# A shirting question for Alex Kabbaz

#### imageWIS

##### Stylish Dinosaur
If I have a shirt and I want it altered so the entire circumference of the sleeve is smaller and as well want the sides taken in and have quite a bit of body length and sleeve length to maneuver, how much can one alter the shirt? Obviously, I would not be the one altering the shirt, since I would have no idea what I am doing
. I hope my really crappy 30-second drawings better explain what I mean, the dotted lines are where I want the shirt to end, and the solid lines are the original shirts size.
Thanks, Jon.

#### Alexander Kabbaz

##### Distinguished Member
(ImageWIS) If I have a shirt and I want it altered so the entire circumference of the sleeve is smaller and as well want the sides taken in and have quite a bit of body length and sleeve length to maneuver, how much can one alter the shirt? I hope my really crappy 30-second drawings better explain what I mean ...
Your really crappy 30-second drawings are just fine - I can do similar crappy in about 25 seconds. See what 30 years experience can do fer ya?.?

If I make assumptions not in evidence, that the shirt is R-T-W with NOT a high armhole, you should be able to remove from 4&quot; to 6&quot; of total body circumference (2&quot;-3&quot; sleeve circumference) depending upon the armhole depth. You'll have to add side gussets because you'll be destroying the tail shape ... unless you want to re-hem also.

#### rlevine

##### Well-Known Member
Just to point out, I think it is really difficult to alter the sleeve circumference without reducing the chest. This is clear from your pictures well. I had this done on a shirt and the chest is a little tight now.

#### Alexander Kabbaz

##### Distinguished Member
(rlevine) Just to point out, I think it is really difficult to alter the sleeve circumference without reducing the chest.
This is entirely correct. The body circumference will be reduced up as high as the highest point of the armhole that you reduce. Because the reduction is not including the top of the chest, this can make for one wierd looking - albeit smaller - shirt.

#### imageWIS

##### Stylish Dinosaur
(rlevine) Just to point out, I think it is really difficult to alter the sleeve circumference without reducing the chest.
This is entirely correct. The body circumference will be reduced up as high as the highest point of the armhole that you reduce. Because the reduction is not including the top of the chest, this can make for one wierd looking - albeit smaller - shirt.
Alex, First of all thanks for the quick response. Yes, it is a RTW shirt. My tailor already tailored one of the shirts (I bought two of the same kind, but different colors), but I think that the armholes are still too baggy. I will post a picture later tonight and show you what it looks like on me, thus I can get your professional opinion. Jon.

#### Alexander Kabbaz

##### Distinguished Member
It must be noted that the Armhole is a hole. It has a shape as you can see in the diagram:
By cutting into the sides of the front and back, you are not raising the hole. You are merely altering it's shape ... which has limits. If you go too far it will make a real f*ing mess.

#### imageWIS

##### Stylish Dinosaur
I see. But if you cut both the sides and the sleeve diameter (as in my drawing), do you in fact raise the armhole or just alter its shape as well?

Jon.

#### Alexander Kabbaz

##### Distinguished Member
A R-T-W armhole is usually cut much lower and shallower than the custom one in the diagram. Hence, in effect, you would be raising the armhole - again, do-able only to a certain point.

#### imageWIS

##### Stylish Dinosaur
I really have to post the picture of me wearing the shirt. 7 hours to go before I leave work though
. Jon.

#### Alexander Kabbaz

##### Distinguished Member
(ImageWIS) I really have to post the picture of me wearing the shirt.
Oh, God. Must you?

#### faustian bargain

##### Distinguished Member
seems like in addition to raising the bottom of the armhole (and shortening its circumference), what you want to do is re-shape the sleeve cap, and not just shorten the armscye seam. mr. kabbaz hinted at this when he said the sleeve caps on RTW's are usually very shallow - to get the nice fitted look we talk about so much here, you need to re-cut a deeper cap, using the same midpoint of the curve (where the sleeve joins the yoke, usually).

...i think.

/andrew

#### imageWIS

##### Stylish Dinosaur
seems like in addition to raising the bottom of the armhole (and shortening its circumference), what you want to do is re-shape the sleeve cap, and not just shorten the armscye seam. mr. kabbaz hinted at this when he said the sleeve caps on RTW's are usually very shallow - to get the nice fitted look we talk about so much here, you need to re-cut a deeper cap, using the same midpoint of the curve (where the sleeve joins the yoke, usually).

...i think.

/andrew
Hmm, my tailor took from both the sides and sleeve diameter, but said there was a limit to how much she could do before the sleeve &quot;pulls&quot;.

Jon.

#### naturlaut

##### Senior Member
A R-T-W armhole is usually cut much lower and shallower than the custom one in the diagram. Hence, in effect, you would be raising the armhole - again, do-able only to a certain point.
I know someone must have asked this before, but in your professional opinion, how big/small should a shirt armhole be? I usually have the shirt armhole about two inches larger than my body (if the circumference of my shoulder/arm joint measures 15&quot; the shirt armhole measures 17&quot. I assume the shape of it is equally important too.

#### Alexander Kabbaz

##### Distinguished Member
(naturlaut) I know someone must have asked this before, but in your professional opinion, how big/small should a shirt armhole be?
The size of the armhole is an entirely personal characteristic. As a general rule, an average size (40&quot; chest) would be about 19&quot;-20&quot; bespoke. The same size in R-T-W would be around 25&quot;-28&quot;. I have made armholes as small as 12&quot; and as large as 29&quot;. Shape is equally important. Sadly, shape is not quantifiable for the purpose of explanation.

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