Across Shoulder: The Gotcha

across-shoulder

The Across Shoulder measurement is usuallydefined as;  Shoulder Tip to Centre Front Neck.

The image that would accompany it would be something like the introductory image on this page, showing the Centre Front Neck to be the pit of the neck which is the top of the Bodice Block.  This measurement which is found in other patternmaking instructions (sometimes with a slightly different name) is usually shown in images as a straight line, or sometimes with a slight tilt upwards to the neck.

This caused me a lot of grief.   I couldn't understand why my Bodice Front seemed wide in the neck with the shoulder slope too slanted.  I was using my measurements, and I checked them again and again.


across-shoulder-gotcha

The Across Shoulder sets the width of the block, and if that measurement is wrong you will get the following problems: neck too wide, incorrect shoulder slope, and the sleeve edge too far off the shoulder.   See the image titled: Incorrect Across Shoulder for an example.

I eventually figured out that measuring from the Shoulder Tip to any part of my neck wasn't working for me because of my body shape. The measurement from the Shoulder Tip to the Pit of my Neck was on a downward slope and ended up being 1.5cm longer than my actual Across Shoulder width.  Measuring across to my neck didn't work out any better because my neck is on a forward angle, and so that also resulted in an incorrect measurement.

I needed to measure from my Centre Front, quite a distance down from my neck,  to what would be the shoulder line.  See the example in the following image.  Compare the standard way to measure (Across Shoulder A), to how I had to measure (Across Shoulder B).

across-shoulder-for-me

body-forms

Be careful if....

If the measurement from your shoulder tip to the little dip in your neck is on a very downward slope (and this may apply to very upwards slopes??) and you measure the standard way, you end up with a much larger neck and the sleeve edge too far over the shoulder.  In this case measure as I did - see the third image on the page marked Across Shoulder (B).


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This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Hi. just a suggestion,
The measurement which you are mentioning as "across shoulder" which is few inches below the neck point on CF line across to the armhole curve seems to be a little confusing.
Across shoulder would mean shoulder point to...

Hi. just a suggestion,
The measurement which you are mentioning as "across shoulder" which is few inches below the neck point on CF line across to the armhole curve seems to be a little confusing.
Across shoulder would mean shoulder point to shoulder point.
The measurement area that you are indicating would actually be across front /chest front.
I have studied little bit of pattern making and also worked in the export industry working with countries like USA, UK, Australia.
I would also like to add that I had been looking for a very long time, 1 single place where I could understand pattern making and things surrounding it and I must say that I'm thoroughly enjoying your website. It has a LOT of information available and one doesn't have to google search every term and go dive deeper into it on some other website.
So thank you for all your work

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madhubani
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Hello Madhubani

The issue is that the measurement is SUPPOSED to be Shoulder Point to Centre Neck (or half of shoulder point to shoulder point). That is the measurement that is needed. My point on this page is that if some people - those who...

Hello Madhubani

The issue is that the measurement is SUPPOSED to be Shoulder Point to Centre Neck (or half of shoulder point to shoulder point). That is the measurement that is needed. My point on this page is that if some people - those who have forward jutting necks - take the measurement that way, they get an incorrect result. These people need to take the measurement a different way, and it is NOT the same as Across Chest - which is a different and separate measurement that is also needed to draft the block.

This Across Shoulder measurement shown in (B) is not to the armhole - as it would be for Across Chest - it is across to the Shoulder Line.

I hope you can understand the difference.

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Comment was last edited about 11 months ago by Maria Maria
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Right. I got what you said.
I re-read your article again and completely understood your point now.
Thank you

madhubani
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

I just discovered your site. I have been teaching myself moulage for a couple years (yes longer than I would like) but I think I'm finally understanding. Today I was looking for articles about what people think about customizing right and left...

I just discovered your site. I have been teaching myself moulage for a couple years (yes longer than I would like) but I think I'm finally understanding. Today I was looking for articles about what people think about customizing right and left blocks. Your discussion of this made so much sense. I can see that you understand what the limitations are and how ones goals for doing this work can't be separated from the process. Accept that some styles won't look like you want or feel like you want; be willing to do the work if you want customized right and left fit; understand how the measurements you take are being used in creating the block and understand how something like a forward neck could alter your result (and be creative about where you take the measurement) etc. I'm so glad to have found your site!

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Jan Macleod
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Hello Jan,

I'm pleased you have found my website, and that the content is useful. I would really like to make a video about Fit, it is a topic close to my heart. Although I may look 'normal' (When talking about the problems about the fit of...

Hello Jan,

I'm pleased you have found my website, and that the content is useful. I would really like to make a video about Fit, it is a topic close to my heart. Although I may look 'normal' (When talking about the problems about the fit of ready-to-wear clothing, so many people say "but you look normal, you don't look like you'd have any problems finding clothes that fit"), I seem to have the Perfect Storm of Fitting Issues.

I have learned so much that I would like to share. I have a long list of things I want to address, and a video on Fit is one of them. The problem is finding the time...

Good luck with your patternmaking and I hope you persevere. I am so, so, very glad that I 'fell into' patternmaking. I can't tell you fantastic it is to be able to make clothing that fits, that is comfortable. Just sewing would not have got me there...

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Comment was last edited about 6 months ago by Maria Maria
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Hi,

From how far down on your CF neck did you measure? I'm guessing that the measurement was above your cross front?

Thanks

Cee
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Amazing
Bundle of thanks for sharing such an informative content

jennifer77
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