Monday, 12 March 2012

S'way Back in the Gym Slip

A bit of construction detail of the gym slip -  big bum alteration.

Ever since since I was a young teenager I have known that my bum sticks out. Recently I have discovered that my bum doesn't stick out but that my back sways! I have sway back - considerably I may add.
Don McCunn

However a different name does not reduce the fact that my bum sticks out. The gym slip dress otherwise known as Vogue 1121 is fitted and therefore highlights the body shape from all angles - why I choose this design is now a complete mystery to me, I blame it on the alter-ego  - but while I was at it I made some pattern adjustments to minimise the bad look from the side and attempted a sway back alteration.

I found great solace in the following sites: Miss PIsa and Sherri. Thank you so much.

For those of you who are unaware of sway back let me explain - fabric tends to wrinkle and gather at the waist at the back; skirt waistbands have a horizontal pleat at the back; long T-shirts or jumpers 'settle' themselves on top of the bum creating more wrinkles. One then goes for big and baggy to cover the backside which in turn adds inches and inches to the perceived girth - better to face it, live with it and even celebrate it - J-Lo does!

This pattern has a centre back zip but no darts and is in one piece. I could have added darts but thought this would detract from the overall design so went for the alteration at the centre seam. 

I originally cut out as per the pattern but luckily had enough fabric left over to re-cut the two back panels for the sway back adjustment. I made a folded dart in the pattern piece just below the waist, about 1" at the centre tapering to nothing. You can see above how much this one little dart distorts the pattern. Underneath it is the first cutting. The straight of grain has shifted considerably.

Such a dart then creates an uneven hemline, so I added the same amount at the bottom to straighten things out. Re-cut and sewed. Inserted the lapped zip (next post) and took in a little bit more at the waist in the side seams. I'll use the old back pieces for the belt - so not too much wasted.

It's not perfect - I could have taken a smidgeon more out but the back is relatively smooth in comparison first fitting. The dress now really contours my shape and I'm not sure I'm comfortable with that yet.

Shoulders back, head up and tummy in girls!

Thanks for reading. Ruth


  1. You are the hottest thing going right now. Girls are actually having plastic surgery in order to have a bum that sticks out even more!! Now did you ever think your sway back would set you apart as being one of the hottest trends going?

    1. No honestly? People PAY for this!!! Unbelievable.

  2. Love that you did this! It's almost the exact same alteration I have to do. It makes such a difference in the way your clothes look, and once you get it done, you don't have that horrible look where the back of your blouse or jacket catches and hikes up over the top of your butt and emphasizes the size... LOL
    Whether you realize it or not, this gives you much more of the desired hourglass shape! Enjoy your sewing, and remember, Don McCunn says all bodies are unique and beautiful!

    1. Well, I'll go with the unique part. thanks for the encouragement

  3. The thing what you have in the back is "the beauty of S curve".

  4. Nice job! Beautiful curves! Better than a flat back and no bum I say ;)