What is an Armscye? | Sewing Definition, Tips, and Examples


An Armscye is a basic term used in tailoring for pattern shape while constructing the armhole. An Armscye essentially tends to be the armhole opening in a garment.

An Armscye is mainly at the opening of the bodice, at the place where the sleeve is attached. The correct adjustment of an armscye is crucial to do pattern shape.

As the right cutting of an armscye leads to improved comfort and better movement. In case, if you are shorter or taller than normal then the need is to adjust your armscye.

When you feel the shirt is too tighter or too loose like having creases on the material near your armpit, then it’s a sign that may require adjusting your armscye.

For example- the accurate cutting of an armscye is a key element to any jacket or coat.

Hence careful attention given to the size and height of the armscye results in a jacket that is sophisticated and comfortable.

Therefore, an armscye high and narrow lets the movement of your arms with ease, without even having jackets, chest, or shoulder pads. Hence, the jacket remains in the same position.

For a perfect armscye focus on body measurements. In case of a different body shape or posture then you need to check the armhole using a measuring tape.

Fitting an armhole has to first fit the bust dart, shoulders, and side seams. Always begin to add or remove small increments as can create a mistake.

Such as, for a loosened armhole you can remove 0.5 cm from the body and 0.5 cm from the armhole depth to get rid of the excess wrinkles.

Lastly, practice the method that you prefer the most suitable.

Intro to Stitching

What is an Armscye?

An Armscye typically refers to the outline of the armhole in the field of tailoring to construct specific patterns specifically.

It’s basically the armhole opening in apparel through which the hand, and then the arm passes easily, and then lastly a sleeve can be joined to it.

An armscye length is determined by the total length of armhole measurement to the edge where the sleeve is joined.

The width is measured by taking account of the distance across the hole at the widest point.

armhole measurement

What is an Armscye Used For?

An armscye is used for attaching or sewing the sleeve at the armhole of the garment so that the arm and hand pass at ease.

Armcye coat

Why is it Called an Armscye?

Armscye can be also pronounced ‘Arm’s Eye’ is originally a Scottish term. Earlier the expression “arm’s eye” was used in older sewing texts.

It’s also predicted in earlier records that the apostrophe and the crossbar of the lower case “e” were unclear.

The neologism “armscye” was generated by readers, who omitted the sound of orphaned fragments “arm” and “s” with the corrupt “cye”.

In the 20th century, writers found the original term more logical.

However, as self-proclaimed experts copied each other, the term “armscye” eventually prevailed and was commonly used by local tailors to gain general acceptance.

Why it is called armcye

How is Armscye Measured?

The Armscye measurement is taken from the tip of the shoulder, then around the edge of the bust, under the arm, and back up to the shoulder.

In the practical method, it’s measured by measuring the armscye from the shoulder seam to the side seam on the front.

Then measure the armscye from the shoulder seam to the side seam on the back. Then mark both measurements.

Finally, add both measurements and notes.

Armscye Measured

What is the Armscye Depth?

Armscye depth is basically determined by measuring from that bone at the back of your neck straight down your back to a point level with the bottom of your armhole.

In the practical method, the armscye depth measured-By the position of the waist.

The length of the jacket is measured from the center back neckline and are chalk marked according to the measurements.

The back width is measured and, if necessary, adjusted accordingly to the one’s body’s measurements.

Armscye Depth

What is the Difference Between Armscye and Armhole?

An armhole tends to be a hole in a piece of clothing used for putting one’s arm through.

Armscye is an opening in a costume for the attachment of a sleeve (i.e armhole)

Difference Between Armscye and Armhole

Final remarks

The correct placement of the armscye is one the most important part of the pattern construction of any garment.

An armscye is essential for comfortability and ease movement of arms such as extending the arms or pulling them downwards.

A perfect armscye provides the appearance of good body posture i.e.it improves bad posture.

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