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Forum > Fitting Woes > Narrow back, sway back? ( Moderated by CarolynGM, Deepika)

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Narrow back, sway back?
How would you alter this sloper bodice to make it fit?
maeve100

maeve100
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Date: 2/26/12 0:18 AM

Hi there,

So I am using my Sure Fit dress kit to make a working sloper. I have the front fitting beautifully, the side seams are vertical (gasp!) - but the back is just atrocious :-(. I see now that I have a narrow back, which I have adjusted for, but I must have sway back as well, I am thinking? Take a look at my bodice:
Picasa Link: Bodice Back

BTW, I am using velcro to fasten the center seam, so it looks a bit funky - but you can still see how I have a bunch of horizontal fabric. (My left arm is pulling back further than my right, so that accounts for the vertical fold, FYI.) The waistline is draping farther down on the back than it is in the front.

All the sway back articles I have read discuss how to alter the skirt or pant to adjust for sway back, but none of them talk about what to do when the excess happens between the armpit and waist line. So maybe its not sway back?

Any advice is appreciated!

Liz

Lena Merrin
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Lena Merrin
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Date: 2/26/12 0:26 AM

Usually the excess is just pinned horizontally. I think the shoulder is too wide, also. And at the bottom the closure is pulling open? Pictures from the side and front would be excellent!

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LauraTS
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LauraTS  Friend of PR
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Date: 2/26/12 0:31 AM

Hey, I get that fold too - I don't think it's swayback per se but it seems to happen to those of us who've got a lot of curve in the back continuing to the hip/butt. I know that my neck-to-waist length at CB is a lot shorter than CF (and then the back is a lot longer than the front from the waist to the thighs).

I think you need to take out some length in the mid back until all those folds are gone. I'd take out a wedge starting from the CB tapering to nothing at the side seams. I'm not sure what this is called officially in the fitting books, so hopefully someone else will chime in.

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Lena Merrin
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Date: 2/26/12 0:40 AM

I am writing some info on measurements and calculations, so it would be a great way to test one of my formulas! If you give me your Bust measurement, I can tell you what your back width, chest width and armscye widths should be. Then you can compare it to your sloper measurements ( and don't forget to add ease to my numbers) :)

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maeve100

maeve100
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Date: 2/26/12 1:10 AM

Hi there,

Let me take better pictures in the morning, once my camera has charged up. I am going to take out the velcro (which I thought would be a fast closure solution, but turned out to make everything ill fitting, lol) and replace it with a zipper, so that the problem areas will be easier to identify.

My bust measurement is 45 inches, but its not distributed like a normal person. For the dart area I used 45 inches, but for the armpit CF point I used 42 inches, and then for the armpit CB point I used 43 inches. Again, let me retake the photos to give you a better idea.

I think I may just have to do as you say, LauraTS, and take a chunk out. I never really thought of myself as curvy, but maybe I am, lol.

Liz

Lena Merrin
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Lena Merrin
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Date: 2/26/12 1:39 AM

Ok here goes. Measurements are: Half a back should be 19.78 cm or 7 3/4 ( not as precise though ), Half a chest ( measured above bust between front armpit corners ) is 23.57 cm ( 9 1/4 ), Armscye width 13.78 cm ( 5 3/8 ). How much ease are you adding? How do you distribute it?

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LauraTS
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Date: 2/26/12 5:11 PM

I'm back, after looking at my fitting books, because I think I may have misdiagnosed you. I think you have a narrow back, and you need to reduce both width and length. (Some fitting books call this an erect back, which is probably more accurate than my 'curvy back' moniker.) Have you considered using a smaller size for the back? I've done that a few times and it's required less alterations than using the same size for both front and back.

(The picture does show some hanging up at the waist, so that may be causing wrinkles that wouldn't otherwise exist. Also the velcro is maybe making the CB look worse than it actually is.)

Nancy Zieman says (in Pattern Fitting with Confidence) that "horizontal wrinkles occur when back waist is too long". She fixes it with pivot and slide but basically she shortens the back bodice piece. In Fast Fit, Sandra Betzina says "for a better fit on a narrow back, reduce the pattern both horizontally and vertically above the waist. If you need width below the waist, add at the vertical seams."

You may also have a swayback but I don't think you can tell for sure until you make something that is longer than waist length, because the pooling at the back waist on a longer top or a dress is the sign of that. Swayback adjustments are all done near the waist, not up in the upper back where your current issues are.
-- Edited on 2/26/12 5:14 PM --

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Nancy K
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In reply to maeve100


Date: 2/26/12 8:08 PM

Sway back only effects garments that go below the waist. Your bodice is just too long. Since I can't see the front I can't say that the tuck should be all the way around, but if you have to take it up from seam to seam then it does have to be tucked up all the way around so that the seams match. I am not sure that you don't have a narrow shoulder as well as narrow upper back. Pin out a narrow tuck in the shoulder and upper back and see if that works better. But, do the length first.

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maeve100

maeve100
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Date: 2/26/12 8:21 PM

Hi everyone,

Ok, I was able to put in a zipper, so there isn't a question of the velcro issues. These are the most unflattering pictures ever!!

Direct Link

The bottom right illustrates the curve of my spine, to show just how much extra fabric is back there. I need the width at the waist, but somehow I need to take a chunk out between the shoulder blades and the waist, lol.

You can see from the bottom middle image the side seam is really going perfectly, and the front is working out pretty well as well (its a little lose at the waist, but I need that for when I sit, as my waist measurement increases.) But the length of the bodice front is correct, its just that the bodice back is too long and wide.

Are you able to expand on your pivot and slide technique? Its not ringing a bell, but I think if I got the jist of it it would click :-).

Again, thank you everyone for your comments & time!

Liz
-- Edited on 2/26/12 8:22 PM --

maeve100

maeve100
California USA
Member since 2/19/10
Posts: 83
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Date: 2/26/12 11:53 PM

Hi there -

I pinched out about 2.5 inches from the back and the thing fit so much better! Now I just have to figure out the "appropriate" way of transferring that the pattern, so its not jut a giant dart.


Thank you!

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