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Dress pivots backwards over shoulders

AliJA | Posted in Fitting on

I recently made 2 dresses, no set in sleeves, just sleeve extensions. One with a collar, one v-neck. Both seem to fit well, however, they both tilt backwards with wearing so that the front neck is too high, the side seams angle towards the front and the back hem is too low.
I haven’t been able to find a pattern alteration online that seems to fit this exact problem. Any ideas? TYIA


  1. User avater
    bonnies | | #1

    You probably have a rounded back so your back is pulling the fabric backward, resulting in you feeling choked. In other words, your back is longer because it is rounded and needs more fabric to cover the length. I suggest you research high round back and low round back and try those adjustments in a muslin. I did, and it is magic. You are basically adding fabric to the back of your garment in the right places so that the back of the garment is now long enough to fit well. I'm fairly new to sewing and fitting, but this has worked for me.

    1. AliJA | | #2

      I appreciate you taking the time respond. The only alteration that seemsto be applicable is a round back alteration. However, I have seen that a symptom of this need is a raised back waist and hem. I have the opposite problem - a lowered back hem. However, I will look into this and try it. I experience the magic you found :-)

      1. User avater
        bonnies | | #4

        Maybe you could try the round back adjustments, along with a sway back adjustment, if you still have pulling and you have fabric pooling at the back waist. A sway back adjustment would bring up that hem and keep the waist at your waist. Also, the post about forward shoulders suggested by another post sure works for me. I hope you find your solution(s)!

  2. User avater
    sewin_n_beadin | | #3

    It may also be possible that you have shoulder sockets that are more forward. I was always tugging my necklines back into place until I discovered that I needed that particular alteration.

    1. User avater
      bonnies | | #5

      Absolutely! I always have to do this one, too. What is really annoying is now I am so aware of how badly RTW fits me. I never noticed that my back collar stands away from my neck and that my shoulder lines fall backward. I'm glad to learn to sew and fit.

      1. User avater
        DonMcCunn | | #9

        Commercial patterns are frequently designed for a dress form where the side front and side back are the same length. Helping people over the last 50 years I have only seen this posture in one woman. You need to adjust the side seam, lowering the front so the shoulder seam is on top of the shoulder. This will fix the neck opening. But the armhole (aka armscye) and hem will be off. And that's just the issue for sleeveless.

    2. AliJA | | #7

      I haven't come across that adjustment. I'll look into it.

  3. Sew_that | | #6

    There was a thread on PatternReview.com about that - that I can't find at the moment. One of the questions asked was whether or not you feel the back of your collar or neckline push uncomfortably against your vertebrae in that spot. One of the considerations was military posture (erect posture with little to no back curve - I forget the solution to that). Another was having a more prominent spinal bone at that spot in the neck. For that, a couple of people said they always need to increase their neckline at the back (making the hole larger, which shortens the back length). Forward shoulder and wide back adjustments were other considerations brought up.

    1. AliJA | | #8

      I'll check out all your suggestions. Thank you all for giving me some other ideas to look into :-)

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