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Adjustments for rounded shoulder & back

sewart | Posted in Fitting on

I have developed osteoporosis and notice that my back is beginning to hump.  How can I adapt patterns to compensate for this problem. 



  1. Beanhi | | #1

    Sorry to hear about your condition, I have a rounded back but from bad posture. Here are the things I've tried..
    - If the design has a center back seam you can take in the excess at the seam. If the design doesn't have a center back seam, it's easy to add one.
    - If there's also excess (gapping) at the armhole seam a dart or princess seam can take in the excess.
    - If the armhole seam is fine but there's pulling across the back, you'll have to slash horizontally and spread the pattern.
    Give it a try on a muslin and be careful not to overfit.

  2. suesew | | #2

    I need more room across the back. Usually I can split the pattern from the middle of the shoulder seam to the waist and add a half inch on each side. A little dart at the shoulder puts the seam back to the original length. You may need to add a little in the middle and take a couple of tiny darts going into the neckline. You may also need to add a little to the length to go over the hump.

  3. fabriclover007 | | #3

    You will always need a center back seam so the pattern will follow your back.  Impossible to get a good fit in a pattern without a center back seam, but not hard to add to patterns that don't have one.  Before cutting out your pattern simply add on 5/8" (if that's your preferred seam allowance) to the center back fold and treat as a seam. 

    You need to determine where your back curves and how much additional length you need.  Several good patternfitting books exist that address this and how to alter the patterns.  As we age and sit in front of computers more this is something that's happening more and more.  Fast fit by Betzina covers this as well as others.  I won't do you a disservice by attempting to describe the alternation here other than to say it involves slashing the pattern horizontally across to, but not through the armhole.  You may also need to add extra to the back shoulder seams.  Simply adding extra at the back neckline isn't a good solution as though it may over the extra length it doesn't add the shaping where you need it which is probably farther down.

    This is not a difficult problem to resolve but you would do better with a book that describes how to fix it.  Good luck.




  4. woodruff | | #4

    Here is a web page that discusses the rounded back called, unbeautifully, "dowager's hump." The fourth link from the top is Threads' own page (Taunton) showing how to make a pattern adjustment for the condition:


    However, there are also other websites on the page which discuss ways to combat dowager's hump. If you are not very stooped yet, some very targeted exercises to strengthen particular muscles could very well slow the process, making your back stronger and more comfortable, as well as easier to fit. I hope you will find some helpful info there.

    1. mem | | #5

      good idea woodruff , I often see people with dowagers humps and they end up with very sore necks from the poking chin which comes with being curved in the thoracic spine . Exercise really does help if its not too advanced as does taking care of your posture early on and drinking enough milk to maintain you bone density.

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