This pattern stash contest has made a monster out of me. Look what I found? These had been given to me by a neighbor who had lived in Germany back in the early 90's. It's a stack of Burda mags from 90-91. Once you get past the huge shoulders, there's actually a few cute patterns in them.
I just read a great article in Threads (forgot which issue) about how to alter the sleeve area on an old pattern with the big ole sleeves. Very basic idea: Find a sleeve you like on another pattern.
1. Transfer the sleeve cap of the pattern you like to just the sleeve cap area of the big old sleeve pattern.
2. Transfer the armhole of the pattern you like to the armhole area of the big old pattern.
3. Gradually grade your lines to meet the rest of the sleeve/bodice. Sounds easy.