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Low shoulder, thick back and flat chest?


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#1 Nigel

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 08:14 PM

I am trying to understand my own body type and posture, both as an exercise which should help in all future projects regardless of who the garment is being made for, and to improve the fit of clothes I am making for myself (shirts, waistcoats and now experimental coats).

 

My low right shoulder is quite pronounced and I adjusted for it successfully in my last project but I am struggling a bit with other aspects of balance.  I don't think I am either over-erect or stooping yet I seem to have characteristics pointing both ways.  My attempt at making a waistcoat resulted in surplus fabric in the upper chest, as did my first attempt at coat making (the latter I adjusted by taking out a dart in the lapel area which improved things but did not completely solve the problem).   I thought this, together with my rather pronounced calves and thighs, might being pointing to an over-erect posture.  However, I also noticed (in the same recent experimental coat project) the phenomenon - shown in Fig 14 of King Wilson excellent little volume on fitting (attached) - where the collar sits back a little from the neck when the coat is buttoned, which suggests a stooping posture.

 

Reading King Watson more carefully, I see he talks of a flat chest as being an alternative explanation to over erect posture for the surplus fabric there and a thick back as an alternative explanation for a stooping figure for the slight shortness in the back.  Could this be my answer: that I have a normal posture but with a thick back and flat chest?

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Edited by Nigel, 16 November 2017 - 10:32 PM.


#2 SINNED

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 08:32 PM

Hello Nigel, I don't always have time to contribute due to work, so not sure I can reply to any further correspondence but if you want a professional cutter to help you, then you will have to post some photos of the problem as your descriptions may be misleading. For the time being, if I can remember King Wilson's work from years ago, look first at the major balances vertical and lateral and then the minor balances (his term). You need to work through in the order he suggests with a process of elimination. You have to think 3D. Good luck. 



#3 Terri

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 10:05 PM

It is rare for people to have a simple posture issue, such as stooping or erect stance.
You can be stooping and have a low shoulder, stooping with a full belly area wide rounded back and normal stance and protruding blades.

Taking some photos does help identify the issues.
Taking balance measurements on each side of the body, use a tape set at the waist and take the photos with the waist tape on the body.

I agree, you have to think in 3D
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#4 peterle

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 02:35 AM

I think we only can help when we see photos.

 

Stooping or overerrect can be verified with balance measurements. Same for a wide back or a belly figure. (Take auxilary measures to compare).

 

The characteristics you mentioned (empty chest, protruding calves and thighs) sound familiar to me. I had the same issues and the solution was a forward hip posture. This is the case when your shoulderblades and your buttocks do not touch the same vertical line.



#5 Simontam

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 07:24 AM

From modern customer

 

 Could this be my answer: that I have a normal posture but with a thick back and flat chest?

To me, all client's posture is always normal, it is the garment that I made, might have some fitting issues.  

In layman term, the centre of gravity of the garment as depicted in the diagram you earlier displayed seems not synchronise with the client's figure. In other words, if we assume that the coat is hanged on the client's left and right shoulder as its pivot points, the garment had a tendency of swing away from his hip.  A perfectly fitted garment's centre of gravity should tally with the client figure's centre of gravity as far as possible.  Otherwise, the situation could not be rectified by simply buttoning up the base of the coat, as it would swing away at the neck area, this is called seesaw effect. 


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#6 Der Zuschneider

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 01:25 PM

Back depth too short. Hard to fix.


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#7 Nigel

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 06:53 PM

Thank you for all your helpful replies.  When I have some decent photos I will post them.

 

I appreciate that this is not the place for coat making topics and I don't want to waste anyone's time, but I am keen to learn and mistakes are helpful, but only if you can understand why you made them and how to avoid them next time.  My experimental coat is certainly wearable, looks quite smart and holds pretty well to the body when un-buttoned.  The flaws only really show themselves when I try to button it.  

 

Having now read King Watson's book, one of the key mistakes I made was to focus on one question of balance to the exclusion of all others, namely the low right shoulder.  I should first have established the front-back balance, then what he calls the lateral balance namely the positioning of the neck point in relation to the front edge and so on.

 

Rather than trying to correct my coat with my imperfect knowledge I think my next step should be to try to make a waistcoat which fits.  If I can achieve this, I will feel more confident to go back to coat making.  


Edited by Nigel, 17 November 2017 - 06:53 PM.


#8 Schneiderfrei

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 09:24 PM

You know one of the most useful things I did was to fit a couple of waistcoats,  Since the ease is much less on a waistcoat there is equally much less tolerance for fitting , the errors are more obvious.  Then you just plant those changes into a shirt or a coat draft. It helps. :)


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#9 greger

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Posted 18 November 2017 - 04:27 AM

If your hips are swayed forward you will probably need to move the front edge at waist level and lower forward. The side seams need some adjustments in that direction. And even the back gets adjusted. These lines need to follow the body.

Lower shoulder usually start on the opposite side of the neck. 



#10 Nigel

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Posted 18 November 2017 - 08:41 PM

I finally have some photos.  As I say, I am not asking for help here as I don't want to waste anyone's time.  I am just trying to understand my errors.  

