Apr 09, 2012 Fitting and Pattern Adjustment - Back Neckline Gaping Are you anxiously awaiting another post on fitting? Well, you're in luck. Today we are continuing the series on the fitting of Vogue 8664. If you've missed the first couple, jump back and take a look at Fitting, and Pattern Correction for bust, waist, and hip position. Neckline Fitting Now that we've made the appropriate length adjustments and put those key fitting lines in alignment with the body, we can move to other fitting issues. I've already prepared the muslin for the next fitting by stitching in the tucks we created in the first fitting. This allows us to continue using the same test garment for determining the next set of corrections. Let's start at the top and consider the neckline fitting. As you can see from the photos above, the front neckline is fitting very smoothly, no gaping, wrinkles, or drag lines-nice! As we turn to the side, we can see the shoulder line is also fitting quite smoothly but then we see the offending back neckline which is standing up and away from the body. This gaping at the back neckline is created because the garment does not have enough shape to accommodate the transition between the back neckline and the back shoulder blade area. This garment is crying out for a back neck dart! To create the dart, pinch out the excess length along the neckline, don't worry, the fabric will tell you where the dart needs to go. Ahhh, that feels better! Doesn't it? Now the back neckline fits nice and smoothly and follows the shape of the body perfectly! Now, perhaps you're thinking "What! A neck dart? This isn't the 60's!" I know, we haven't seen this for a while, but if you take a look at higher end designer clothing, you will find they are putting this dart back in, and consider how often you are satisfied with the fit of lower end ready to wear-the truth is, we need some kind of fitting in this area. This fitting can be in the form of a neck dart, a shoulder dart, or ease in the back shoulder seam but no matter what there needs to be something here to allow for the curve of your upper back. I am going to keep the neck dart exactly where it is, because I don't mind the appearance of a neckline dart. However, you can transfer this dart to the shoulder seam if you prefer and depending on the volume of the dart, you could also transfer it to ease at the back shoulder seam. I have a dart volume of 5/8" and there is already 1/4" ease at the back shoulder seam of the pattern so it will be too much to ease in for this garment. Pattern Corrections for Back Neck Gaping Once you've determined the dart volume, length, and position on the garment, mark it on the muslin, and transfer the information to the pattern. I used some tracing paper to transfer the dart to the pattern. All you need to do to finish the pattern correction is add the "roof" on the dart. To do this, fold the dart out with the dart volume folded toward the CB, redraw the back neckline seam so that it is a nice smooth rounded shape, transfer this new neckline to the dart volume ( I used tracing paper again). If you like the 5/8" seam allowance at the neckline, you'll need to add some tissue behind the dart to accommodate the roof of the dart on the seam allowance. An there you have it! All done and back neckline fitting is corrected. We can move on to the next problem-any guess as to what that will be? For a hint, you can check out this post.