As part of Finish All the Projects 2023 I started work on a new jacket made from a gorgeous rust red twill that I’d bought back in 2009. I was using a pattern that looked nice but turned out to be a bit too tight in the arms (thank you, bingo wings).

So I found this awesome video from Seamstress Sarah that showed how to create a hinge joint in a pattern and add fullness in the middle of a piece. I’d never even heard of a hinge joint before, but it made a huge amount of sense once I watched her create one. This does involve a fair amount of work—you have to copy the pattern onto another piece of paper (ideally on something like printer paper because you’ll need to manipulate the hinge joint to get the correct fit), remove the seam allowance and create the hinge joint, then transfer the adjusted pattern to yet another piece of paper and add the seam allowance back in.

But I’ll be damned if it didn’t work. I basted one sleeve together just to see how well it fit and it was a HUGE improvement—I could even fit my t-shirt sleeve in there as well. I have some more modifications to make to this pattern—the hip allowance on the sides needs to come in a half inch at the bottom, and I’d like to widen the chest by an inch or so (it’s cut for a D cup but I have double Ds and I really need a little more ease). But so far it’s coming together very nicely.