About McCall’s Pattern 7470…. I found that the sleeved and sleeveless versions therein have the same front and back printed sections – and can be a conundrum depending on how picky you are about fit.
You see, the armhole in a sleeveless garment MUST be close to the body, but sleeved versions need that extra ease; so that when the sleeve is attached, it gives the wearer room to move the arm around. Without sleeves, there is no restriction to arm movement; so the little extra bloop is unsightly. Since I was making a sleeveless version, I moved the underarm seam ½ inch higher and ½ inch in (toward the bodice). You can either wear the sleeveless version with “slack” under the arm, or take a few minutes to bring it closer to your body.
Here’s a ridiculously simple way to bring in the seam at the underarm for a snugger fit: gauge how much you need to take in the side seam at the underarm. I tried this dress on and decided on a 3/8 inch pinch. Then it was sewn down, blending into the original side seam -at about 2 inches down. Do not forget to make a note on the pattern itself for future reference. Also remember that the armhole is now smaller, which is a good lead-in to the next armhole-finishing tip.
While we’re on sleeveless issues, did you know this one? Some patterns will ask you to finish your armhole with a bias strip facing, as M7470 does. Well, at some point, you will have to join the strip into a circle because the armhole is a circle (duh). When the joint of the strip is sewn together in a straight seam, it will have more layers of fabric at that point when you’re attaching it to the sleeve. It works better to sew the ends together in a slanted seam. When folded, the extra layers are spread out and thus avoid a bumpy area. I hope the following images help the explanation.
Trim seam to 1/4 inch. Open out and press seam open.
I’m still on a shirt-, shirttunic-, shirtdress- making roll. Rolling along!