Can we talk about arms for a minute?
I would say very few curvy women are not curvy all over. I know I am curvy all over. So why do pattern companies stick normal sleeves on plus-size patterns?
I love big shirts, the menswear-style long sleeve, pointed collar big shirts. I read a tip in a book about dressing for plus-size women several years ago that recommended to develop a “uniform” that works and stock up on multiples of those garments. One of the “uniform” styles it mentioned was a big shirt and dark, narrow-legged pants. I tried it and liked it. I love the feel of this style and would have an entire wardrobe of big shirts of various fabrics along with several pair of dark pants if only I could find a pattern for a big shirt that fits me.
I discovered a plus-size menswear-inspired shirt pattern by Connie Crawford, of Fashions Patterns by Coni and Butterick Patterns, that was out-of-print. (I must have snagged it in the nick of time as I cannot find an image or reference to it on the Great Wide Internet at this moment.) With the help of the Curvy Sewing Collective‘s many FBA tutorials, I was able to create a very comfy flannel big shirt that both covers my bust and does not gap in the front. The sleeves were generous enough for my upper arm lab so I should have been home free and have the big shirt of my dreams.
The one problem I never saw coming was the rest of the sleeve. None of my years of sewing experience and blog reading prepared me for this. Who has arms this short? I know that question is rhetorical. I know there are ladies with short arms, I realize, but am I the only one who has this problem?
The sleeves are at least 6 inches too short. The cuff will button were it to extend to my wrist so I guess the cuff is okay. But the lower sleeve is too small and too tight. I cannot roll the cuff up, which truth be told, is how I wear my long sleeve shirts.
To remedy this problem, my first thought is to use the sleeve from a menswear pattern and mash it together with the existing sleeve patter. Or do I just increase the angle on the existing sleeve piece and add another pleat at the cuff?