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Overarm measure


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#1 Nishijin

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 08:43 PM

Some tailors take the "overarm" measure of their customers. I've seen it done in MTM, and I remember a member here saying that for him it is a very important measure.

It is not the same as the overshoulder measure (which is part of the shoulder-based cutting systems). The over-arm measure is taken at chest level, just like the chest girth measure, but going over the arms and not only around the ribcage.

I don't take it (and hence don't use it), but I have no clue about how to use it. I've never seen it explained in cutting books either.

In a recent topic, I've seen that Terri asked for explanations too, so I started this topic.

Could someone who does take and use it explain a little how it works ? Is it just a check to select correct size of block pattern in MTM, or can it be used in bespoke tailoring ?
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#2 Measure Man

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 08:57 PM

The shoulder measure is used as a check measure to determine if the customer carries size in his shoulders, it has saved me time and time again.

Start taking it and compare it to the measure of the chest measure and get an idea what the average is, then you will know when someone needs extra size and you can adapt your draft to add extra ease.

#3 Terri

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 10:23 PM

Well, a cursory search of internet turns up some information that doesn't explain it very well.
There is some indication that you take the measurement and subtract 7" and then compare it to the chest measurement. If the numbers aren't the same then you need adjustments.
How could they be the same? Seven inches is not very much to accomodate the bulk of an average persons arms. It also doesn't make sense to always size up the jacket in general, but I can see it would be an indicator to adjust the pattern in other ways...the body and the sleeve.
As you said, it would be interesting to see exactly how people use the information.
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#4 Measure Man

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 10:40 PM

If you look at the Post "Adjustment Advice on a New Suit" this gentleman has a 39chest and a 48 shoulder.

This measure would have set off alarm bells and I would not have cut him off a size 39.

#5 Martin Stall

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 11:00 PM

It's an archaic control measurement. I suppose from before good proportional calculations got defined. That type of measurement is useful, but only as a double check when dealing with a disproportionate figure.

Anyone who uses that type of measurement in order to draft is shooting himself in the foot.


I wish people would stop drooling over cutting systems that were replace by more reliable ones 50 years ago.
Sure, I believe your work rocks, but... have you considered, how are you going to sell that stuff?

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#6 Nishijin

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 11:07 PM

If it is archaic, then why is it still used by up-to-date MTM suppliers ?
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#7 Der Zuschneider

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 11:32 PM

The over arm/ribcage control measurement is useless today.
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#8 Schneidergott

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 11:52 PM

If it is archaic, then why is it still used by up-to-date MTM suppliers ?


To check the size. Some people have small ribcages but broad shoulders. f they choose a size according to the chest measure the shoulders won't be wide enough.
As we should all know by now, MTM has severe limitations when it comes to manipulations that exceed 2 sizes (up or down), meaning you can't have a size 48 chest with a size 54 shoulder. They will either make a coat that is wider in the chest or smaller in the shoulders (usually they opt for the smaller shoulders, don't know why)!

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#9 Terri

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 12:07 AM

If you look at the Post "Adjustment Advice on a New Suit" this gentleman has a 39chest and a 48 shoulder.

This measure would have set off alarm bells and I would not have cut him off a size 39.


Ok, so out of interest, when you see the numbers, what are the calculations that you use that set off the alarm bells. I can see that in a situation like ordering online, where the individual is not seen in person by those who will choose the suit size, it may be an useful indicator for them.

#10 Der Zuschneider

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 09:06 AM

To check the size. Some people have small ribcages but broad shoulders. f they choose a size according to the chest measure the shoulders won't be wide enough.
As we should all know by now, MTM has severe limitations when it comes to manipulations that exceed 2 sizes (up or down), meaning you can't have a size 48 chest with a size 54 shoulder. They will either make a coat that is wider in the chest or smaller in the shoulders (usually they opt for the smaller shoulders, don't know why)!


The 'Armruecktrittslinie' is always proportional with the shoulder lenght (+ 1.5cm) plus you can compare the shoulder length with one of his favorite coat the customer brings for the measurements if he has one...
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#11 culverwood

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 12:18 AM

As a customer not a tailor I was interested to see this:

http://www.johnpears....uk/measure.htm

#12 Martin Stall

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 04:51 AM

That's one of the most hideous and disfunctional sites I've ever seen :o

On-topic: I get the impression those images are there only for demonstration purposes.
Sure, I believe your work rocks, but... have you considered, how are you going to sell that stuff?

http: under construction...

#13 Der Zuschneider

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 09:33 AM

That's one of the most hideous and disfunctional sites I've ever seen :o

On-topic: I get the impression those images are there only for demonstration purposes.


I thought my site is bad, but this is even worst than mine. LOL
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#14 Martin Stall

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 11:07 PM

I thought my site is bad, but this is even worst than mine. LOL


It is. I'm sure it's all very artistic and so on, but if I spend more than five minutes there, I'll need eye-surgery.
Sure, I believe your work rocks, but... have you considered, how are you going to sell that stuff?

http: under construction...

#15 orlando

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 03:32 AM

I have used this measurement when a RTW suit is to be purchased for a man. If
the over the arm measurement is 10" more than the chest, one should "go up a size." Some men are broader through the shoulders than standard, and in order for the suit to not be too tight across the back, we would purchase a size up and then have to nip in the waist. We would often purchase an "athletic cut," which has a smaller waist than standard. Not very easy to find any more, though. I don't use it in drafting as I take a measurement from scye to scye back and front. More muscular men often need more room across the blade to be able to move their arms forward. Haven't thought about that measurement in a long time, but sometimes helpful if drafting with industry standard measurements insted of direct customer measurements.
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#16 MANSIE WAUCH

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 07:57 AM

I have been cutting garments for over 45 years and never heard of an overarm measure until today!

It does exist, I have just checked on the internet. It does look as though it is a method adopted by the 'off the peg' trade mainly to help assistants find the right size for the customer.

I would not advise anyone to use it in pattern cutting, it has no basis in any system I know of.

A better way to determine if you need a larger size, would be your height. If you are tall and slim, you would look better in a size larger. It would look better on your skeletal frame.

If you are talking about someone with heavier shoulders, I don't know how you can say their chest measure can be smaller in comparison. When you measure the chest, you are taking in the back region also.
If you are saying the back width is wider than the given pattern size, then I would say the person has an abnormality and would need adjustment in the pattern, between the back and front balance, or more than likely you have measured the back incorrectly.
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#17 Der Zuschneider

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 08:40 AM

I also did not find this measurement in any of my cutting books after 1936.

There is a measurement for trousers like the over both leg measurement, which also makes no sense today anymore.

Edited by Der Zuschneider, 15 November 2012 - 08:41 AM.

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#18 greger

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 11:58 AM

Maybe it is for armhole width? And placement?




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