Well, upper bust.
I know this is going to sound strange, and perhaps I spend way too much time pondering the fit of the bust to arm, but I've been asked a bit about how to pick a sleeve when you are altering a garment, or if you want to change the sleeve on something new that you are making. Here is what I've concluded.
It all is in the boobs.
For me, when I pick a sleeve, I want one that will give me a good range of motion. To determine that, its about the upper bust/arm pit ratio and how much of you actually fills that area. Sure, we all know to adjust this when we are making a garment, but also, if you are adding a different sleeve to a garment, you will also need to take into consideration the armscye with the new sleeve.
That's why some sleeve patterns came with mockup bodice pieces to test the sleeve, which I think was brilliant. Match that up to the bodice of what you want to add the sleeve to and you're golden. But a lot of times that's not the case, and a lot of times if you are adding a sleeve, you don't take this measurements into consideration. I know I didn't. This I'm sure we all know.
I really, really hope these diagrams make since.
Selecting the sleeve I find depends on the fullness of your upper bust. Compared to my frame, my upper bust should be fuller, but no, it's all down low, in my full bust, so I often have to compensate sleeves and the front (and sometimes back) of the bodice of a garment with a more narrow armhole, or a fuller sleeve. I've tried bust darts but it's too difficult a fit and such a pain so I just go for a different sleeve.
A cap sleeve I find works best with the fullest bust. It gives ample room in the arm, and the top of the sleeve just hangs on the center of the top of the shoulder. Often this is a good fit for suits.
Here are some samples.
This sleeves requires a longer shoulder seam, so make sure you adjust properly for that.
The darted sleeve is the one that fits me the best. My bust is kinda square, so the side angles don't lend too well to the cap sleeve. I get too much gaping because the armscye is too wide.. Also, I have mega square shoulders, so a darted sleeve cups over my arm and shoulder for a more molded fit.
I like this look with dresses and even some suits.
The last sleeve, the puff sleeve I think works best with a smaller bust or a much fuller arm. It sits high over the shoulder, but rarely has a lot of form to it, because of the organic gathers at the top of the shoulder. Puff sleeves are not my look, I think I'm too busty, but they can be awesome on the right frame.
I don't think you have to be youthful per se to wear them, but you do have to own that look. I also find them the easiest to add to a garment. Just simple gathers.
This sleeve can work at pretty much any length of the shoulder, but think it looks the most flattering higher up.
So there you go. I so hope this post made since. I had a hart time articulating it. In any account, everyone have a super saturday!