How to do a Broad Shoulder Adjustment for the Fable Dress

Do you find that garments tend to pull or feel a bit tight across the shoulders?  This simple pattern adjustment will help you modify your Fable Dress for a perfect fit, with enough ease to allow for unrestricted movement.  It takes just a little bit of extra time, but is so worth the effort when the result is a garment customized just for you.

Materials

  • Side Front, and Back Fable Dress pattern pieces
  • Measuring tape
  • Scrap paper
  • Tape
  • Pencil

Measure

1.  Begin by measuring your back to determine the size of shoulder adjustment you will need to make.  

Measure across the top of your back from the crease where the top of your arm joins your back, from one side to the other.  This is easiest if you get someone to help you measure.

Board Shoulder Adjustment for Fable Dress by Twig + Tale

2.  Work out the shoulder to shoulder difference between your body measurement and the pattern finished garment measurement.  The finished garment measurement can be found on pages 17-18 of the Fable Dress tutorial, or you can measure the pattern piece.  

For example:

  • Your body measurement = 46cm
  • Finished garment measurement = 40cm
  • Difference = 6cm

Since the pattern piece you will be working with is half the width of the back, divide the difference measurement in half.  In our example, this would be 3cm.  This will be your pattern adjustment measurement.  

Adjust pattern pieces

1.  Mark lines and cut pattern pieces as indicated in the diagram below.

First, mark the seamline on both the Side Front and Back pattern pieces (indicated by the dotted line in the illustration below) at underarm to create a pivot point.  

Then, mark the Side Front as follows:

  • Draw a line about halfway down the armhole (point C to D).
  • From the centre of the shoulder (point B), draw a line that follows the angle of the pattern piece, until it meets point D.
  • Pivot at point D and draw line that follows grainline of fabric.
  • Draw a line across pattern piece from pivot point (point A) so that it intersects with line drawn in previous step.  This creates point E.  

Then, mark the Back as follows:

  • Mark a point at the centre of the shoulder (point B).
  • Draw a line parallel to grainline, running down from centre of shoulder (point B) until it is even with point A.  
  • Draw a line from the pivot point to intersect with line drawn in previous step.  This creates point E.  

Cut the pattern piece along these lines.  

2.  Slide the top shoulder piece over the amount determined in the pattern adjustment measurement calculation above (eg. 3cm in our example).

Board Shoulder Adjustment for Fable Dress by Twig + Tale

3.  Leaving the top shoulder piece positioned as in step 2, pivot the bottom section only so that outer corner meets the section you slid over in the previous step.  

Board Shoulder Adjustment for Fable Dress by Twig + Tale

4.  Adjust the top piece, sliding it up or down so that the armhole stays the same length. 

Board Shoulder Adjustment for Fable Dress by Twig + Tale

5.  Blend seam lines and smooth.  Re-mark the single and double notches to indicate the front and back pieces.  

Board Shoulder Adjustment for Fable Dress by Twig + Tale

The pattern pieces have now been adjusted to your custom measurement.  Before cutting into your fancy Fable Dress fabric, we recommend sewing a muslin to test out the new shoulder adjustment, ensuring a comfortable fit with enough ease for unrestricted movement. 

Read more about the Fable Dress here

~ Lovely cover image by Emmaline Fenner ~