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Forum > Fitting Woes > Gaping at the sides of neckline on a v-neck ( Moderated by CarolynGM, Deepika)

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Gaping at the sides of neckline on a v-neck
Need advice about how to adjust my pattern
jing88lai
jing88lai
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Date: 10/11/12 4:20 AM

I'm in full stress mode trying to get a dress done in time for one of my best friend's wedding. I'm having a tough time getting the muslin to fit right (that's on top of sewing fabric that I've never sewn before!!! Polyester tafetta and rayon lining!)

Anyway, so here's the issue. I have gaping at the sides of my scoopy v-neckline. It's more prominent on my right (photo left), and it also happens on my left too- just not as bad. This bodice has princess seams. (I'm also aware that the bodice is tight, I'm going to let it out... probably 1/2" to 1" total all around.)

What to do?! As you can see in the bottom right image, I've pinned out the extra fabric, but then it makes the shoulder seam really slope forward and not rest at the top of my shoulder, which doesn't actually bother me, but isn't that bad design?

I also know that the muslin is a bit tight, I'm going to let it out a total of 1/2" all around in the next muslin.

So, what to do??!?! Please help!



-- Edited on 10/11/12 4:20 AM --
-- Edited on 10/11/12 4:36 AM --
-- Edited on 10/11/12 9:24 PM --

petro
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Date: 10/11/12 4:30 AM

On the pattern I would pin the dart from the neck to the bust point, then swivel it into the existing bust shaping - I'm not sure from the picture whether the style has a bust dart or if all the shaping is in the seam, but either one will do.

On the garment, there are a couple of steps I would take. First, in cutting out, I'd use masking or painters tape the width of the seam allowance along the neck edge before lifting the fabric from the table so as to prevent stretch. Second, if its still looking gapey at fitting, I'd use the couture trick of easing the gapiness into a strip of seam binding so as to tighten up the neck edge. This means lots of pins at right angles to the seam, so that the extra fabric is eased in imperceptibly.
-- Edited on 10/11/12 4:30 AM --

jing88lai
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In reply to petro <<


Date: 10/11/12 4:46 AM

Hi Petro,

Thanks for your advice... especially about cutting out the fabric as I have never worked with tafetta or rayon lining.

But I'm unclear about how to adjust the pattern. Are you saying I should pinch out extra fabric vertically, from the shoulder seam to the bust point and then swivel it out then?

I've just started pattern making and I can understand doing this to full sloper block, but its difficult for me to understand how to do it on the existing princess seam center front bodice pattern.

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Date: 10/11/12 6:30 AM

Are you right handed? It appears the muscle on the right side of your upper back is larger than the left. This may explain the difference between the fit of the left and right sides. In the picture where you have the excess fabric pinned up, it moves the shoulder line forward into your chest. Can you pin up the extra fabric at the shoulder instead to avoid the shift?

petro
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Date: 10/11/12 12:10 PM

Loreen has spotted something I missed; you could try pinning the excess away at the shoulder first. For the other method, you pin it like a dart from the neck edge to the bust point, which will be somewhere along the princess seam probably. A Princess seam is like a shoulder (or armhole) dart. The sides of the seam above and below the bust point are the arms of the dart. So, you fold out the dart you just made from the neck, and it opens up the space between the sides of the seam - effectively enlarging the dart, and shortening the neck edge. Usually I find a combination of methods works best.
I think you will have to let the seams out a bit first, so as to see what needs changing.
-- Edited on 10/11/12 12:12 PM --

missbeth033
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Date: 10/11/12 12:39 PM

Are you wearing the bra you will be wearing when you wear the actual dress? You need to have that bra on when you are fitting your muslin because it can make a real difference.

With the muslin on, I would slash the center back pieces maybe halfway between the zipper area and the princess seam however far you need to in order to get the tightness released, maybe up to the bottom of your shoulder blades. You can also pin out any of the horizontal folds which are probably caused by the bodice being too long.

With the muslin still on, the next thing I would do is mark exactly where the left shoulder seam needs to be on the back piece all along the top of your shoulder. Add your seam allowance and cut along that line. You will be following your shoulder slope exactly when you do that.

Don't take the muslin off yet. Now see if you can attach the front left to the new back seamline. If you can, mark the new front seamline and again add your seam allowance before you cut it apart. If it still has folds in it, it may be that you need to attach it however you can to make it smooth and then redraw the neckline and armhole edges on the front piece to blend in at the neckline and armhole edges on the back piece.

As Loreen said, the muscles on your back look as if they are not the same on both sides, and this is probably the main cause of what you are seeing in the front.

If what I've suggested works, you may want to do the same thing on the other side. It looks as if your shoulder seam line at the top is pretty much correct, but you may need to correct the curves on the front piece (but not as much as on the left side because there is not was much extra material there).

I know this is wordy but I don't know how else to explain it. If you try these suggestions, please post more pictures so we can see if it worked or not.

Linda in TN

-- Edited on 10/11/12 12:40 PM --

jing88lai
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Date: 10/11/12 1:59 PM

Hi everyone,

Thanks for your suggestions. I don't think that one side is bigger than the other (the image is actually reversed, so the side that looks bigger is my left- but I'm right handed). Also the image is distorted because I'm standing at a slight angle.

I tried pinning it at the shoulder seam and it didn't work out, there was still some slight gaping and wrinkles. It only looks right when I pin it at the "trouble spot."

Petrol, if I understand your suggestion clearly, do you mean that I should pin out the excess fabric at the top curve of the princess seam near the bust? (Sorry for using such simple terms, but that's the only way I get this.)

Thanks again! And keep the suggestions coming!

Elona
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Date: 10/11/12 4:27 PM

I think a couple of things are going on.

For one thing, although you are slightly built, the bodice is very, very tight on you. See all the horizontal stress lines across the back, as well as across your bustline, which is sort of flattened at the apex? I really think loosening those strained and tight areas would give you a better shot at a great fit.

Second, much of that deep V neckline is on the bias, and bias just loooooves to stretch and behave like an idiot. In addition, we quite often have to use special techniques to make this kind of neckline hug the chest.

Here is the wonderful Charles Kleibacker's technique for pin-basting and controlling the fullness and gaping in this area. It's about a quarter of the way down the page and is shown on an ivory gown.
-- Edited on 10/11/12 4:30 PM --

Nancy K
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Date: 10/11/12 6:48 PM

You are on the right track with the tuck, but make this a dart shape, wider at the neckline disappearing at the armhole edge. Then on the pattern make cuts and overlap 1/8" to get to the amount you need to remove. I am not sure why the seam is being pulled so far to the front, but you are right it needs to lay along the top of your shoulder. I don't like how it doesn't mold to your bust, but stands away. I would take the shaping out from the v up, no where it is gaping. The neckline will easily stretch because it is on the bias so you have to be very careful handling it and stabilize it with tape before you do anything. Move it only with the pattern attached.
Aside from it being a bit tight I think that your princess shaping is too high and it's not giving you the shaping you need over the bust. Make your second muslin with the skirt attached; it makes a difference on how it hangs. Be careful when sewing the polyester as it can easily pucker. Use a microtex needle in a 70 and make some sample seams before you start.

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tinflutterby
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Date: 10/12/12 1:53 AM

Before you do any alterations walk the pattern along the seam to make sure it isn't the bias stretching. Even really stable fabrics can grow alarmingly.

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