Where should shoulder seam fall

Where Should Shoulder Seam Fall – Expert Guide in 2023

Since you’ve practiced and learned sewing, hemming, and other things to make a complete dress now let’s say you are making a shirt or any other dress for yourself. Sewing your own dress is a thrilling experience. It takes your sewing learning to another level and you possibly wouldn’t want to ruin your dress.

To make a dress perfect for your fit and style you must be aware of a few factors while making it and the shoulder is one of them. Rather it is the most vital part because it holds the whole dress and if the seaming goes wrong it will look odd. You must be observant about where should shoulder seam fall.

Key Takeaways

  • Shoulder seam line might appear simple but it functions intensely.
  • You can observe and identify the common issues of the shoulder seam and sewing.
  • You can adjust the shoulder seam in a few simple steps.
  • There are a few styles of the shoulder seam to choose form.

Why the Shoulder Seam Matters

The comfort and smooth movement depend on it since it is known that all garments and fabric accessories are made up of seams, which are essential to the creation of the piece as they join the materials together. Seams are also used to finish edges and necklines. By using darts, seams add shape to hips, waists, and shoulders. Among these seams, the shoulder is the most important one because our shoulder functions like a hanger when we wear a dress. It holds up the dress regardless of whoever wears it and makes it visible to its outer look properly, so, while sewing a dress shoulder seams matter the most.

There are two types of shoulder seams:

  1. A shoulder seam that runs from the neckline to the armscye, usually at its highest point.
  2. Drop shoulders are shoulders that extend beyond the shoulder point.

Identify Common Shoulder Seam Problems

When it comes to getting a good fit with your clothes, the ones with set-in sleeves can be a bit tricky to adjust perfectly. But even if you’re wearing something with drop-shoulder seams, or raglan, it’ll still look way better if you adjust it to fit your shoulder width. And you’ll feel comfier too, even in sleeveless tops, once you’ve nailed that shoulder adjustment.

Identify common shoulder seam problems
Identify common shoulder seam problems

So let’s talk about some of the issues you might run into with the fit of your shoulder seams.

  • If the garment’s shoulder is too narrow for your shoulder width, the armhole can feel tight and the sleeve might keep creeping up over your shoulder. It’s not going to be easy to move your arms around freely either if the pattern size doesn’t account for your wider shoulders.
  • On the flip side, if your shoulders are narrower than expected by the pattern size, you might see the sleeves hanging off the edge of your shoulder. That’s not a great look either. So make sure you pay attention to the fit around the shoulders, no matter what kind of sleeves you’re dealing with.

Additionally, there are 3 ways to know the shoulder seam status and identify the fitting of it.

  • Vertical shoulder seams are the ones that fit perfectly at the edge of the shoulder, where the outer arm and shoulder meet. The armscye where the sleeve joins the shirt body is large enough to avoid tugging or twisting.
  • There may also be twisting along the seam if the tightness is in the armscye. If the tightness is in the armscye, there may also be wrinkles along the seam.
  • Shoulder seams are too loose: The seams slump off the shoulder and down onto the bicep. The armscye may also be too large, which may lead to billowing under the arm.

Adjust Shoulder Seam Placement: 6 Steps

Draw a parallel line to the grain line at approximately the halfway point of your garment’s shoulder if you decide it needs to be adjusted. The second line should be drawn perpendicular to the first one, and it should be above the armhole notch. It is not very important whether these lines are exactly where I describe them, as long as they are roughly where I describe them.

Step 1

Cut the pattern along these lines and maintain a gap according to your measurements. Notice that the gap is the same from top to bottom and that the bottom of the cut piece remains perpendicular to the grain line.


Step 2

The piece would overlap if you needed to make an adjustment to your shoulders that were narrow.


Step 3

It is the same process for the two adjustments. You can start with the wide shoulder adjustment and tape the pieces to some paper.

Step 4

Draw a line from the tip of the shoulder to the beginning of the shoulder to even it out.


Step 5

Draw a smooth transition between each armhole by drawing a curved line. If you don’t have a ruler, you can freehand the curve, but ensure that it’s very smooth.


Tip: For the back piece, you repeat the same process. The shoulder seams will need to be stitched together, so you will need to make the same adjustments for the front and back shoulders and now you are now ready to cut out your pattern.

7 Types of Shoulder Seams for Knitting and Sewing

Shoulder seams play a crucial role in the construction and fit of garments. They are responsible for connecting the front and back of the garment at the shoulder line. There are several types of shoulder seams, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.

1. Plain

A plain shoulder seam involves stitching the front and back shoulder seams together, with the seam allowances pressed to the back of the garment. This type of seam is suitable for most garments and is easy to sew.


2. French

It involves enclosing the raw edges of the seam allowance within the seam and is therefore considered a more advanced type of shoulder seam. A French shoulder seam provides a neater finish and is ideal for lightweight or sheer fabrics. It is also reversible, so it is perfect for garments with both sides visible.


3. Set-in

Set-in armholes follow your body shape. They have shoulder seams near the armholes and create a well-fitting armhole. There are bell-shaped heads on the set-in sleeves and straight armholes on the bodice’s sides.


4. Drop Shoulder

Having a drop-shoulder garment always makes you appear oversized. It is not the same as being sloppy, however. You can also wear a close-fitting drop-shoulder sweater if you have a small bust and normal or wide shoulders if you have a small bust and normal or wide shoulders.

Drop shoulder
Drop shoulder

5. Modified drop shoulder

Drop shoulder tops can be modified by snipping the underarms of the bodice a bit. You can snip each underarm a maximum of two inches, although most modified drop shoulder tops only snip one inch each. With slightly less fabric on the bodice, the effect is similar to the drop shoulder style. The sleeves have the same shape and size.

Modified drop shoulder
Modified drop shoulder

6. Raglan

A diagonal armhole is created for the sleeves and the body of the raglan style. A tailored fit with a sporty look is achieved by joining together the front and back bodices and the two sleeves, which are like four cones that you have to join together to achieve. Like the set-in style, the raglan design narrows from the bust to the shoulder, which is ideal for women. The raglan style can be flattering when worn because it is somehow structured to your body profile, but it is not as tailored as the set-in-shoulder style, so it looks more suitable for a sporty and casual look.


7. Dolman

Compared to other dresses, the Dolman is unique in construction and shape. It also differs in the way the sleeves are attached to the bodice since there is none. In a Dolman, the sleeves join at 90 degrees to the bodice, and the sleeves are one with the bodice. Dolmans are usually batwing or T-shaped styles, which lack seams or lines at the armholes.



What is a shoulder seam?

Up to the shoulder joint, the shoulder seam traces along the shoulder.

Which is the right shoulder seam?

There is a right side and a left side in knitting, as well as more widely in fashion: The right shoulder and down below is the right side, and the left shoulder is the left shoulder.

What is shoulder seam to hem?

The measurement from shoulder to hem measures how long the garment is from shoulder to hem.

Final Thoughts

The placement of the shoulder seam can affect the fit and appearance of a garment. The fit of a shirt is of particular importance due to its centrality in the body and its proximity to the face. A shirt is a type of dress that is in the foreground of an outfit that’s why It is important to consider a number of factors when deciding where the shoulder seam should fall, including its type, adjustment, ways to identify the fit, etc.


Hey I’m Sherry Howes an expert in sewing, knitting, crocheting, and embroidery. With a passion for fiber arts and a talent for crafting, I Have spent years improving my skills and sharing knowledge with others. Whether teaching a class or creating a new project, I’m always excited to share my love of crafting with the world. I like researching new techniques and trends in the crafting arts community.

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