Sunday, August 24, 2014

Shouldering the Burden

Here's the story of my sewing life
  • Fall in love with a pattern. 
  • Alter the pattern tissue
  • Make a muslin
  • Make some more tissue alterations
  • Get confused and stuck
  • Move on to another project
My last three attempts have been dresses.  The fixes I know I need to make in the bodice are

  • Square shoulders -- I usually add 1/2" using the pivot and slide method
  • FBA -- about 3" using a Y-dart from Fit For Real People
I end up with something that looks like this or worse. I never went back to true the armhole!


When I realized the error of my ways, I tried to go back and smooth it out, but I still looked wonky.Then, thanks to the magic of Craftsy, I learned that I didn't have to draw the line to the armhole. I could do the entire spread at the shoulder! Truing the armhole wouldn't be much of an issue. Now what this means in teams of fit on me, I'm not sure. I did the adjustment, but didn't make the muslin.


Why? Because I found and alterations breakthrough! Every one of my attempts at a dress or top results in shoulder seams that sit way visibly forward on my shoulders. My neckline seam at CB is about 5/8" too high. Folks talk about having to pull their tops forward because of forward shoulders. I have the opposite problem; my tops pitch forward and I always have to pull them backward -- a lot. 

Now if situation is familiar to you and you've got a solve, bless you! Please send me the info. I just couldn't find anything about this condition or the alteration needed. I thought maybe my girls were stealing fabric. I thought perhaps I had a smaller shoulder joint, a large shoulder joint, hollow chest, round back, high neck base, muscular neck. You name it. (Now, I might actually have some of those, but they weren't causing the problem.)

Finally my Google search yielded something useful! I found this post from waikikimum on Pattern Review

I always add an extra 1.5cm to my front shoulder seam and take it off my back shoulder as my shoulders hyperextend backwards due to a connective tissue disorder. I must add here that I haven't heard of anyone else doing this and the alteration is usually the other way - adding to the back and taking off the front. 
If I don't add to the front shoulder seam it sits too far forward on my shoulder. At first I had trouble finding where the right point was but then I read that when looking in a mirror from both the front and back you should not be able to "see" the seam. I could always see the seam when looking from the front so I raised it by adding the 1.5cm. 
Another thing I became aware of was that the back neckline was way too wide and caused the shoulder seam to fall forward and I was always hiking my tops backwards. I now always add a CB seam so I can take in the top of the back at the neckline. Once this area fits well I then fix the shoulder seam. I hope this helps.
Because the entire seam sits forward (it's not in the right position at the neck and angles out incorrectly), I added an even 5/8" to the front.


I guess I'll figure out if this is right (versus adding a wedge) when I do the muslin. I wonder if I will still need to do a square shoulder adjustment. Hmmm. Oh well. I'm off to remove 5/8" from the back.


knitmachinequeen (KMQ) said...

You are putting too much emphasis on how the armhole "looks" on the tissue after the alteration. What is important is how it looks after it's stitched in fabric. I always have to make an FBA and the armhole looks crazy until I stitch it in fabric. I'm never unhappy with the finished product. Don't be discouraged just keep stitching towards your goal.

NuJoi said...

I wish it was just the look :-( The underarm is always too high after I do my FBA. Maybe it is before I do the FBA and I always thought the FBA was causing the problem. I'll keep you posted. One day I'll be bold enough to take some pics in my muslin.