Forward Shoulder Alteration for Willamette Shirt

I only had to make one adjustment to the Willamette shirt from Hey June Handmade, and that was a forward shoulder alteration, an extremely common alteration. I thought it would be helpful to provide a tutorial on how to do that since the Willamette shirt does not have a standard set-in sleeve.


I was not certain what my shoulder width should be for this pattern, so I quickly sewed up a test version. I just sewed the back yoke to the back piece and then attached the two front pieces to the back. I excluded the collar and anything else. I just wanted to be able to measure the width of my shoulders.

So how do you find your shoulder width? On the top of your shoulder, you should be able to find a bony protrusion, acromion process. The bump can be seen in red above.

From the neckline of the shirt along the shoulder seam, I measured to the
outside edge of the acromion process. My measurement was 5-inches. I transferred that measurement to my pattern, so I knew where the edge of my shoulder was.


The shoulder seam of your shirt should be centered on your acromion process. If the seam is behind, towards your back, then you need a forward shoulder alteration.

From the neckline, mark your shoulder width, mine was 5 inches.  Perpendicular to your shoulder seam at your shoulder width point, mark how far forward your shoulder point is. I typically need to move my shoulder point forward a ½ inch. Finally, re-draw the lines straight back to the neckline and straight out for the sleeve.

Make the opposite adjustment on the back shoulder seam. From the neckline, mark your shoulder width.  Perpendicular to your shoulder seam at your shoulder point, mark the amount you removed from the front shoulder piece, in my case ½ inch. Once you have your new shoulder point, re-draw your shoulder seam straight back to the neckline and straight out for the sleeve.


That’s it. This is a super simple alteration that will help the garment balance evenly along your shoulders.

2 thoughts on “Forward Shoulder Alteration for Willamette Shirt

  1. Wow! I always learn something new reading your posts! I never even knew this was a thing! I guess I usually have to think about my big biceps as an adjustment and that takes all my focus when fitting. I will have to pay closer attention to this detail next time! Thank you so much for your great tutorials! 🙂


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