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Forum > Pattern Modifications, Design Changes & Pattern Drafting > Reality check on the sway back adjustments

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Reality check on the sway back adjustments
Oh, really?
tourist
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tourist  Friend of PR
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Date: 10/13/08 3:35 PM

I have been bumbling along with fitting and sort of have the FBA figured and it is time to deal with the sway back. After reading everything here, asking more questions etc., I still felt something wasn't adding up. I kept thinking I have plenty of RTW that fits properly on my sway back and doesn't go into all this crazy detail.

Right! I am always one to suggest challenging assumptions, so I finally got time to go and look at these mythical garments.

Exhibit A is a stretch lace top and I was sure the fact that it was very stretchy and snug fitting is what made it work. WRONG! First of all, if I haven't just pulled it down and flattened it all out to look at it, it does indeed have a puddle (smaller than usual) in the lower back. AND it has a center back seam.

Exhibit B is a bias cut woven with a looser over blouse with definitely no CB seam. It floats nicely away from the body just enough to de-emphasize the (again, smaller than usual) puddle. The under layer has no CB seam - aha! But guess what? It has two vertical fish eye darts.

Honestly, I don't doubt the people who give such wonderful advice here. I just really, really hoped that some magical combination of stretch and shape might have serendipitously appeared in the form of a RTW top that would save me...

So now that the table is cleared from last night's dinner, I will once again dive into the task of fitting. Wish me luck!

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http://bgballroom.wordpress.com to follow the progress on my next ballgown.

JTink
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In reply to tourist


Date: 10/13/08 5:09 PM

Hi, I saw you on the question I started yesterday. I still haven't gotten up the nerve to cut out that top. I keep looking at the back bodice piece and it's just scary. The centerback fold line is now an S shape. I've had a lot of folks give me some advise about it. But to be honest, some of it's just too over the top. The person who suggest marking darts that look like this() and moving them and re-drawing them...I just got overwhelmed and it didn't make any sense. There's got to be a simple way of doing this. I did get rid of some of the puddle by bringing up the hem(on my first muslin). But that's not the true answer to this problem. I went to the book store today on the mission of finding a new fitting book. No luck, they had a limited amount of sewing books. I already have FFRP. It shows making a horizonal dart on the bodice(doesn't specify it has to be a center back seam), but it doesn't go to the next step of showing that pattern piece on the material being cut out. Maybe between your thread and mine, one of us will find the answer

Marji
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Date: 10/13/08 7:00 PM

If you go back to the advice you got on the other thread you asked about this on, and click on the link that the poster who explained Kenneth King's alteration, it might come more clear.

I've uploaded the photos - this is what the link went to on the other post.


And I've taken the liberty of drawing it out on a bodice to show what it would look like, applied.
I also added a blue line - because I really think that the above alteration only addresses half the problem.



What you're going to do is pinch out a dart at the CB that takes out some of the vertical extra.
Then you're going to mark the lines.
Then you're going to take the half (I've drawn a box around it in yellow) and move it over to the opposite side seam.
Ok, now you've transferred the dart from the CB to the side seams, and your CB fold line remains straight.



Does any of this make sense?

-- Edited on 10/13/08 7:07 PM --

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loohoo44
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In reply to Marji


Date: 10/13/08 7:35 PM

Marji that was really helpful, thanks.

AnneM
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Date: 10/13/08 8:39 PM

Ooooh. I've never transfered it to the side seam. I've either taken a dart or used a seam, or just shortened it up in the middle. I'll have to try that.

tourist - your post really highlights how much more critical we are of our own sewing than RTW clothing!

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cgHipp
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Date: 10/13/08 8:57 PM

Thanks for that drawing! Makes perfect sense.

Courtney

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Leora
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Date: 10/13/08 9:50 PM

Marji, the blue hem marking is removing the same width as the widest point of the vertical dart?

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Marji
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Date: 10/13/08 10:28 PM

I stated that I believe the above alteration only addresses part of the problem.
I've been playing with Paint again, and have added the dart, in green that I believe needs to come out of the pattern tissue to get rid of all the horizontal puddling.
So, on the top half of the pic, I've put the illustration of the alteration next to the line drawing on what it's meant to do.
On the bottom half I put a pic of a tee that a PR member made (she knows who she is, psst, I borrowed your back for a minute),
and drew in the pattern alteration.
The result of taking this dart is the upraised line that you see at the hem of the garment, that I drew in blue.
The amount of the curve doesn't necessarily correspond to the vertical alteration.

Hope this helps.
Perfect Fit

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In reply to Marji
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Date: 10/13/08 10:53 PM

Sway back alteration is very misunderstood. There is an excess of length at the center back. The side seam length is fine! This is not fixed by removing a horizontal wedge at the center back. The latter results in offgraining at the hem. Restoring the fabric at the hem to straighten it out only adds back in what you took out. The fact that pinning out a wedge of fabric at the waist fixes the problem is however diagnostic. In order to maintain the grain of the fabric you must level the garment at the shoulders. I have illustrated the fix here:
sway back illustrated


I agonized over this one for some time before I found the correct fix. If a part of the definition of "fit" is a garment in which the grain of the fabric is maintained as it hangs on the body holds true than we have a standard to hold alterations up against. Leveling the garment at the shoulders maintains the correct "hang" of the garment. I invite you to try this.


-- Edited on 10/17/08 5:42 PM --

Marji
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Date: 10/13/08 11:26 PM

That's interesting.
Both methods use the diagnostic of pinning the wedge out of the horizontal puddle at the back.
Personally, I've never used Kenneth King's method of altering the side seams, as I've found the horizontal dart takes care of everything I need to take care of, but I wanted to illustrate the method for those who were having difficulty getting it.
KKing is an authority and I have difficulty thinking his advice is wrong. And yes, it does lengthen the side seams.
In any case, I'm willing to try it - especially since there has been so much conversation about making a sway back alteration without a CB seam.

I'm also interested in trying the alteration that you've just linked to.
I know it's really hard to draw in paint when you can't rotate a section at an angle (some programs can, but I can't).
I'm truly having a hard time figuring out how you're dropping that neckline down the amount of the wedge without affecting the grainline of any part of that back. At some point something has to give.
And it just doesn't show in a drawing.
I look forward to trying it.

I understand what you're saying about the grainline, but I'm not entirely convinced yet that a hemline needs to be straight on a cross grain. The hemline on an A-line skirt, a circle skirt, and many garments are not square to the grain.
Since the alteration that takes a wedge out of the back at the waist, but keeps the grainline intact and changes the hemline maintains grain integrity vertically at the CB, I'm not sure where the problem is if the alteration pulls the excess from the hem instead of the neck edge, or balances the difference and pulls from both places.

It's an interesting issue, to me, academically. After my son's wedding in two weeks, when I have time to play that doesn't include deadline sewing, I'd like to do some comparisons.

In pants I lift the CB seam by the same amount that I end up pinning out of a top like this.

Thanks for posting,
Marji

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Marji
http://fiberartsafloat.blogspot.com

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