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Garment tops that pull towards my back

suziseam | Posted in Fitting on

Even though I’ve been a seamstress for sixty years (ouch!), recently I’ve had problems with both retail and handmade blouses and jackets. This doesn’t always happen, but the latest occurance is a swim cover-up – a simple design made from a front & back with extended cap sleeves, a faced neckline with a 5″ slit down center-front. When I put it on it looks fine, but after a few minutes it “rides up” on my neck and the shoulder seams pull towards the back. Any help will be appreciated!



  1. woodruff | | #1

    According to the books, the usual cause of this kind of ride-up in front is forward shoulders or a forward-carried head, which changes the "balance point" of the garment. This tends to become more of a problem with time.

    I have somewhat forward shoulders, and the way I handle it is sort of rough-and-ready: I just trim a half inch strip off the front bodice shoulder seamline, from the neck to the armhole, and tape it to the back shoulder seam area. This effectively lengthens the back armscye. Strictly speaking, you're supposed to pivot the alteration from the neck out to the shoulder, but heck, I might be carrying my head forward, too, so my method will cover both possibilities.

    One other cause might just be that the front neckline might be too high for you. You could try scooping it out a bit on the muslin to see if that helps.

    1. suziseam | | #2

      Thanks for the suggestion! I'll give it a try. As we know, our bodies change shape as we age and this problem didn't rear ITS' ugly head until I neared 70, so your reply is certainly food for thought. Suzi

  2. user-198146 | | #3

    Do you have enough ease in the garment? I've often seen people with this "walking back neckline" who need more ease, and so the garment crawls up and backwards. An unbalanced armscye and unbalanced side grainlines can exacerbate the problem.

    1. suziseam | | #4

      Good suggestions, Kay. There's plenty of ease, the grainline is straight, but I don't understand what you mean by "unbalanced armscye" as the cover-up I mentioned has extended shoulders forming the cap sleeves and there is no armscye per se, as with a set-in sleeve. Thanks for you help...Jane

    2. siama63 | | #5

      Do you have some rounding of the back also ? I have this problem also . I have had sucess with doing a long back adjustment and the forward adjustment that a previous posting mentioned . I find I think as some of us age our sholders move foward in the front and the sholder is now more sloped this means we need to add more to the back sholder seam and taking out some from the front sholder seam . It's a trial and error thing . Try making it up in muslin . you can then write on it .showing where you need changes . Having a friend help would be a good thing to . Sholder pads will always be a help to . We also become somewhat pidgeon chested ,where the front becomes shorter then the back ,needing a fold accross the entire front . good luck !

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