This section is from the book "Clothing For Women: Selection, Design, Construction", by Laura I. Baldt. Also available from Amazon: Clothing For Women: Selection, Design, Construction.
If one places the thumb under the arm and the first finger on the bone at the shoulder, in taking the width of back and width of chest measures, it is easier to locate a point at which to begin to take the measure, as the hand forms an armhole curve, from the center of which the measure should be taken.
Armhole measure, taken around arm over bone in shoulder. (Used as a test measure.)
Review measures in the order and method of taking them.
A few points still unnoted in Fig. 80 are the location of the shoulder and underarm seams.
The shoulder seam on this pattern is found a little back of the very top of the shoulder, a good location. The upper end of this seam touches the neck band at a point about onesixth of the distance around the neck, measuring from the center back. The opposite end at the armhole is the same distance (i.e., onesixth of the neck measure) above the point at which the width of back was taken, but onehalf inch nearer the arm. This determines another point for the location of the armhole.
The top of this seam, which is directly below the end of the shoulder line, gives the last point of location for the armhole; at this point, the curve rises about onehalf inch above the actual underarm measure. At the waist line, it falls toward the back a little, rather than at right angles to the waist line.
Fig. 33.  Illustrating method of taking measures for drafting shirtwaist and skirt.
It is sometimes difficult to see the relation of the lines of the flat drafted pattern to those of the figure. In Fig. 33 lines are shown on the form which represent the points at which the required measurements were taken and also show the relation of the construction lines of the pattern to the scheme of measures taken. In Fig. 34 the construction lines upon which the pattern would be drafted can be seen as they show through another pattern, which has been taken from the form, and laid over them. The relationship is not difficult to trace in this way.
Fig. 34.  Shirtwaist pattern draped on form, then laid over construction lines of drafted pattern to show the relation of the latter to a completed pattern.
Reference to Fig. 33 for examination of the arm should easily discover the necessary measures for drafting the sleeve. The measure of the largest part of the arm is necessary in order to have the sleeve of sufficient girth. The length of the sleeve should be taken from the muscle at the point where the arm joins the body in front, to the wrist bone. From this measure the desired depth of the cuff should be deducted. In order to have the cuff the correct size and the requisite amount of fulness at the bottom of the sleeve, the measure of the hand, taken over the knuckles, with the fingers extended as for putting through sleeve, is also necessary. Add to this 1 ½ to 2 inches. The armhole measure should also be taken.
Review measures required and the order and method of taking.
Draft a shirtwaist and a sleeve pattern to the following directions, using standard measures given below. (Use diagrams, Figs. 35 and 36, as a guide in drafting.)
Shirtwaist with Sleeve, Having Fulness at Top (Fig. 33)
Measures Required  Standard  
Length of back..........................  15  inches 
Length of front...............................  15½  inches 
Length of underarm..........................  7½  inches 
Bust............................  38  inches 
Waist............................  26  inches 
Neck............................  13½  inches 
Width of back .....................................  14  inches 
Width of front.....................................  wy.  inches 
Sleeve  
Length (minus depth of cuff)........................  16½  inches 
Armhole................................  16  inches 
Around upper arm........................  12  inches 
Around hand......................  8  inches 
To Draft Shirtwaist: (Fig. 35) Back: (Fig. 35)
AA equals line of indefinite length.
AB equals length of back.
BB equals waist line (twothirds of AA).
CC equals bust line (onehalf of AB).
DD equals width of back, and width of front line onehalf of AC.
AE equals onesixth of neck measure.
EF equals threequarter inch.
AF equals curve for neck.
DG equals onehalf width of back.
GH equals AE.
HI equals onehalf inch. FI equals shoulder line.
CJ equals onequarter bust measure minus 1% inches.
BK equals onequarter waist measure. KK1 equals onequarter inch. BK1 equals waist measure.
K1L equals underarm measure plus onehalf inch through J. IGL equals armhole.
BN equals four inches.
KM equals fourinch ruler touching F and K1, Connect B and N; K and M; N and M, for bottom of waist. T equals onehalf FI.
TU equals onequarter inch. FUI equals curve for shoulder.
Fig. 35.  Draft for shirtwaist pattern.
Front: (Fig. 35) AE equals onesixth of neck measure plus threeeighth inch. EF equals onehalf inch. AF1 equals onesixth of neck measure. FF1 equals neck curve. DG equals onehalf front measure.
GH equals twothirds DA (draw dotted line to left of H). FI equals shoulder line, onequarter inch shorter than back shoulder, end of ruler on F, shoulder measure at I). CJ equals onehalf bust measure minus CJ of the back. JK equals dotted line at right angles to CJ. KK1 equals onehalf inch.
E1L equals underarm measure plus onehalf inch passing through J. FK1M equals dotted line F to A', extending four inches below K(M). N equals point of intersection lines CJ and FK. F10 equals length of front.
NP equals threequarter inch, ruler on 0 and N. IGPL equals armhole.
OR equals one and threequarter inches. R8 equals four inches. F1RS equals centre front line. K1OR equals waist line of front. MS equals bottom of front.
T equals onequarter IF. U equals onequarter inch. IUF equals curve for front shoulder. Test armhole and neck of pattern by measures taken. Hold tape measure on edge when measuring curves.
Fig. 36.  Draft of shirtwaist sleeve (gathered at top), cuff and collarband.
To Draft Sleeve (Fig. 36)
AB equals line of indefinite length.
AC equals onequarter armhole plus threequarter inch.
CD equals inside length of sleeve.
CE equals onehalf width around top of arm plus desired fullness. EF equals onehalf inch. AF equals dotted line.
G equals onehalf AF. OH equals line at right angles to AF, intersecting CE (point of intersection /). IJ equals three inches. If threeinch point falls outside AD, use point of intersection instead for J.
AF equals curve for top of upper sleeve (using J as pivot, J A as radius, to swing curve from A to K). FK equals one inch along curve. KE equals backward curve. GL equals onehalf GA. LM equals oneeighth inch. GN equals onehalf GF. NO equals onequarter inch. AMGOE equals curve for top of under sleeve.
DR equals onehalf hand measure plus onehalf desired fulness.
DP equals threequarter inch.
PR equals curve for bottom of sleeve, straight one inch to left of R. PS equals one inch.
ST equals four inches at right angles to PR. RE equals dotted line.
RU equals onehalf RE minus depth of cuff. UV equals onehalf inch. EVR equals inside line of sleeve. Fold paper on line AP, and crease; trace outline of under sleeve, and cut out around pattern. Fig. 37 illustrates sleeve opened out.
Shirtwaist Neck Band (Fig. 36)

AB equals onehalf neck measure plus onehalf width of box plait, or hem. BC equals threequarter inch. BE equals onehalf AB. BF equals onequarter inch. FEA equals bottom of band. CG equals threequarter inch. AH equals oneeighth inch. FGH equals top line of band.
Place AB on lengthwise thread for cutting out.
Shirtwaist, Guff (Fig. 36)
AB equals onehalf hand measure plus one and onehalf to two inches. AG equals desired depth, two and onehalf to three inches. ABCD equals rectangle. DE equals fiveeighthinch curve when round corners are desired. DF equals fiveeighthinch curve when round corners are desired.
Place AC on crosswise fold for cutting out.
Fig. 37.  Shirtwaist sleeve pattern opened out.
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