Sunday, January 16, 2011

Lady K - comments on sliding shoulders

Lady K- I read your post & comments with interest.  I think I understand what monkeysocks and Phyllis are saying regarding the shoulders.  I took the liberty of snagging a screen-shot and illustrating Phyllis's suggestion.  I use Snag-It for this.  Ladies, please correct me if I have mis-understood.
(Click to enlarge)
The photo above shows where to make a slash /overlapped edges to remove an inch (or whatever it takes) to pull that shoulder up to a more reasonable shoulder line.

The other issue, that monkeysocks mentioned, is that the whole upper bodice is too big.  The neckline stands away from your neck.  You may find that graceful and like it - or you may prefer the neckline to fit more closely.  If you want opt for the latter,  here is what I think is necessary:

click to enlarge
You'd have to make this adjustment to both front and back to get the neckline in the right place.  Then you'd alter the collar pattern.  That is not hard.

There is a lot to be said for starting with a pattern that fits you using the upper chest measurement (right under the armpits).  That usually (but not always) gives you the right fit in the neck and shoulders.  

A full bust adjustment is usually easier than trying to adjust neck and shoulders.  But- it all depends on your personal situation.
I hope this helps and keep us posted!

I love this style for you!


  1. oh wow, that helps a lot! Though, I have to say there is no seam on the center back, that was be being lazy and not ironing out the crease. O.O

    I do have "Fit for Real People" in my arsenal, though the shoulder adjustment I didn't think worked for what I wanted to do in the front, that seems a lot better. I'll check the book tonight for the back adjustment. Thanks so much! Ya'll are just too awesome!

  2. Edit to Add: My second paragraph made more sense when I typed it. Your picture representation of the previous comments looks like it would work better than what I was seeing in my book.

  3. Top Photo: yes, that is the slash to make the shoulder narrower, and yes mirror the same slash on the back bodice piece.

    Bottom photo: there does need to be an adjustment in the back, however, I don't recommend making an upper back adjustment as shown because then you'll also need to redraft the collar piece. Rather, just make a slash on the back bodice about 3 inches from the collar seam and spread the slash apart 1/4 to 3/8 of an inch, taping to nothing at the armsyce. In addition to the upper back adjustment I also think you need to make a lower bodice tuck right above the waist to remove length in the back. And again true up the edges every time you make a slash.

  4. ETA: The fitting issue in the bottom photo is that you need more length across your upper back - the diagonal drag lines across the shoulder blades are the indicator) and less length in the lower back, hence the bunched fabric above the back waist.

  5. Phyllis, thanks for the info! The lower back is actually suppose to have two small gathered sections that will then be attached to the skirt, original image of pattern here: (click on pattern link for big view)

    However, if I turn it into a shirt later, that adjustment will be good to know. Or I could add darts... I have a wicked sway-back. This is probably why I've avoided shirts and fitted dresses so far.

  6. I'm reading this with interest because I have a similar fitting issue. But I can't seem to visualize what Phyllis is saying about what to do on the upper back. If you're making the back smaller in the same way as the front (i.e., slashing in the center of the shoulder seam over to the armscye and then overlapping), where would you spread 1/4 to 3/8 inch, and why?

  7. Sure I can elaborate: ladykatza needs to make two adjustments to her upper back and shoulders, (1) The diagonal slash from shoulder seam to armyscye allows a shoulder to be wider (open the slash) or narrower (overlap the cut slash and re-true the seam line) and (2) the adjustment for her upper back is to correct the drag lines seen running from her waist pointing towards her neck. A horizontal slash right across the upper back, opening at center back and tapering to nothing at the armsyces will add length there where she needs it. Fitting adjustments are all about reading drag lines :)

  8. Phyllis, thank you for clarifying the back adjustment! I know which one you are talking about now and that does make sense. So I need to make the shoulders narrower on the front and back, and then give myself more length.

    Someone mentioned that the collar is a little wide, but even though its suppose to lay open, I really have problems with anything tight fitting around my neck. I start getting this weird panicked feeling like I'm being choked, even when I'm not. I COULD take another small pin-tuck (making three, call it design element ;) )and then shorten the collar width a wee bit and that would be a bit more polished I think.

  9. ah ha... thanks for the clarification Phyllis. I always have to read fitting instructions repeatedly before I understand.

    LadyK, if you do remove any circumference from the neckline at center back, just remember to remove the same amount from the collar at center back. No biggie.

  10. Once the shoulders and upper back are adjusted the collar might just lay properly; the reason it doesn't do that now is because the too long shoulder pulls the collar away from the side of the neck and the too tight upper back pulls it away from the back of the neck. After those two details are fixed in the next muslin the collar might be fine. Also, I recommend adding both sleeves in the next muslin to really see the full fit in both sleeves and the bodice.