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Problems Fitting Waist/Lower Back
LBH2010
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LBH2010
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Pennsylvania USA
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Date: 1/23/13 9:22 PM

When I sew, I usually make a 14 throughout the top and then gradually increase the sides down to the lower waist from a 14 to a 16. My waist is 30 inches and my hips are 42 inches, so I can't make a straight 14.

The problem is that when I sew pants or shorts, the waist always fits around the front and sides of my waist (if that makes sense) but at the small of my back the waist of the garment pulls away from body. I do have a very round backside, and my back seems to curve a bit. I tried solving the problem with darts near the back center seam on my last project and it helped a little, but I wondered if there was a way to adjust the actual pattern beforehand to avoid this gap.

Anyway, I am not sure if this is something a sway back adjustment would solve or not. I've read about them before but I am not sure I fully understand what constitutes a sway back. I even have this problem when I buy ready-to-wear clothes.

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Lisa

Fictionfan
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In reply to LBH2010 <<
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Date: 1/23/13 9:54 PM

Do you have a photo to post? Do you have the same trouble with dresses and blouses? Pants don't get swayback adjustments because the swayback affects the back from neck/shoulder to waist, not the waist to hip area.

It's possible that you have a narrow low back at the waist, which would be a different adjustment than what a swayback correction provides. I happen to need a smaller size at the waist back than I do for hips or front waist. If I don't cut the garment waistband shorter in back (for pants that ride near or at natural waist, not an issue for low-rise pants), then I have excess fabric gaping at the small of my back. Contour waist bands with the back cut a size (or two) smaller than the front, and stabilizing the curves with stitching at the waist curve before handling the pieces makes a big difference. Contour bands have a lot of bias by the nature of how they are cut, so they stretch out to a larger size if you aren't careful. A straight waist band won't stretch out if you are using woven fabric cut on the grain.

However, it does sound like you might need a swayback adjustment if you make dresses or tops. It's for more fitting issues than just those who have an exaggerated lumbar curve. If you have a large or prominent bottom, a high hip figure, if your back is shorter than your front, then you might use a swayback adjustment. The net effect of the swayback adjustment is a shorter center back-waist than the side seam length of the back-waist.

HTH

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Fictionfan

AdaH
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Date: 1/23/13 9:57 PM

Go to the Silhouette patterns web site and watch the pants fitting videos. There are a number of them. I remember Peggy showing the adjustment you need on one of them, just can not remember which one has the adjustment you need demonstrated.

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Ada

clothingengineer
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Date: 1/24/13 9:50 AM

If you're having this problem with pants, I highly recommend trying the Sewaholic Thurlow trousers pattern. You're a perfect size 10 in Sewaholic sizing and the Thurlows are designed with a back extension at the waistband you can take in or let out as needed after the pants are sewn. For me it was way easier to start with something built for my shape than to keep adjusting other patterns.

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-- Anne
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Quickie
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Date: 1/24/13 9:50 AM

Did you measure the distance of waist back,to crotch , to waist front?
It is possible that you have to add room there, espacially in the back

Julia C
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In reply to LBH2010 <<
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Date: 1/24/13 11:25 AM

Since you are a pear-shaped person, do as clothingengineer says & buy the Thurlow pants.
I am a rectangle with a sway back/forward pelvis so I add darts about 1 1/2" from center back in addition to the original darts which I might also increase.

Vicsguy
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Date: 1/25/13 7:28 AM

Thinking outside the box...sew a holster in there and use the space for your concealed carry.

My wife has the same issue. I typically use a 2 piece contoured waistband and adjust as needed, including the rear crotch seam.

LBH2010
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LBH2010
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Date: 1/25/13 4:57 PM

Ha ha ha. That's awesome! I never thought of a holster.

Thanks to everyone for the suggestions! I am going to play around with the suggestions and see what works. :)

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Lisa

LauraTS
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Date: 1/27/13 0:37 AM

Vicsguy, I like it - one of my slim ectomorphic writer friends had written a scene where one of her (female) characters smuggled something in the front of her pants. And I commented "wouldn't it be easier to slide it in the back?" For me it sure is, but for her it wasn't.

I think one of the fitting books I've read recommends taking your measurements in quarters - left front, left back, etc. This can help you figure out where you go out and where you go in precisely. I have the same sort of issue as you, where my back waist is very curvy compared to my upper back and my rear end both. I think it's Kathleen at Fashion Incubator that talks about making a clingwrap sloper - here it is http://fashion-incubator.com/archive/saran_wrap_pattern_making_method_1/
That might be a good start to see what the shape of the pattern pieces should be, even if you only do one from the bottom of the ribcage to the hips.

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