A month of muslins

Finished garments are a little low on the ground here at Diana & Me at the moment, but my sewing machine is keeping busy.  In line with this year’s plan to sew a more wearable wardrobe, I’m using January as a sort of preparation month, taking some time to get things ready for speedier and less stressful sewing ahead….

Ok, so I’ve gone a little bit hardcore on Colette patterns – I’m halfway through Ginger and Jasmine, and started cutting Clover this morning.  But Truffle (main reason for wanting the Colette Handbook) is done, though I didn’t bother with the ruffle:

I think this is actually a good fit on the front – those weird diagonal creases are just because I haven’t ironed it.  And left it wadded up in a ball in the corner for the last week.  But over on the back…

There’s room for a small backpack in all that excess round the shoulder blades!  It definitely needs adjusting.  But I have no idea what this issue is called.  The Handbook only talks about a sway back adjustment, which seems to be excess in the lower back – not up top, like mine.  Help!  Has anyone else had this problem?  Do you know what it’s called, or how to correct it? 

PS. I’ll close the blogiversary giveaway at midnight GMT tomorrow (Saturday 21st).  In the meantime, here’s a better picture (camera works again! yay!)

If you’d like to enter, go here.

8 thoughts on “A month of muslins

  1. I don’t know what it’s called but I get this problem all the time. The simplest solution is to fold a dart in the top of the pattern piece, then smoosh the resulting lumpy pattern piece down flat and retrace a new piece. As you already have a muslin made you can play around with darts at the neckline until you get a fit that you like. I did a similar thing with a tunic I made and posted about it at http://readythreadsew.wordpress.com/2012/01/10/meh-and-a-little-bit-about-margot/. I think you can just see in one of the photos where I have added darts at the back neckline. If I were going to make this tunic again I would fold the darts out of the paper pattern piece so that I didn’t have to sew them in the fabric.

  2. Pingback: A dowager’s hump??!! | Diana & Me

  3. Hi Amy,
    That also happens to be sometimes (notably on the New Look 6000, & I think Colette Crepe dress was also a bad fit over my back). Isn’t it just SO annoying because it’s the hardest place to reach to pin out any adjustments?!!

  4. Don’t hate me, but I’ve often seen this referred to as a “dowager’s hump”. Yeah, I tried to warn you. 🙁

    Luckily, it’s pretty easy to fix with a few darts or modified princess seams up there (for this reason, you’ll want to choose/modify patterns that have the princess seams to the neckline rather than to the armscye)…

  5. I have this problem all the time. Actually I spotted your muslin shots on Google images and I look almost the same in my Truffle muslin!

    I often get gaping at the back between my shoulder blades: in RTW and always in the Colette patterns. Usually the fit is ok between my shoulder blades but it just pokes out at the back neck. I also usually have a small amount sticking out at the front too.

    This is mostly cause by narrow shoulders (for me anyway). And I suspect I’m narrower through the back than the front.

    It’s easy to solve narrow shoulders (I do this kind of thing: http://www.petitepluspatterns.com/mm5/graphics/00000001/BroadNarrowShldrs.jpg). I find that Colette patterns in particular are made for broad, rounded backs with prominent shoulder blades. But I see gaping at the back neck often.

    I bring in my shoulders by about 1.5cm on the bodice front and back pattern pieces. And then also stitch a much larger center back seam at the top (I had to sew 3cm seam allowance at the top back of Truffle) tapering to a standard 1.5cm seam allowance at the waist.

    Hope this helps with any future fitting woes you may have!

    • Hi Cassandra, thanks for this really helpful comment. It happens all the time to me too, but somehow I always forget to alter the pattern in advance, and then have to throw in loads of little darts to correct it. I will definitely re-read this comment next time I’m making a bodice!

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