Monday, April 6, 2009

What the Heck is an Armscye? A Tutorial

I have been futzing over armscyes lately.

Not really for my book proposal, since I'm def going with the T-shirt apron instead of a smock, but I'm also (since I did all that work for the smock pattern before I decided to ditch it for the proposal) working on some pattern zines probably to sell in my pumpkinbear etsy shop, but I'll likely have a few copies at each of my craft shows, as well.

Anyway, you might remember that I have yet to sew a single thing utilizing even the simplest of patterns. I have a couple of Built by Wendy patterns, but I haven't even opened the wrapper yet. I'm a really big fan of reading instructions or tutorials, or even just looking at finished projects, and then just sort of figuring things out for myself.

And I've figured out that when you're making a pattern or sewing anything you're inventing, the straight lines are no prob. Especially sewing for kids--they're such straight little noodles that it's basically just your kid's measurement plus a seam allowance. Curves, now...

That's another story.

An armscye is basically your clothing's armpit, and a LOT of items of clothing become ridiculously simple to figure out how to sew if you can just get that one curve:

Easiest way? Copy it from a shirt or dress you already like and that fits well. If you lay the clothing out really flat, you can actually place a piece of typing paper over the armpit area and use a pencil to draw the curve, feeling where the seam sticks out a little. You'll probably need to draw a couple of different armscyes, say one from a T-shirt, one from a fitted top, and one from a dress, because we like our armpits to fit differently depending on the item.

Easier way? Use a pattern drafting template, like Short Kutzor, if you really know what you're doing, a patternmaker software program.

Harder way? Get a piece of wire or bendable ruler that will hold its curve and bend it around your armpit, then trace that curve.

Then make something goofy for your kid:

In other news, this is unrelated to anything and is also pretty offensive, BTW, but I cannot get over the awesomeness that is Why the Frak Do You Have a Kid? It's really bad, like snapshots of groups of smiling pregnant fourteen-year-olds in prom dresses and goth guys holding babies while playing video games, etc.--you know how much I love parenting train wrecks (Hello, Toddlers and Tiaras!). Check out the entry for April 3--I started screaming out loud and basically could not stop for a Really. Long. Time.

It got to the point in which I was drinking a glass of ice water, and I'd have to consciously take a drink, swallow, and then put the glass to the side before I pulled up a new photo.

I'm such a cliche.


cake said...

i really have to thank you for this. i tried to make a pillow case dress (just from looking at a selection of designs online) and i had a heck of a time with that armscye (and had no idea what it was called). i decided then, that i needed to stay away from sewing actual clothing.

when i was in high school, i sewed using patterns. but since then, i just wing it. and things don't always turn out right.

Abby said...

I thought Scott and I came up with that pose when I was pregnant with Avery! I'm so pissed. I'll have to show you our photos some day.

"because sometimes you and your best girlfriend get on the same cycle."

Love it. It's wrong, and I love it.

urban craft said...

Holy crap I just clicked your link about
"Y the F do you have a kid?" Hilarious and so scary at the same time. You rock!

julie said...

Ooh, we have to mind-meld your experience with sewing patterns! I'll teach you some basic arithmetic on the abacus in exchange...

No way, Abs. You totally did the full-frontal preggo belly pic, with Scott behind you cupping your breasts--to hide them from view, you see. Because you're discreet.

cake said...

um, i looked at that website too. and it is wrong. and sad. and i know i will be back for more because i could not stop thinking about it.

"because the skate park was closed that day..."

Abby said...

you are SO right. we did the whole janet jackson rolling stone pose when i was about 8 1/2 months preggers. we're having it blown up to hang in the new shop.