Angie wrote the following:

"Linda, what DOES make the back neck stand away like that? I've had that
problem in most sheath type patterns. I've had to take as much as 4 inches
from the back center seam at the neck before. Does my head/neck shift way
forward like a goose? Do I have a hump I'm not aware of? Am I narrow and dainty in the ONE place on my body I have no feasible way of viewing? Inquiring minds want to know!! "

In "Fit For Real People", when the garment neckline stands out or gaps open in the upper back neckline, the book refers to this as a high round back and has a fitting technique for this. Years ago I use to make this adjustment all the time and not sure why I decided I did not need it. At that time I did not make forward shoulder adjustments but now I do. So part of my theory on this, and by no means is it necessarily the correct one, I think that I may need to do both now. AND, I probably should take a shoulder dart as well.

I have Pattern Master Boutique (PMB) software. One enters their personal measurements into this program and the program drafts your personal sloper. Sometimes the initial sloper could use some tweaking; after you sew up a fitting musline and tweak that, you then adjust your measurements in the software program's measurement chart to perfect your sloper. All of this being said, my sloper automatically inserts a shoulder dart in PMB. When you draft a style or pattern you can choose to insert a shoulder dart in your design or not but when you overlay the sloper onto your pattern you can visualize how the design will look with or without that dart.

The frustrating thing about pin fitting a pattern is that sometimes I see this back gap and sometimes I don't or perhaps I fail to look for it. I know if one does a muslin then you will catch these things. I choose not to make a muslin simply because if I did a muslin for everything I sewed I would not make very many things. Perhaps I if I used a pattern more than once after getting a sure fit then some of those issues would not exist.

With all of that said, sometimes in the end it is simply the back pattern piece is drafted fuller. I think that is the case for this pattern.

One more note on this issue for this dress pattern. The zipper was to be inserted in the side seam. I like some others who have made this pattern for a top only, also inserted the zipper in the back. Perhaps I needed to adjust the back seam for that design change. Yet my mind says it would stick out no matter how you did it.

If anyone else has some thoughts or other fitting ideas about this, please add your comments. Fitting is always something we sewist strive to perfect. Your feedback is always appreciated. Also sometimes it is not us it is the pattern. Yet if it shows up in almost all patterns, then it probably is more of a personal fitting issue than the pattern.


  1. Hi Linda,
    I hope you don't mind if I give you another possible reason for this. But it could be your shoulder slope is off, and this makes a huge difference on how the back neck lays. If the fabric is trying to lay against the shoulder instead of standing straight up at the neck, it will bunch behind neck. This will happen on fabric that does not have a stiff hand. If it hits the shoulder before it hits the neck it will gap in the back. Without going into a novel here on the comments, let me just say that I found this out too. I should post on my blog some photos of what I did to find this. Of course it would not be on my body because the photos are too revealing to publish, but I found out that a 1" shoulder slope works for me. Find that magic number for your shoulder slope and a lot of other "problems" will disappear!

  2. That's a good point about the shoulder slope in the previous comment.

    Having a duct dape double that duplicates my posture makes it easy to see where I'm rounded. I've begun making the alteration automatically, before I tissue fit. I can always cut the extra fabric off, but I can't add it if I (later) realize I need it.

    That frees me up to overlook other alterations--LOL--like the front neckline falling below my bra!

    Cynthia Guffey does a fit workshop about rounded back and shoulder slope that was very eye-opening for me. I would never have accepted that so many of my fit problems are caused by rounded back before I attended her session at Expo a few years ago.


Post a Comment


Show more

Popular posts from this blog

New patterns/new fabric

People watching

Butterick 6207