Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Tackling Swayback

I was told recently of two things that make a garment look homemade - seams not matching up and a center back seam on knits. I completely agree with the seam matching and do a fair amount of basting to make sure that things are lined up correctly. But is there truth to the center back seam myth? Doesn't that seam allow for a better fit? I've been working on Simplicity 2054, a simple knit dress with no center seams. When I made my first muslin there was quite a bit of pooling due to my swayback.

I lengthened the waist by an inch, then pinched that entire inch out at the center back. Now I'm left with a subtle indentation. The seam no longer matches up with the fold. I read somewhere that I could just straighten the line back out and it would work out fine. Not true! I did this and ended up with a cowl above my tush. So in the end, I decided to cut two pieces for the back to maintain the fit. I also ended up taking in 1.25" towards the top of the seam to account for my rounded shoulders. Otherwise there's a lot of gaping.

What are your thoughts? Is the gigantic pool of fabric that will occur due to my swayback really acceptable? Is the center seam worse? Maybe I've over-fitted the dress? Is it supposed to be loose enough to hide my bum AND poor posture??

*Edited to add the answer to my own question.*

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

Not a back seam in sight. It seems that blousons and details like this are ways of getting around it. BLARGH.


  1. Omg I hear you on swayback issues. I have such a hard time with ready to wear clothes because of mine! I'm wondering if the cowling is because you separated the waist an inch before you pinched out the extra. Unless you needed to add the inch because the torso was too short, then just ignore me!

  2. I don't mind the CB seam, but now that I think about it, the person who gave the advice has a point. I'm still working on the whole swayback thing. Er, I should be working on it... The cowl issues is weird, as I always thought you just evened out the curve, too.

  3. Jen- I needed the inch for length! The waistline was right below my bust.

    Lavender - Maybe the cowl was created because I took out so much for the swayback? What's the "normal" amount?

    What about some slashing and spreading?? I just realized that's an option. I can move all of the excess into the skirt portion and maintain a straight back seam to be cut on the fold... yeah?

    Well, this dress is practically done. I hate to repeat something so quickly, but I may try again in a lightweight jersey sans cb seam.