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swayback question

fabricholic | Posted in Fitting on

I want to make a dress and I know I will need to do a swayback alteration. When doing this, do I need to add what I took out, at the bottom of the dress in the back?



  1. Gloriasews | | #1

    Yes - the pattern you choose should have a centre back seam on the bodice (or make it so), as you may have to add fabric around the shoulders horizontally in the centre seam and add more upwards toward the neck & shoulders vertically, depending upon the amount of the swayback.  You may also have to adjust your armscye, depending upon whether your shoulders roll forward or not.  Then, to balance this, you may have to adjust your upper bodice above the bust to avoid the gaping neckline.  Hope this helps.  Others with more experience will certainly add to this, I'm sure.  Happy sewing (& fitting)!


    1. fabricholic | | #2

      I'm confused now. I meant swayback alteration, as in taking a tuck in the middle of the back waist and gradual tapering of the tuck to the side seams. I meant, do I add the amount of the tuck at the bottom hem of dress in the back. I was thinking it might need it, because the hem might look uneven in the back.

      1. Gloriasews | | #3

        I apologize about my comments being misunderstood - I assumed you were altering the bodice in the way I mentioned.  Your way is easier, but you will have to be mindful that the waist looks even from the side view when the garment is on, and, yes, you will have to make sure that the hem hangs at the proper length all around, so cut your skirt longer so that you have enough fabric to compensate if it's short at the back.  If your backside is flat, it may not need the extra length, but if you are ample, it will definitely shorten the back of the skirt.  Hope this helps.  Keep posting your progress.

        1. fabricholic | | #4

          No flat behind, --- I wish. It just kind of hangs on my behind. That's why I think I need a swayback alteration. I hope I'm right. It's got to be something like that. Will keep you informed if I can ever get started on it. Thanks.Marcy

  2. fabricmaven | | #5

    The easiest way to find out what you need to do is machine baste a horizontal line at the hipline on the skirt area of the dress in a contrasting color. You might do the same at the side seams of the skirt. Put the dress or muslin on and looking in a mirror notice if the side seam is jutting forward rather than hanging straight down from your waist. If it is jutting forward then pinch the fabric up in the center back at your waist until you see that the side seam is hanging properly. The amount that you pinch up will tell you the amount of fabric that you have to remove from the center back. From that point be mindful of the horizontal thread on the hipline and the side seam so that you will know how much fabric needs to be removed along the back of the waistline so that you are ending at zero on your side waistline seam. Just imagine that you are creating a horizontal dart with the largest amount at the center back waist ending at zero at the side seam. Hope this helps

    1. fabricholic | | #6

      Yes, it does help. The last skirt I made, if ok except for below the waist in the back. There was horizonal wrinkles up above my low hips. It was pretty obvious, I would have to start doing something else. That was the last time I made a skirt.Marcy

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