From Triumph to Frustration


Ok had to get that out.

So after my last triumphant post I forged ahead and finished my dress. Tried it on and BAM! Front neckline gaping. WTF!! Am I cursed to never have a properly fitting neckline??

I think it showed a little on the muslin but not nearly this much and once I tucked in the seam allowance it went away. My fashion fabric is a bit heavier than my muslin but it shouldn’t make THAT much difference.

More importantly I really am baffled at what is causing this problem & it’s really driving me CRAY-ZAYYYY!

Anyone have any knowledge to share on this one? HELP!!

Update: pics of my neckline:



After I took these pics, I unpicked the facing and shoulder seams & smoothed out the excess. This resulted in a narrower shoulder seam and a much better looking fit. I’ll have to adjust the back shoulder seam of course, to match – let’s hope this fixes it!

Other than that I have to say, I REALLY like this dress! It’s simple, chic, and flattering. I can’t wait to get it finished so I can show you! πŸ™‚

Update again:

So after much unpicking, the aforementioned adjustment resulted in me cutting off a section of the shoulder that looks like this:


It works but a part of me suspects there must be a less convoluted way of getting there lol. Oh well, every experience adds up to a little more knowledge! Onwards and upwards!

About symondezyn

graphic designer, illustrator, and artist of many skills... always striving towards new challenges and goals, and always with more projects than time to do them in!! View all posts by symondezyn

12 responses to “From Triumph to Frustration

  • Liz

    Without seeing a picture I can only guess that your shoulder (above bust) area is smaller than your bust line. Can you post up a pic?

    • symondezyn

      I totally will, when I get home later πŸ™‚ You’re right, and I do go by my upper chest measurement when choosing a pattern size, as I require an FBA. The bodice fits everywhere but the front neckline so it baffles me!

  • Sew Little Time

    a pic would be useful! i know gertie’s new book suggests tucking the excess from the front neckline, transferring to the pattern and drawing a new centre front foldline down the edge of the tuck (you’ll need to straighten the grainline too). does that make sense? do you have enough fabric to recut the front bodice? it is peony isn’t it? i traced the pattern last night so am about to get started on my muslin!

    • symondezyn

      Yes, it’s Peony & yeah I totally know what you mean, as I’ve done that same adjustment on the back πŸ™‚

      I have a big patternmaking textbook that instructs if the neckline is too loose, to open the shoulder seam & smooth out excess fabric so I’m gonna try that first, but failing that I’m gonna have to go back to the drawing board. I have more fabric but it was earmarked for trousers. If I need a new bodice they’ll just have to end up as shorts lol.

      Thanks for your suggestion; I’m gonna post pics tonite πŸ™‚

  • Carolyn

    Well done for fixing the problem, it would bother you forever otherwise πŸ™‚ Thank you so much for your excellent styling suggestion for my Pattern Magic top, and I took your advice! πŸ™‚

    • symondezyn

      That’s awesome! I’m so flattered!! πŸ˜€ Can’t wait to see it!

      You’re right, I could never wear something with such a dramatic fitting issue so it’s worth it to me to spend the time fixing it πŸ™‚ Thanks! πŸ™‚

  • maddie

    for some reason I can’t see your pictures but I can hear your frustration. I sympathize with you because I had a similar experience this week. I sewed a pair of undies using 4 ply silk. I thought it would be nice to have a pair of undies made with BEAUTIFUL fabric. The pattern was correct because the muslin was okay but when I tried on the pair made out of 4 ply silk. The waist was NOT LEVEL, – the side seams had stretched while sewing causing it to hike at the side. Oh well. All a learning experience, right?

    • symondezyn

      Maddie… thank you so much for sharing!! It is so reassuring to know that even experts have frustrating experiences πŸ™‚ It sucks about the silk; the only good thing is at least it wasn’t a bigger piece πŸ™‚

  • Annabelle

    I’ve had this same issue with some patterns too. On my 60’s floral dress from this past spring I was able to resolve the issue by reducing the amount of fabric between the shoulders. I may have messed with the grain a bit to achieve this, but it seems to be working just fine. (It’s not a real technique, it just came about while playing around with my muslin.

    I thought I needed to make the change because I have a small bust, but if you need an FBA, maybe there’s another reason for it? (The distance between my armpits across my high bust is also small in comparison to the rest of me, perhaps that is why we need the adjustment?)

    • symondezyn

      Yeah I know what you mean, and it makes sense; but, I thought the fact I go by my high bust measurement would be enough to compensate for that, right? That’s why I’m so confused! lol There must be a logical reason why – it eludes me though ^_^

      Someday I’ll figure this fitting thing out; just when I think I’m making progress, a beginner pattern kicks my butt! lol

  • Amy

    I know you’ve probably moved past this πŸ˜‰ …but my hunch is that when the back neck width got reduced it might have thrown off the balance with the front. Sometimes that happens. Or that your fabric had a tendency to stretch when sewing. It’s so weird how just one little ounce of weight or stretch can change the fit in a fabric and my biggest frustration at times! I need a major SBA in Colette patterns and the shoulder slope is very different than mine–it’s been an uphill learning curve to get it all looking right!

    • symondezyn

      I think you may be right about the stretch; I realized after the fact I forgot to stay stitch the neckline… it’s a med-heavy weight fabric but it has some stretch so that could definitely be why there was such a drastic difference between the muslin & the final dress πŸ™‚

      I’m not experienced enough to know whether my many fitting adjustments are needed on all patterns or just certain companies, but I totally relate to the frustration it causes ^__^ Your clothes are always so beautifully fitted so hopefully there’s hope for me too! πŸ™‚

Thank you for taking the time to comment - I truly appreciate each and every one! :)

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