Fitting The Waistline
Where the waistline of a dress should be placed -- at, above, or below the normal waistline --- depends on the style of the dress and the position most becoming to the figure. To find the normal waistline, place the hands with the curves between the forefingers and thumbs in with the lowest rib or the slight body indentation. The forefinger curving around the front and the thumb curving around to the back indicate the normal waistline. The waistline of a dress is usually made slightly higher in the back than in the front but gives the effect of a straight line.
A snugly fitted waistline helps keep the skirt as well as the blouse in proper position. When fitting the waistline, keep the seam lines and darts entering the waistline at right angles to the floor. Special style features might indicate otherwise. On the pleated skirts that must be straight at the lower edge, the bottom is finished first and the length adjustments made at the waistline.
Skirt too loose at waistline or hip. The pattern may be too large for the hips and waist of the figure. Or the
A slight amount of extra width can be taken out by the deeper seam lines. Side back darts also help to shape a skirt into a smaller waistline. Extra fullness in the blouse waistline is eased into gathers or darts.
If the skirt is much too large, refit it. Rip the side seams to below the hip line. Put on the skirt, right side out. Pin front, back, and side waistline to the foundation garment. Fold under a deeper seam allowance on the front side seam. Lap this over the back seam. Place pins at right angles to the fold. (See Figure 22) Work first
Skirt too tight at waistline or hip. The waistline of the figure may be larger than the waistline of the pattern or dress.
Let out any seam allowances as well as skirt darts in order to straighten them and relieve the strain. If there is not enough seam allowance, insert a gusset above and below the waistline in the side seams to give extra width. Taper the gussets to fit the figure. Facings, hem, or belt may be used for the gusset.
Lower edge of skirt pokes out in front. The side seams swing forward and diagonal wrinkles extend from the center front of the waistline toward the hem (See figure 23 A). This may be because the blouse is so short in front that it pulls up the grain of the goods in the skirt. If this is the case it can be corrected by following the instruction (see below) under "Waistline Pulled Up Above Belt", or by raising the back of the skirt slightly at the waistline. This brings the crosswise grain of the goods at the hip parallel to the floor and straightens the side seams. Mark the correct waistline on the skirt and blouse.
Another way to correct this difficulty is to rip the side seams and front waistline. Lift the front of the skirt at the sides until the grain of the cloth is straight across the hip line (Figure 23, B). Pin and baste the side seams. Fit the waistline, tapering the seam allowance on the skirt to normal width at the center front. Baste and try on again before stitching.
Blouse sags over belt in front or back. The blouse is too long between the bust line or shoulder blades and the waistline. This often occurs on a short-waisted or sway-backed figure.
Rip the blouse from the skirt wherever the extra length is located. Tie a cord over the blouse at the waistline, leaving some fullness above the cord for comfort. Keep the grain of the goods straight across the bust and the back. Mark the new waistline along the cord with pins or chalk. Take off the blouse and fold it so that the corresponding seam lines are together. It helps to pull one sleeve into the other. Pin the sides and lower edges together. Even up the pinned or chalked waistline, adding a seam allowance. Cut away the extra length. With the help of the pattern, mark again the position of the waist fullness, front and back.
Waistline pulled up above the belt. The blouse is too short. Women with prominent busts have this fitting difficulty.
If the seam allowance at the bottom of the blouse is wide enough, rip the blouse from the skirt and let out the seam. If this cannot be done, insert a piecing that is wider in the center front and tapers to nothing at side seams. The belt will cover the inset. If matching cloth is available, a belt can be set in between the waist and skirt. An inch or an inch and half can be added to the length of the blouse in this way.