Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Beginning the analysis

For this part of my analysis, I’m going to be using Sarah Veblen’s “The Complete Photo Guide to Perfect Fitting.” It gives horizontal and vertical balance lines and has lots of pictures to help explain the problems. I'll be using my gingham as a balance line, and the squares are 1/4" so I'll be able to kind of judge how much I need to adjust with that. 

Per page 22:
Vertical folds of fabric indicate there is too much circumference.

Horizontal fold of fabric indicates there is too much length

The front picture and my thoughts: 

The neckline is too wide.
The shoulders are too wide.
There are drag lines from the bust to the waist.
A classic armhole princess seam should run across the bust point. These seams are out to the side of my bust.
You can’t see it on this photo, but the armholes are way too big for me.

The sides, two pictures & then what I see: 

Side Analysis

The second photo shows how big the gap is between my arm and the armhole. It may be pulled a little bit to one side as it isn't as apparent on one as the other.

The neck is too low on my body.

The armhole seam is huge leaving great gobs of fabric above my waist and around the side and side back of my body.

You can see the wrinkles from the bust to the waist area, and that may be from the too large side back also.

The front is pulling up to suggest there needs to be more length along the front princess seams.

The back photo and my thoughts: 

I never knew I looked like a football player from the back!
Starting at the top, the neck is just wrong. Too wide, too low.

The shoulders are too wide, probably because of the neck width.

The back across the shoulders all the way down to my arm pits is too wide giving giant flaps of fabric that run across the back of my arms and into the armpits and sides. 

I think the folds along the waist line princess seams will be corrected with pulling up the whole top by a couple of inches at the shoulders.

The entire length is too long for my body.

So after this first analysis I will make a change or two. I do know that frequently altering one item will impact multiple others. So I'm going to start at the top. I was going to do the shoulder seams first, but looking at these photos, it is apparent to me that the neckline needs to be adjusted first as it is causing problems all the way down and out from there. So that will be the first thing I do.  I will take about 1/2" out of the center back seam from the neck line tapering down to about where my "dowager's hump" begins or where my shoulder blades end and see what happens from there. 

I will take photos after each adjustment and share them, so hopefully it will be encouraging to see the changes that are wrought and how each one affects the balance of the shirt. This will be a process, and although I don't want it to be a long process, I want it right when I'm finished. 

Once I've adjusted the neckline, I need to shorten the shoulder seams and pull it up and see what that does for the rest of the problems. I know I’m going to have to move the front princess seams in to follow my contours, and cut the upper back smaller to fit my torso and my follow my arm-torso connection. More pictures soon!

Please feel free to share and and all observations and any and all suggestions. 

Thanks for checking in!


  1. Thanks for showing this step by step. I will be attempting some princess seamed tops/dresses this spring/summer and I appreciate these fitting posts. I get frustrated because I don't know where to start. This is so helpful. :) . Don't worry, you don't look like a football player--you look like the majority of American women--everybody is not a size 2.

  2. I agree with your first two alterations. Back seam first then shoulder seams. The other thought I had was the shoulder seam is a bit to the back and you may need to take a bit off the front shoulder seam and add it to the back shoulder seam so it sits on you in the right spot. (p. 169 & p. 171 of Perfect Fit). Ron Collins suggested that to me and it worked.

  3. Taking time to fit is so important-I sometimes rush and it shows. Love this comment: "This will be a process, and although I don't want it to be a long process, I want it right when I'm finished. " Looking forward to the next series of photos and your analysis.

  4. Thanks you three! I will start at the top. And Ann, one of the things Jo Ann suggested was exactly that. To add to the back and take off the front at the shoulder. I'm going to be working on this today, but Dale is out on a job so I may not get all of the photos I want, but I'll give it a shot!