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  • Caroline Anne Pelliccia

A New Nyoka

A couple of posts ago I mentioned the Sinclair Nyoka knit crossover pattern as a great basic dress for your spring wardrobe capsule, but, to be honest, it can be made up for all seasons, as it includes several sleeve options.

I've had the pattern for a while now and have made it up a few times, but only in the sleeveless version.

Now it's common knowledge that before we can even think of adding a sleeve to a garment, we need to have a well-fitting armhole. And, there are a number of adjustments that I usually need to make in order to achieve a good fit in this area.

I have protruding/prominent shoulder blades and a forward shoulder joint, and so you will notice in the unmodified blue dress below that I have fabric missing at the across back area, and some excess fabric bunching up in the across front area.

So, for my first attempt at modifying the bodice in preparation for a sleeve, I made the following changes:

- I added both height and width to accommodate the prominent shoulder blade using Alexandra Morgan's method. However, I did not sew in a dart, rather I eased the back shoulder seam to fit the front.

- Then I also added additional width to the back armscye and removed width from front armscye by simply redrawing these curves.

To get the shoulder seam closer to the top of my shoulder, I brought the shoulder point only (i.e. not the neck point) forward by 3/8" (1cm), and I did a square shoulder adjustment of 3/8"(1cm) too.

I made the corresponding changes to the sleeve, but was still not completely happy with the result. Sadly I didn't take photos of the sleeves I installed on the floral dress, but there was still too little fabric in the back armscye, and too much in the front, and it did not fit well. Unfortunately the fabric is quite flimsy, so I thought that before I stretched it out completely, I should just bind the armholes, and keep it as a sleeveless dress.

The blue dress with pencil skirt below is one of my early, unmodified Nyoka dresses. The floral one with A-line skirt is one that I made up yesterday, with the adjustments mentioned above.

So, it seems that I need to do a slightly more radical adjustment to sort this out, but it's one that I've used on a woven shirt in the past - i.e. moving the underarm point forward to give more fabric to the back armscye and remove some from the front, and I'm confident that it will work for my Nyoka dress pattern too. Stay tuned!

Nyoka dress | Size 6P | With shoulder and armhole adjustments

And, of course, please feel free to complete the contact form if you have any questions or suggestions. I'd love to hear from you.

Until next time,



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