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Forum > Fitting Woes > Neckline gaping at centre front ( Moderated by CarolynGM, Deepika)

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Neckline gaping at centre front
caution, very long post
yorkshire lass
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yorkshire lass
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Date: 8/23/07 9:45 AM

I frequently find that the front of woven tops and dresses gape at the centre front. There is often as much as 2 - 3 inches of loose fabric kind of sticking out from my front in the center so you can see straight down my garment. The fold of fabric runs vertically from the neckline edge at CF, and extends, depending on the pattern, to anywhere from the fullest part of the bust to about two or three inches below it. It kind of looks like a dart, in that to get rid of it you pinch out more at the top tapering to nothing at the base. Sometimes this is also accompanied by gaping down the sides of the neckline, but not always.

My high bust measurement is 34, my full bust measurement is 34, and my cup size is B. The last bra I had fitted, the fitter said I was a 32B. Since then I have been making patterns for a 32 bust, with more success than before but I still get this annoying fold of fabric at CF and the garments are sometimes too tight on the back, and sometimes are OK. I have a wide upper back at the point over the large shoulder blade bones, the rest of me is a skinny hourglass.

I have consulted Fit For Real People, and Pattern review and come up with possible options, but don't know which is likely to work.

FFRP says to fix a gaping neckline I should take a tuck horizontally from the side of the neckline to the armhole. That doesn't feel like the right thing to do because the fold of fabric runs vertically. I can see that this would fix gaping at the side of the neckline, but not in the middle.

I could cut a smaller size front, than back, but I am not sure whether I need the whole front to be smaller. I am already making a smaller size than my measurements suggest in most cases and still have the fold sitting there even when the rest of the garment seems quite close fitting.

I could cut the garment out with the pattern hanging over the edge of the fold at the shoulders/neckline/bust, then swing it back to the fold to cut the rest of the pattern but surely that would seriously mess up the grain and make the top/dress hang oddly.

I could put a huge dart in the front of all my woven garments, but I don't think that is the solution. I surely hope it isn't anyway.

Sorry for such a long post.


Jenni

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sew2006
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Date: 8/23/07 10:57 AM

Do you have a picture you feel brave enough to post? A couple of the people with other fitting woes have done that and received really good help.

If you take a measurement accross your chest from one armpit to the other is the measurement much smaller then the pattern you are making? This could cause the neckline to look like it has excess fabric. You could try a muslin with a smaller front size just in this area in the front.

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LauraTS
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Date: 8/23/07 4:25 PM

Sounds kinda like a hollow chest, or at least I think that's the correct term. If you have a wide back at the shoulder blades, it might be that most of your bust measurement around the torso is coming from the back, and less from the front. Have you tried using a smaller size in the front than in the back (and widening below the bust for the ribcage/abdomen if you need it)? You could also try taking a vertical tuck/dart out of the pattern in the center from the top to about the sternum, and see if that helps.
-- Edited on 8/23/07 4:27 PM --

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yorkshire lass
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In reply to sew2006


Date: 8/23/07 4:27 PM

Thank you for your help. I have taken some pictures of different garments and they are here. This one is a Vogue size 12, which is a bit big for me but shows the problem quite clearly. click here

This one is a Kwik Sew size Small, it is actually a pattern for knits so is a size larger than I would normally make. click here This one doesn't gape when made as an extra small in a knit.

This one is a BWOF size 36. It is not so easy to see the gaping on this one, but it is there. The dress fits a whole lot better below the bust (without all those huge folds in the lower bodice) when I am not trying to reach forward to photograph my own frontage. click here

I just measured the red BWOF dress, and myself, as you suggested and I think the pattern is about one centimetre, or possibly a little more, larger than I am if I measure under my own arms from side seam to side seam (using my fitted tee as a guide) and compare it to measuring on the pattern from the CF across in a line to about two cm below the armhole stitching line. I can't measure the Vogue one reliably as I have made so many alterations to it that it is now unusable. The spotted top has a cut on sleeve which I am a bit unsure how to measure accurately.

Not really sure if all that helps with the diagnosis or not.

Really appreciate your help in trying to resolve this though.


Jenni

-- Edited on 8/23/07 4:34 PM --

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yorkshire lass
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In reply to LauraTS


Date: 8/23/07 4:46 PM

I haven't tried the smaller front/larger back yet, but I think I will try that as it sounds a good initial step. I frequently take garments in below the bust and at the waist anyway so hopefully it won't cause too many issues in that area.

