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Summer Friday with the 1 Puddle Lane Miss Ruby Tuesday

Welcome to my second installment of Summer Friday. A series of summer themed sews to get you in the mood for hot weather. Today we talk ...

Welcome to my second installment of Summer Friday. A series of summer themed sews to get you in the mood for hot weather.

Today we talk about my new favorite pattern, the Miss Ruby Tuesday by 1 Puddle Lane. If you haven't seen it already, I blogged about the pattern here. Of course it was a huge hit, so I had to make another. So here we have round 2.

 If you remember from my previous review, the Miss Ruby Tuesday has 2 sets of separate bodice pieces. 1 set for sleeves and one for sleeveless. My last sew was sleeveless. I shortened the upper bodice by 1/2" which brought the entire armscye up by 1/2". This was a perfect fit for me and my skinny stick arms. So I knew I'd have to make the same adjustment on the sleeved bodice.

BUT, if we adjust the bodice we have to adjust the sleeve cap. So today, I'm going to show you how to shorten the sleeve cap to fit back into the armscye. AND, I'm also going to show you how to make the entire sleeve thinner for a skinny arm, because my stick arms aren't going anywhere, so I better fix the sleeve too!

Please note, just because you adjust the upper bodice does NOT mean you have to adjust the sleeve cap. The alternative would be to shift the entire armhole down 1/2". In this case that is NOT the adjustment I need.

Second note. in this specific case, I am adjusting the pattern piece by 1/4". I'm showing you the modifications I made for a different dress, but the steps are the same. The fabric I will be using with this pattern piece does not have enough vertical stretch so I had to accommodate the loss of length. I used this technique to adjust the pattern piece for the dress shown by 1/2".

Step #1- Assemble your pattern piece and extend the grain line through the entire pattern piece. For clarity and ease of photographing I am working with the short sleeve length. Draw a line perpendicular to the grain line across the sleeve cap, about 1/2 way between the height of the entire cap. Draw a second line parallel to your line that is the distance you need to shorten your sleeve cap. It doesn't matter if this is above or below your first line.

Step #2- Cut across either of your two horizontal lines. Now shift the entire pattern to match up to the other line. Be absolutely sure that when you shift, the grain line that you extended matches up on both pattern pieces! You can see that marked with a nice right angle square in this photo.
Step #3- Your pattern piece will now have a jag in the sleeve cap. Using your french curve match up the location of the upper sleeve piece to the bottom curve. This takes a little rotating and moving around of your french curve. It feels scary. Don't worry, this doesn't have to be super perfect. You could also eyeball this curve. I don't feel comfortable with my drawing skills to eye this sort of curve. Cut out your new pattern piece.

If that is the only adjustment you need to make, you can stop here. If you want to be super precise, you should walk this pattern piece around your front and back bodice armscye and adjust as necessary. However, I've found that when working with knits, you can fudge this a bit and not run into any problems.

On to our second adjustment. If you have skinny stick arms like me, this adjustment is definitely for you!

If you are using the 1 Puddle Lane Miss Ruby Tuesday pattern, you'll see that there is a notch that shows you where the center of the sleeve is. If you are using a 1/2 pattern piece, be sure to trace out an entire pattern piece with a full front and back.

Step #1- Measure the circumference of your arm at where the hem will hit your arm on the pattern. Measure the full width of the sleeve hem, minus the seam allowance of the pattern piece. Subtract your arm measurement from your sleeve hem measurement. In my case, there is a 1 1/2" difference between what the pattern is drafted for and what my arm measures. Because we are using knits, we can adjust all the way to my exact arm size. If this was a woven, we would have to add ease.
Step #2- Draw a vertical line from the hem to the center of the pattern piece.
Step #3- Mark the seam allowance on your pattern piece. Place a piece of tape at this point. It will help reinforce this point where we will pivot the pattern. Also trace a line parallel to your hem that is the distance you need to "shrink" your hem width. In my case that line would be 1 1/2".
Step #4- Clip the pattern piece from the hem up to the marked seam allowance point. Do NOT cut through the seam allowance point. Cut from the seam to (but not through) the seam allowance point.
Step #5- Pivot the hem of the pattern piece over until it touches your marked line. I SHOULD have drawn a complete vertical line. I didn't. My pattern piece ended up slightly smaller. That was ok since I  Tape together.
Step #6- Time to make a style decision. if you want a curved hem, take out your french curve and redraw your arm hem with a curved hem. If you want a straight hem, then redraw the hem line from side seam to side seam.

Now you can use the opposite technique to make your arm width bigger. Just spread out the hem area and you'll have more space. Please note that making the adjustment for a sleeve of a longer length will require redrafting the wrist area also. I will talk about that another time because this adjustment will make the wrist area nonexistent, which won't work. And also, I have tiny little wrists too and I wan't my shirts to look perfect.

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