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Increasing the Back Width from Across the Armholes – Option 1

This back armhole RULE is so Important!

This correction shows what to do when the “across back” area is too tight or small, but you’re happy with the shoulder position.
If you’ve ever had this issue, these are the steps to correct it:
1. First, check to make sure the back armhole rule is followed
2. Draw a parallel line from the CF to the smallest area of the across back. And a perpendicular line from the armhole position.
3. Mark a 45 degree angle from the crossing point and measure the length of that line. You should be at a minimum of 1”. If it’s not, correct that first! A measurement of 1” or higher is acceptable.
4. If it’s still tight, cut your sample on the armhole along the across back area on both the left and right armholes.
5. Tape and pin the amount that was missing.
6. Move around to make sure it’s comfortable. When you’re happy, measure the amount you’ve taped open.
7. On your pattern, add to the armhole the amount you’ve taped open in the across back area. You may choose to add to the sleeve too, depending on the amount you need to add.
8. This reduces the armhole measurement ever so slightly. So you may need to slash and close the sleeve in the same area (to get the sleeve to fit the new armhole). Always check the rule first! After a while, you may notice your go-to measurement and you can start from that go-to measurement for your body. Any number 1” or higher is your target.

This information and more can be found in The Fitting Book. Order your book today through the link below.

Learn the 3-Step
Fitting Process:

  • A) Identify the Fitting Issue.
  • B) Pin, Cut, & Tape the Fitting Sample.
  • C) Correct the Sewing Pattern.


  • This Fitting Book Includes:
  • ~ Tops ~
  • ~ Pants ~
  • ~ Skirts/Dresses ~
  • ~ My Secret in Diagonal Draglines ~

It’s Time to Sew Clothes You Love that Fit.