The Auburn Blazer is a blazer sewing pattern designed specifically for curves. We’ve included a full bicep sleeve option to help you get the best fit right out of the packet, but if you need additional sleeve fitting help, you’ve come to the right place.
If you’re curvy, you’ve probably tried on more than your fair share of ill-fitting blazers at clothing stores. You may have found that you struggle to move your arms in some (or all) of those blazers. We believe that having a full range of motion is essential—your clothes should help you live a fuller life, not hold you back!
That’s why when we were designing the Auburn Blazer, we made sleeve fit an important part of our development process. The pattern includes both standard and full bicep sleeve options, with a 2″ (5 cm) difference between the two.
The first step to getting a great arm and sleeve fit is to make a muslin—let’s look at how to do that next.
Make a Muslin
Sewing up a quick muslin, toile, or test garment can clue you in to how the Auburn will fit much better than looking at a flat pattern. When sewing your muslin, you can use a less expensive (but similar weight/stretch) fabric and you can take some shortcuts, like skipping the lining and not finishing seams or hems. View B makes for a great muslin, especially if you’re primarily concerned with sleeve fit.
Before starting your muslin, make sure you’re making the right size(s) for your body—our easy-to-use size calculator can help with this.
To determine which sleeve option you should start with, measure your bicep, compare it to the Auburn body measurements chart, and that will help you assess whether you fit in the regular or full bicep sleeve, or whether you need a further adjustment.
Once you’ve made your muslin, try it on. Remember to pop your shoulder pads in place to get the best sense of fit—you can attach them temporarily with safety pins. Stand in the mirror and assess the sleeve fit. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do my arms have enough room when they’re at my sides?
- Can I comfortably raise my arms to do things like driving or to pick something up?
- Is the sleeve hem hitting just below my wrist bone?
If you answered yes to all of those questions, you’re good to go! If not, continue reading.
Adjustment: Sleeves are Too Tight
If you found after making your muslin that the sleeves are too tight and your arm movement is restricted as a result, you’ll want to make an adjustment. If you started with the standard sleeve, try switching to the full bicep sleeve—you can replace the original sleeves on your muslin and try it on again, rather than sewing up a whole new muslin.
If you used the full bicep sleeve and found that it was still too tight, you may need to do a further full bicep adjustment. Here’s a tutorial that will show you how to do that on a two-piece sleeve. Remember to make the same adjustment on your sleeve lining pieces as well.
With an adjustment like this, you’ll want to try it on a muslin to check the fit again before moving onto your final garment. You wouldn’t want to put in all that work into making a beautiful Auburn, only to find out that the sleeve adjustment wasn’t quite right!
Adjustment: Sleeves are Too Long/Too Short
Adjusting the length of sleeves is a common adjustment for many sewists. Depending on the length of your arms (and where you like the sleeve hem to hit), you may find that you want to lengthen or shorten the sleeves a tad.
We’ve included lengthen and shorten lines on the sleeve pieces (both the outer pieces and the lining) to help you identify where to lengthen or shorten your sleeve. While wearing your muslin, measure up or down from the finished hem (fold it over, if you haven’t sewn it down) to where you want your sleeve to hit to determine how much length to add or remove. Be sure to have your arm down at your side when you take this measurement.
If you need to add or remove more than 1-2″ (2.5-5 cm), you may want to split the difference in a few spots along the sleeve, rather than taking it all from a single spot (the lengthen/shorten lines).
We hope this tutorial helps you find your ideal sleeve fit! If you have any questions, drop them in the comments below or reach out to us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.