Thursday, November 15, 2012
The Sway Back Dilemma - Simplicity 5956 and Vogue 1197
A few years ago, Pati Palmer noticed that one of my hips was slightly higher than the other and gave me some advice on how to fit my pants (M5818) better. After an spinal x-ray two years ago, I learned that I have slight scoliosis in my lower back. This discovery supported Pati's observation. So of course, when I went to the Palmer/Pletsch fit workshop, I planned to learn more about addressing my back fitting issues.
Because of the curve, the level of adjustment is slightly different for each side. This is probably no surprise. I think most of us are larger on one side of our bodies.
I decided to try a different approach for the sway back adjustment. It's easiest to make the adjustment if the back has a center seam. This allows me to scoop out access at the lower, center back as well as make a horizontal tuck across the lower back. I also have the option of making two backs to address the differences between my left and right side.
When making the horizontal tucks, I noticed that the back hem along the center is shorter than the rest of the garment by the amount of the tuck. This amount needs to be added back into the garment either in the hip or at the hem. I haven't figured out the best place to add this for a top, jacket, or dress. Recommendations are welcomed.
The type of garments where the sway back fitting is the biggest challenge are in knit tops and dresses that do not have a horizontal seam at the waist. I made Simplicity 5956 several times. Last year I tried this adjustment and it was nearly perfect. I had added the tucked length to the hemline where needed. This method was also used in the two versions I made this year.
Sandra Betzina's Vogue 1197. Pictured at the top of this post. This top does not have a center back seam. I created one. I think the adjustment worked. I also think I will use this approach more often to get a better fit across the sway in my back.
What are your thoughts on sway back adjustments? Do you have issues with fitting your back? Have you found a way to successfully alter your garments for your back fitting issues? Please share.