Shirts/tops with curved back

NOTE! Please read “IMPORTANT to read before adapting shirts/tops” to decide what type of back suits you best. Also note that these instructions can be followed for SHIRTS and other hooded or collared TOPS.

You will need a shirt or other top (slightly looser fit) for this as well as a copy of the original curved back jacket pattern in matching size from the pattern part of Fashionfreaks.

Regular button-down dress shirt viewed from front and back plus pattern piece (fig. 1).’

Regular button-down dress shirt viewed from front and back plus pattern piece

 

Sewing the tucks in the back piece

Use the pattern piece as a guide and measure down from under the arm (bottom point of sleeve hole) to the approximate point where the first back tuck should begin. Mark this point with a pin on both sides (fig. 2).

Use the pattern piece as a guide, measure and mark out the approximate point for the first tuck

Unpick the side seams of the shirt up to the marked point on both sides (fig. 3).

Unpick the side seams of the shirt up to the marked point on both sides

Fold the now unpicked back part of the shirt up flat and straight at the height of the approximate center of the FIRST tuck. Pin along the line (fig. 4).

Fold the back part of the shirt up at the height of center line of first tuck and pin in place

Use the pattern piece as a guide and mark the length and depth of the tuck along the fold you just pinned in place. See close up of marked tuck in bottom image (fig. 5).

Mark the length and depth of the tuck along the fold

Sew and press tucks flat. Illustration below to the left of sewn and pressed tuck from inside and on right side from outside of shirt  (fig. 6).

Sew and press tucks flat

Use the pattern piece as guide and in the same manner fold the shirt up flat and straight to the approximate center height of the SECOND tuck. Pin along the line (fig. 7).

Fold the back piece of shirt up to the height of the second tuck. Pin in place

Use the pattern piece as a guide and mark the length and depth of the tuck along the fold as you did for the first tuck (fig. 8).

Mark the length and depth of the tuck along the fold

Sew and press tucks flat (fig. 9).

Sew and press tucks flat

 

Adapting the length of the front piece

 

You will now see that the side seams of the shirt are not equal and the front piece hangs down longer (fig. 10).

The tucks make the back piece shorter than the front piece of the shirt

 

The solution to this (if you do not wish to simply leave it) are to re-cut the front hem either rounded (following the line of the original shirt) or straight (fig. 11).

Re-cutting the hem on front piece - either curved or straight

 

Whether you decide to cut rounded or straight you need to mark your desired hem line on the inside of the shirt. Then add 2 cm seam allowance and cut away the excess fabric (fig. 12 and 13).

Mark your desired hem line and add 2 cm seam allowance before cutting off excess fabric

Cut new hem line with seam allowance - curved and straight alternative

 

Double fold the seam allowance up. Pin, sew the hem and press (fig. 14 and 15).

Double fold hem, pin in place and sew hem

New hem on front pierce of shirt - curved and straight alternative

 

Sew side seams together

You can chose to sew together the side seams all the way down for completely closed side (fig. 16a). Or if you want a little bit more flexibility in the shirt you can sew them half way closed. This option requires you to hem the sides seams at the bottom instead (fig. 16b).

Side seams sewn completely closed

 

Side seams sewn half way down - note hem sewn at bottom part of side seams

 

Example of shirt with rounded front with the seams sewn completely closed and half way (fig. 17a).

Example of shirt with rounded front with the seams sewn completely closed and half way

Example of shirt with straight front with side seams sewn completely closed and half way (fig. 17b).

Example of shirt with straight front with side seams sewn completely closed and half way

Finished example of the shirt with round front (fig. 18a).

Finished example of the shirt with round front

 

Finished example of the shirt with straight front (fig. 18b).

Finished example of the shirt with straight front

 

Finished example showing shirt before and after making the curved back (fig. 19).

Finished example showing shirt before and after making the curved back

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