The Sewing Place

It seems I have a very short waist...

Emerion

It seems I have a very short waist...
« on: November 21, 2020, 13:53:45 PM »
I’m working up to buying my first dress pattern, and have been following my sewing book’s instructions on how to measure myself and pick the right pattern type.  Hubby has measured my back waist and says it’s 14”, much to my consternation, because my book says this measurement is important, but the patterns in the example only have teen or junior patterns with a 14” back waist, and the rest of me definitely does not fit any of the bust/waist/hip measurements in those patterns! The nearest one to me is a half-size pattern, but the back waist to go with my other measurements would be 15.5”. Is this the one to go for? Can you work round such a big difference as a beginner? Are some pattern makers better for shorties like me?
Machine: Singer 99K 1954
Ability: Plenty of room for improvement

Flobear

Re: It seems I have a very short waist...
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2020, 13:59:22 PM »
My neck-waist length is about 1.25 ins longer than standard patterns but it's not too difficult to make an adjustment. The pattern shows you where to do it. It depends on the style as to how well it would work. I presume you are happy that your length has been measured correctly. Have you investigated 'petite' sized patterns?
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Emerion

Re: It seems I have a very short waist...
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2020, 14:34:18 PM »
I haven’t seen a petite one, thanks for suggesting them.
Machine: Singer 99K 1954
Ability: Plenty of room for improvement

dolcevita

Re: It seems I have a very short waist...
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2020, 14:41:26 PM »
It's worth checking whether you have what's called a sway back. This is when you are standing, you tend to push your bottom outwards a little. This makes your lower back curve more than normal and shortens the back waist measurement. I always have to do a sway back adjustment, generally taking about 3cm from the back length. The other measurements are a case of grading between sizes.

Efemera

Re: It seems I have a very short waist...
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2020, 15:15:14 PM »
If you’re buying a dress pattern then go by your upper bust measurement not your full bust. A garment hangs from the shoulders and neck so that’s the important bit... everything else can be altered.

UttaRetch

Re: It seems I have a very short waist...
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2020, 17:21:12 PM »
@Emerion: welcome to the short-waisted club.  I have a high waist and a back length that is approximately the same as yours.  Most patterns for women have a back length of approximately 40 to 43cm.  For you and me, shortening the bodice will be a necessary adjustment.  Do not get distracted by talk of a swayback adjustment this will not alter the length of the bodice as it is designed to take out excess, typically pooling or rippling.  I made a dressing gown which had no provision to shorten the bodice and the waistline sits almost on my hip bones.
What goes around comes around.

BrendaP

Re: It seems I have a very short waist...
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2020, 00:25:49 AM »
I have the opposite problem; I am long waisted.  Sometimes a RTW dress with a waist seam will have that seam at lower rib level on me, though on (big 4) pattern measurements it's not that much.

Taking the time to properly assess your figure and to make a fitting shell is worth doing.  Once you know where, and by how much you deviate from standard it can become routine to alter the pattern. 
Brenda.  My machines are: Corona, a 1953 Singer 201K-3, Caroline, a 1940 Singer 201K-3, Thirza, 1949 Singer 221K, Azilia, 1957 Singer 201K-MK2 and Vera, a Husqvarna 350 SewEasy about 20 years old. Also Bernina 1150 overlocker and Elna 444 Coverstitcher.
http://paternoster.orpheusweb.co.

Goth Gardiner

Re: It seems I have a very short waist...
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2020, 12:03:23 PM »
I would be inclined to find a simple dress pattern for a woven fabric and try making it up in cheap fabric - an old sheet would do. That's what we call a toille. You can the. See how it fits in real life and play around with it until it fits. You then have a idea of the kind of alterations you will probably always need to make.

I would fi d something with a waistline, set in sleeves and a reasonably high neck.

We will offer advice and cheer you on until you get the perfect fit.
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sewingj

Re: It seems I have a very short waist...
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2020, 13:05:39 PM »
I think I`m right in saying that Big Four patterns usually have a line marked which shows you where to cut to either lengthen (by adding a bit in) or shortening (by overlapping) the length of the bodice .   I don`t know if the newer indie patterns are so helpful
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UttaRetch

Re: It seems I have a very short waist...
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2020, 13:55:04 PM »
The majority of the 'big4' do have adjustment lines, but by no means all.  The nightmare dressing gown pattern had none and I have seen reviews where people warned about here being no shorten/lengthen provision.
What goes around comes around.

BrendaP

Re: It seems I have a very short waist...
« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2020, 14:20:31 PM »
@UttaRetch  Unless there is something very unusual about the pattern the normal place to lengthen/shorten the waist length of a bodice is about half way between the waist and the bust point, and should be at the same level for the back and the front.  If that line goes across a dart then the dart needs to be redrawn - with the same point and end positions, just smooth out the stitching line.
Brenda.  My machines are: Corona, a 1953 Singer 201K-3, Caroline, a 1940 Singer 201K-3, Thirza, 1949 Singer 221K, Azilia, 1957 Singer 201K-MK2 and Vera, a Husqvarna 350 SewEasy about 20 years old. Also Bernina 1150 overlocker and Elna 444 Coverstitcher.
http://paternoster.orpheusweb.co.

UttaRetch

Re: It seems I have a very short waist...
« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2020, 18:13:41 PM »
Thanks.  I select my patterns for minimum adjustment and the bodice length is as far as I go.  The bust dart on the dressing gown pattern was the latest that I had ever seen and I don't know where it would have ended up after shortening the bodice by the requisite amount.
What goes around comes around.

BrendaP

Re: It seems I have a very short waist...
« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2020, 23:57:52 PM »
The bust dart on the dressing gown pattern was the latest that I had ever seen and I don't know where it would have ended up after shortening the bodice by the requisite amount.

Assuming that 'latest' is a autocorrect for 'lowest' . 
Interesting.  Maybe they assume that a dressing gown will be worn without a bra and so the bust will hang lower!
Brenda.  My machines are: Corona, a 1953 Singer 201K-3, Caroline, a 1940 Singer 201K-3, Thirza, 1949 Singer 221K, Azilia, 1957 Singer 201K-MK2 and Vera, a Husqvarna 350 SewEasy about 20 years old. Also Bernina 1150 overlocker and Elna 444 Coverstitcher.
http://paternoster.orpheusweb.co.

UttaRetch

Re: It seems I have a very short waist...
« Reply #13 on: November 23, 2020, 08:02:39 AM »
Doh, I actually meant largest.  It really is enormous.
What goes around comes around.

BrendaP

Re: It seems I have a very short waist...
« Reply #14 on: November 23, 2020, 09:22:16 AM »
@UttaRetch   Ah largest!

If you have a very full bust two smaller darts are likely better than one very big one - usually one from armscye and one from the waist.  That may have been part of the reason why you weren't happy with the finished item.
Brenda.  My machines are: Corona, a 1953 Singer 201K-3, Caroline, a 1940 Singer 201K-3, Thirza, 1949 Singer 221K, Azilia, 1957 Singer 201K-MK2 and Vera, a Husqvarna 350 SewEasy about 20 years old. Also Bernina 1150 overlocker and Elna 444 Coverstitcher.
http://paternoster.orpheusweb.co.