to see you latest foiled jacket!!! Thank you, Bunny for more essential sewing knowledge!

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    1. Exactly why I seldom wear dropped shoulders. My shoulders are wide and I am bigger busted. It's not a good look for me. I don't think that flowered jacket looks particularly good on that skinny model. Her shoulders look really very sloped.

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  5. Astute observations, Mrs. Mole!

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  6. Thank you for the time and effort for the information, Its like you said, we are all familiar with different sleeves, but putting it together like this makes it a 'ooh that's interesting' read. :-)

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  7. Haha - Mrs. Mole hit on the reason I don't wear raglan/dropped shoulder styles! :) However, I did not know about the Cutting Class website. Thanks for the info, Bunny!

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  8. This is a terrific post Bunny. Thank you for sharing the article and link to The Cutting Class.

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  9. Thanks for the info, I had never considered this and found it most interesting. I also checked out the Cutting Class and followed them.

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  10. Very nice presentation and some beautiful examples - i love the shoulder on the cherry boucle :)

    I'm old and we had lots of dropped shoulders in the 1980's. Fitting was much less of an issue just because of those wide wide bodices. The benefits of age!

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    1. Did you notice how the collar is only sewn into the garment in the back? It is hanging free-ish on the front, not emanating from the neckline. I thought that was pretty interesting as well. The concepts presented on that website and their comments about the details are so interesting.

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    2. "...notice how the collar..." no i hadn't, thanks for pointing it out! It's funny that would be the type of detail i would expect to be all over, as i like all types of things hanging around the neck, but something is holding me back...i think it's the way it would interfere with the strap on my shoulder bags. !

      But i don't rule out finding a way to work this detail in future ;) I also like that it's something that would really set a garment apart but does not require a huge leap forward in skill set. Happy day!

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  11. Interesting. Not really a fan of the dropped shoulder, but I can see the appeal in relation to fitting. I'm small boned like you and think they overwhelm, but the modern look with skinny pants might just be doable. Looking forward to seeing your latest jacket!

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    1. That's how I am planning to wear the top, with slim pants. Hope it looks OK. There is a lot of volume with those pockets but I have figured a way I could control that. Pics coming!

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  12. Great information, and I've also following the Cutting Class. What wonderful resources are there for us! jen.

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  13. Thank you for this informative post. I have narrow shoulders and "regular" patterns never fit me, so I'm always interest in shoulder fitting explanations.

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  14. Thank you for sharing this. I too have narrow shoulders plus I am short so I have always avoided dropped shoulders. I do look forward to seeing your creation though! I know you can pull it off!

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  15. Yes, it's an interesting observation! I personally like quite wide dropped shoulders, since I have narrow shoulders, the effect offsets my proportionally wider hips out; well I hope so anyway, that's the theory! I think generally though in putting together a pleasing ensemble overall, it's a matter of balancing a narrow cut top with a wider cut trouser/skirt , or vice versa.

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  16. I have narrow shoulders as well, but I also have a large bust and the extra fabric at the bust is not flattering. This style works so much better on smaller busted women.

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  17. Great article. I read the site, but hadn't seen that piece. Interesting to see the how and why of over sized garments. I look forward to seeing your jacket.

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  18. This is most interesting and taught me alot (Mrs M always helps too). I like a well fitting sleeve and shoulder and have never made a raglan or dropped shoulder. But if I do this will come in handy.

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