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The Queen of Sew
Correcting A "Choking" Neckline

By Shirley Cunningham, For the Fit of It

(The Queen of Sew is a fictional character created by Shirley Cunningham. She calls upon the Court Fitter  to provide answers to her sewing problems. If you would like the court fitter to address your particular sewing or fitting problem, contact For the Fit of It.)


As I mature, T-shirts, blouses and casual shirts all seem to be "choking" me lately....I am forever pulling them down in the front. As a result, the front hem is appearing higher. Any help would be greatly appreciated.  Linda in Arizona


Dear Linda in Arizona,

Nothing can be done to correct those garments or ready-to-wear that already exists, but in the future the problem can be solved when you sew your casual wear. The problem of "choking" is a result of the necessity for a longer back armhole and a shorter front armhole. The FOR THE FIT OF IT pattern altering system will give you the exact personal amounts of change necessary for correcting this problem so these suggested amounts are just that, suggestions.

To correct for a forward shoulder thrust, cut from the ARMHOLE through the CENTER BACK, ADD 6/8 inch in length to the pattern. To complete the alteration, cut from the ARMHOLE through to the CENTER FRONT and SHORTEN 6/8 inch. To correct the sleeve, CUT from FRONT to BACK across the cap. OPEN the BACK CAP 6/8 inch and OVER-LAP the FRONT CAP, 6/8 inch.

To correct the unlevel hem (shorter front as you described)

Measure from the FRONT SHOULDER TO THE FLOOR directly over the crown of the bust. Turn the tape around. Measure from the SHOULDER TO THE FLOOR in the back directly over the shoulder blade. Compare the two measurements. Cut from the SIDE to the CENTER FRONT of the pattern. ADD the DIFFERENCE between the two measurements to the FRONT .

Determine the location of your bust down from the shoulder. DRAW a dart whose center line points to this location. The depth (take-up) of the dart will EQUAL at the front side seam the amount added.

Thanks for your question.

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