Dress Pattern Alteration – Back Dress too Long

Dress Pattern Alteration – Back Dress too Long

How many times have you experienced this; fabric pooling at the back waist in your dresses and shirts?  Well I have the Pattern Fix for that!  Unfortunately there is little we can do to save the sample, but we can do the pattern alteration to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

In both cases presented here, the back length to waist on each dress is too long for the wearer. This often happens with an erect posture or it can be caused by larger busts.
Pin parallel lines across the back bodice, between the shoulder blades and the waist.  Pin in enough fabric to leave the back hanging straight to the waist.  You’ll be reducing the back length of your block or pattern by this amount.  Mark across to the front side seam the same amount to be converted into extra darting.
To alter your dress block as above:
  1. Fold the excess length out of the back bodice, keeping the centre back on a straight line.
  2. Mark the same amount on the front side seam as in the diagram.
  3. Connect this measurement to the bust point as darting.
  4. This extra darting can then be transferred into the existing bust dart ready for your pattern making projects.
If you’re working with a commercial pattern you’ll need to look for an opportunity to transfer this extra darting into an existing bust dart or panel seam.  Each case will be slightly different.   Please feel free to ask questions in the comments section below or email me photos so I can help you out.  🙂

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Anita McAdam
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