Monday, March 13, 2017

Fitting Dresses...Fitting the Bust and Back, Part 9

Continuing with the "Fitting Dresses" booklet from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Fitting the Bust and Back (continued)

Blouse sags below bust in front or below shoulder blades in the back.  There are figures with a flat chest, flat or pendulous bust, or round shoulders.  These figures are often shorter in front between shoulder and waistline than than the pattern, which may fit well otherwise.  As a result, the dress sags below the bust.  On the other hand there are the overly erect figures or those with sway-backs.  These figures do not take up the usual pattern length in the back between the shoulder blades and waistline.  The dress therefore sags below the shoulder blades.

If the dress sags below the bust, do not push extra blouse length below the waistline.  Instead, rip the shoulder seams, raise the front shoulder seams until the grain is straight across the bust.  The neck side of the front shoulder seams is taken up to fit.  Taper to normal width near armhole.

When the blouse sags below the shoulder blades, rip the shoulder seams and lift the back of the blouse until the grain of the goods is straight across the upper back.  Repin the shoulder seams, taking up more of the back shoulder seam at the neck end and tapering the seams toward the armholes.  Keep the direction of the shoulder correct.

Mark a correct armhole line in the back.  Avoid fitting the lower back of the blouse too close.  Raise the waistline of the dress by slightly trimming out the center back of the top of the skirt.

Underarm seam of blouse sags below armpit.  Diagonal folds appear below the armhole; the sleeve cap may draw crosswise when the arm is raised.  The armhole or perhaps the blouse is too large, permitting the crosswise grain of the goods to drop at the underarm seams.  Or, the figure may have very slanting shoulders and more padding may be needed at the shoulders.

If padding has been used, try changing the size and place.  When this does not remove the trouble, take deeper underarm seams, beginning at the armhole and tapering them as far down toward the waist as needed.  If necessary, take deeper shoulder seams near the armhole (figure 12).  This fitting brings the crosswise grain of the goods into the right position at the bust line.  After this fitting cut the lower half of the armhole into a good curve; do not leave a pointed armhole.

Back of blouse draws at underarm seam just below armpit.  (figure 13 A)  The pattern may have been too small around at the level of the bust or the figure may have a large muscle or roll of flesh across the back the armpit level.

Rip the underarm seams, and let them out until the width across the back feels easy (figure 13 B).  Leave the front allowance unchanged.  To fit the back smoothly, it may be necessary to change the shoulder seams.  Rip them and lift the back edge near the armhole, tapering it to normal near the neck line.

Diagonal wrinkles fall from shoulder blade to underarm.  The blouse pulls up in center back and pokes out at the bottom.  The underarm seam sags.  The front neck line may be pulled back (figure 14 A). 

This fitting difficulty occurs most frequently on a figure with round shoulders, prominent shoulder blades, or a roll of flesh at the back of the neck.  More length than the pattern allows is usually needed between the shoulder blades and the neck.  In such cases the pattern should be altered before the dress is cut.

However, if this has not been done, the fit of the dress can sometimes be improved by ripping and releasing the back shoulder seams until the grain of the goods is straight across the upper back.  Pin and refit the shoulder seams, letting it out near the neck line and tapering it in a the armhole.  This may make it necessary to rip the underarm seams and refit the lower back.  Take in the back of the underarm seams, trimming out the armhole if the back extends up into it, as shown in figure 14 B.

If becoming to the figure, a shoulder yoke, cut to fit properly, may be the only feasible solution to this problem.

Happy Sewing!

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