OK, so those deep armholes . . . I spent some time looking at the pattern and deciding on an approach. I finally realized that I could just fold out some excess, right across the middle of the armhole both front and back, like this:
Because I have high armpits, I needed to take it up a lot - I folded out 1" right across the middle of the armhole. The original was pretty straight at that point, so I didn't even have to true up the edges!
Taking an inch out of the front and back meant I had to do that to the sleeve cap as well. You can see above that I did this in two 1/2" folds rather than one 1" fold. I did it that way so that the truing up was easier. Take a look at the two photos below to see what I mean:
Much nicer to do it in stages! At this point, I traced a new sleeve, truing up the line.
The great thing about doing the adjustments this way is that all the notches remained the same and I didn't have to completely redraw the sleeve. I took measurements of the armscye and the sleeve cap seam both before and after doing these adjustments; in the original, the sleeve cap is 3/4" longer than the armscye. In my new version, it is 1" longer. I've found that adding 1/4" doesn't affect the ease too much - these sleeves set in as easily as the original.
To check this out, I made a quick muslin just of the shoulder and sleeve, extending a couple inches below the bust. No need to make a complete dress to check the fit of the sleeves!
Version 2 fit pretty well - better than the original. I didn't take any photos because I'm way too old (and smart) to share my exposed midriff on the interwebz. I did notice though that it was pulling toward the back - this is true on the original dress as well, although the weight of the extra fabric helps mitigate this a bit. Shifting toward the back is a sign of forward shoulders, so I went ahead and corrected that as well with a 3/8" forward shoulder adjustment across the entire shoulder seam. Forward shoulder adjustments are standard for me - I really don't know why I didn't do one from the get-go!
To adjust the sleeve cap for the forward shoulder, I did a slash and slide in the same amount. I cut across the sleeve cap about half way up, then shifted the top toward the front 3/8" like this:
(I cut this from the lay plan of the pattern, and didn't realize until after I'd taken the picture and thrown away the pieces that I shifted it toward the back, as the drawing didn't have a double notch for the back. Just imagine that it's shifted toward the front.)
Time to true up the seam line again - I use my hip and armhole curve to do this. Now take a look at my new sleeve (which now has a reduced cap and forward shoulder adjustment) compared to the original:
The sleeve seams and notches remain the same as the original, but the shape of the cap above the notches is completely different. Notice how the slope is longer and more horizontal at the back (right side) and shorter and more vertical at the front (left side). This shape gives me a really good fit.
There was just one more adjustment I wanted to make. It's something I've been thinking about a lot lately and this was the perfect place to try it. On a lot of tops, I often feel like there's too much fabric right at the front of the armhole on the bodice. In other words, my upper chest is narrower than most patterns are drafted for. So this time, I scooped out a little bit of the front armhole - just 3/16". That small amount meant I wouldn't have to worry about the sleeve cap fitting, but it was just the right amount to remove the excess fabric that digs into my arm/shoulder joint. In the photo below, I'm pointing at the amount I scooped out and you can see it in comparison to the original seam line. The original is the purple dashed line, and I've already trimmed the seam allowance to match my new line.
Finally, I added 1" of length in the body to both the front and the back. I'll feel more comfortable with a little more coverage, especially with that vented hem at the front. The pattern gives 2 lengthen/shorten lines: one just below the armhole and another a few inches above the vent. I chose to lengthen at the lower line; if I'd lengthened at the upper line, my width placement for the hip adjustment I showed in the previous post would then be an inch too low!
By that time, my pattern pieces were a cobbled-together mess! So I retraced everything and drew new pieces for the facings, and it's all set to go for tomorrow (I hope) so I can sew together Version Two. I have a piece of linen I bought last year for culottes that never got made; I think it will be just right for this dress. And if it fits as well as I think it will, I'm hoping that I have enough of a piece of Nani Iro in my stash for version 3! The Nani Iro is a narrower fabric, so I'm not sure it will all fit on the 2 yards I have. Fingers crossed!