 

This is the front, unbuttoned.  I am quite pleased with the low shoulder adjustment although I did not solve the problem of making the lapel look symmetrical (I adjusted the right side collar by eye) .  Folds can be seen between the first and second button but they are not too distracting.

 

23559903_10155225079598473_2510404290695

 

Buttoned on the middle button only it's a different story - the folds are very prominent.  My analysis is that the neck point should have been quite a bit closer to the front edge, as in a coat for a stooped figure.

 

23561459_10155225079608473_9596127207837

 

The side view shows the vertical folds in the front.  I am quite pleased with the fall of the sleeve at the front but there is something not quite right about how it hangs at the back, as the next picture shows.

 

23561403_10155225079693473_4807104284752

 

The back.  I think there are several problems.  First the right shoulder adjustment is not sufficient which gives rise to folds at in the bottom of the right arm seam and the yellow line clearly slopes down too much on the right.  It may also be a little too wide here?  I might be able to improve this if I take the right shoulder seam in a little at the back, subject to it not causing the shoulders to become too tight at the back.   Second I believe that the back is a little too short as the yellow line pulls up over the shoulder blades.  This style of jacket is intended to be close fitting at the shoulder but I think it may be a little too close and that the top of the back seam could have benefitted with being opened up a little  If it were not for the plaid, which I was trying to keep symmetrical, I could have added a little to the back seam on the right side at the top as part of the low shoulder adjustment.  The folds on the undersleeve on the left arm don't seem right but I am not sure what is causing this.

 

23622099_10155225079603473_7726277358913


Edited by Nigel, 18 November 2017 - 11:15 PM.

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#11 posaune

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 01:54 AM

hi Nigel

I think you diagnosed it very well.

if your look at your first pic you can note that the front split like this   /\ . if buttoned up the surplus length in front bunches up. The back shows a bit less length than needed. The armhole does not match the sleeve or vice versa in back.

The sleeves are (in my opinion) a bit short.

You have a very deep right shoulder - I would work here with 2 shoulderpads to camouflage this a bit.

For beginners it may be better not to take a checkered fabric. It needs special attention with the cut.  look at button's placement -

the stripes are runing in front to the neckpoint. (Makes you look small at shoulder girth).

lg

posaune


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#12 Nigel

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Posted 19 November 2017 - 04:24 AM

Thanks for the feedback.  

 

After I had attached the canvas I tried to introduce a dart under the lapel to reduce some of the excess fabric there but it was not that successful.  

 

The extra shoulder padding on the low side is an idea I will try with my nest coat attempt.

 

I enjoyed working with the plaid and I found it helpful in some respects because the lines acted as a kind of grid which I could use to see what was going on, but I realise it was probably not wise for a first project!

 

I normally like to show a bit of shirt cuff beyond the end of the sleeve, hence the length, which is about the same as my best off the peg jacket which came from Huntsman in Savile Row.  This jacket is beautifully made as my benchmark for craftsmanship!

 

Nigel



#13 Nigel

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 09:27 PM

Before I tried making any coats or had had any tailoring lessons I had made a waistcoat.  This was a poor fit (similar problems to the coat, I now realise) but at the time I did not have the critical apparatus to understand what was going on and how to correct it.  I have now started work on amending my original waistcoat draft in the light of the fitting errors the coat has thrown up and have made up a muslin.  I have raised the back a little, moved the neck points inwards, paid closer attention to the low right shoulder adjustment and added some extra to the front edge.  It's not good enough yet but the improvement is tremendous, which encourages me to think I am on the right lines.


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#14 peterle

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 07:18 AM

Am I right when I think you used a vintage patttern with veeery crooked shoulders? It also seems to have the old kind of shoulder seam (wich runs towards the back)?

 

These kind of patterns need a tremendous amount of ironwork to fit properly, especially to get the rounded front edge short enough. Maybe that´s also a cause for the fitting issues.

 

And for the plaids (nice window pane fabric btw): The grid, as you call it, indeed makes it easier to see what´s going on, but also in the finished garment. It´s a shame but plaid material pronounces assymetries.


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#15 Nigel

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Posted 24 November 2017 - 08:34 PM

Am I right when I think you used a vintage patttern with veeery crooked shoulders? It also seems to have the old kind of shoulder seam (wich runs towards the back)?

 

These kind of patterns need a tremendous amount of ironwork to fit properly, especially to get the rounded front edge short enough. Maybe that´s also a cause for the fitting issues.

 

And for the plaids (nice window pane fabric btw): The grid, as you call it, indeed makes it easier to see what´s going on, but also in the finished garment. It´s a shame but plaid material pronounces assymetries.

 

 

Thank you for your comments.  You are correct about the pattern - I drafted it from my copy of Poole's book, which dates from the 1920s.  I quite like it and I think I prefer it to the exaggerated padded shoulder look of my Huntsman jacket.  Plaids and low shoulder in a design with minimal shoulder padding are not a happy combination I now realise! 


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