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Learn How to Fit the Back

Learn how to fit the back in this video by our Threads team, which features Judith Neukam. Judith teaches tips on how to adjust a pattern to get the right fit.

You may not see the rear view of your own clothes, but it still makes a big difference if they fit well in the back. Most of the time, the center-back line on the bodice is on the straight grain. It might contain a zipper other closure or be cut on a fold but not always. Either way, the only back it will really fit is a very straight one. But spines come in many shapes.

Spines can be ramrod straight. They can be S-curved so that the lower back curves in while the upper back curves out.  They can be C-curved with the dramatic curve in the upper portion of the back. Or they can be curved to the side – often  resulting with one high shoulder, a high hip, or both.

This is one place to fit for comfort and symmetry. The object is to flatter your back while making sure you still have room to move.

The center-back seam is where you can really work on the fit.

This video “Fitting The Back” will help you learn to adjust your pattern to get the right fit for your back, no matter what the shape of your spine.


Judith Neukam, former executive editor and now a contributing editor at Threads, has been sewing for 60 years. She created and hosted all the Teach Yourself to Sew DVDs and has directed DVDs for many popular sewing instructors. For 13 years, she coordinated the annual design challenge to the Association of Sewing and Design Professionals and was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the organization in 2014.

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Previous: Creating a Back Neckline Dart for Better Fit Next: Making a Narrow Back Adjustment
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Fit & Sew Tops

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