Could I take the dart out of the front in a way that still allows me to place pieces on the fold do you think? Or am I doomed to always need a CF seam?

Jenni

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Chocolate is the answer... what was the question again?

slanden99
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In reply to yorkshire lass


Date: 8/23/07 7:32 PM

Based on your high bust and full bust measurements being the same, I think you should try a small bust adjutment (even though you are a B cup). Using a size smaller in the front vs. back works good for knits and dartless tops.

There are two issues that resolve when you do a SBA: excess width, and excess length. This should remove the gapping. Believe me, I know about gapping necklines combined with slightly broad backs.

Sometimes pattern companies make the fronts larger than the backs IE Kwiksew, New Look, maybe more. That is a sure way to get a gapping garment. You'll want to use a pattern (or adjust a pattern) where the back is the same or wider than the front.

sew2006
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In reply to yorkshire lass
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Date: 8/23/07 9:50 PM

Thanks for posting the pictures, it makes it easier to suggest alterations. I think that the top front of the garments are too large for you resulting in the gapping. I would try a smaller size from the armpit all the way up to the shoulders. try a smaller neck opening too. If you need the bust measurement to be the same size you used now just blend it in the armhole area.

If you have someone who could help you try tracing out the pattern onto a muslin, draw in a bustline for reference. Then you will need to wear a semi fitted tshirt and have a friend pin the material to your shirt. Use the seams of the t-shirt as a guide to draw where the shoulder seams, neckline and sleeve seam should be. This will give you a better picture of the upper chest proportions. If you don't have anybody to help you, trace out the pattern you want to sew, trace the neck openning but don't cut it all the way. Then hold it up to yourself. You will easily see where the seams are marked and where they will look nice on you without the gap in the front.

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Doris W. in TN
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In reply to yorkshire lass


Date: 8/24/07 9:17 AM

My solution --- wear turtlenecks. Just kidding. ITA with the hollow chest thought. I have it, too!

Your arms probably sit more forward than the pattern sloper, too. I have the same issues and when I wear a lower neckline I get the same problem, especially when I bend over or move my arms forward.

That red dress you posted is too large in the upper chest area. Even when you're reaching forward holding a camera, it should not gape that much.

Sometimes we need to rotate a dart out of the neckline to get rid of the gaping. If I wear a lower neckline, as your photos show, I need the garment to be rather snug in the upper bust; very little ease. Generally I just avoid the lower necklines, but I'm probably old enough to be your Mom anyway. (LOL)

Anything will gape on me due to my forward thrust shoulders and - this is important for me to remember - my very flexible arm/shoulder problem. I'm not double-jointed but am "loose-jointed" in the arm/shoulder area. I can do Yoga poses with my arms that most teachers can't do. It creates havoc with clothing, and necklines when I reach forward or bend over. I always have to leave a little bit extra fabric in the back armscye for that reaching factor I have that most people don't have.

yorkshire lass
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yorkshire lass
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Date: 8/25/07 3:26 PM

I am going to try all your very good suggestions over the next few days as well as going completely back to the drawing board with a new basic fit pattern, and doing the body map again as well. Hopefully with your suggestions steering me in the right direction in terms of what to look for, this time the exercise will work for me.

I did measure the front and back of the top I am trying to make and the pieces seem to be the same size. I am already in the smallest size for the pattern so have cut a bit off the CF to make it smaller. Tomorrow I am going to draw a bigger size back to go with my new front and do my first SBA (which looks scarily complex).

Odd you should mention turtlenecks, I was just planning on getting a pattern for one once I had resolved this particular fitting problem. I love turtlenecks. I made one once, drafted from my personal bodice sloper .... it didn't fit.... couldn't get it over my head.

Jenni

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zetor

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In reply to yorkshire lass


Date: 8/25/07 5:06 PM

Hi Yorkshire lass, I've just borrowed 'Vogue Sewing' from the library, and in here they give the following advice for a hollow chest.
'To correct the muslin garment, pin out wrinkles, tapering to the armhole or shoulder seams.
Adjust the front pattern pieces at the neck and shoulder edges the amount you need.'
Hope this helps, good luck.

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