Today, the WWD Christmas Elves bring you…. the Cross Front Hem T-Shirt! This is a modern, simple tee with a cute little bottom hem detail that makes it look like a tulip cross over. The shirt sews up super easily and can be used as your own pajamas paired with the Parisian Nights PJ Pants or used as a stylish every day shirt. And guess what, today is the day I bring you a tutorial!
Do you know what a swayback is? A swayback is a forward curvature of the spine in the lower back, usually accompanied by the hips tilting forward and pushing the lower belly out. It also can be caused (or exaggerated) by a perky booty – a Kardashian booty! For garment sewing/fitting, this results in fabric pooling at the lower back (and for me, at least, making my torso sometimes look twice as large). So, we need to somehow take out this extra fabric to let the garment pull in towards the curve. There’s a nice post about this at Curvy Sewing Collective, but I’ve never had great success with it, and another that I stumbled upon talking about rotating the shoulder slope towards the center back which pulls the neckline up. Both are options, but sometimes a quick and dirty adjustment is what works best (and lets you increase even after completing your garment).
I have a number of pictures documenting how I created my adjustment, but the explanation should be fairly simple. This pattern has the back bodice cut on the fold – so instead I cut straight up the fold line, adding seam allowance. This creates two back pieces, but to start with I sewed them up completely straight. Once the shirt was constructed, before hemming, I checked to see how much and where I needed to “lose” fabric.
As you can see, there’s a good amount of pooling at my back, just below the half way point of the shirt. I put the shirt on inside out and had my husband help me pinch the fabric at the largest point of my curve, right on the center seam, so you can see how much I need to take out and clipped it. We estimated that 2″ would bring it right along my back. Then I took the shirt off and laid it out flat and straight on my mat.
Next, I used some tailors chalk and drew a curve along the seam. It ends up looking like an exaggerated side/hip curve. I used this line as my new “edge” and ran it through my serger following this curve. I wish I had saved the piece it cut off and taken a picture, but I think you can get the idea. (After trying it on and starting to take some pictures, I realized I could actually straighten the top of the curve a bit to reduce some gaping still happening. Along with my swayback my entire back curves in to my spine so that may be a “just me” problem. After doing that, the top curve is very gradual and the bottom half is exactly the same.)
And here is what the final shirt looks like! The fit is so much better, but still keeps the slightly loose fit that it was designed for. By the way, you can make this adjustment to your pattern piece, I will for future makes. I made the adjustments after sewing this time because it was a first time make so I didn’t know how much I would need for this specific shirt and wanted to be able to pinch that excess to find the best placement. If you know where a shirt lands for you because you’ve made it before, you could go straight ahead and alter the pattern piece.
Do you have any guesses for what tomorrow could bring?
Links/Patterns in this post
WWD Cross Front Tee
WWD Parisian Nights PJ Pants
CSC Swayback Adjustment
PSC Swayback Adjustment
Christmas Elves Day 1 – Kids Pajamas
*As always, there are some affiliate links sprinkled throughout my post in an effort to one day turn my hobby into something that could be self sustainable.