This looks like a confusing alteration, but it’s not – I promise.
Let’s walk through the problem and then the solution becomes very clear.
First a swayback problem is most manifested by a set of wrinkles around the waist area in back only.
Something like this. The normal thought is to take up the waist – a little dart type thingie – like this:
This looks totally logical and really fairly straightforward.
But this alteration actually creates way more work for this wrinkle problem and it doesn’t really solve the problem.
So what is the problem?
What is actually going on here is easy to see, if you pull down the skirt, top, jacket over the hip area till the waist is smooth, you can clearly see or feel that the garment is too tight right below the waist. When this happens the garment will want to seek an area that it fits or that is smaller, and the waist area is smaller than the hip area.
So here’s a different way of thinking of this, as if the area just below the sway back. Think about it this way, your back curves in more at your waist than normal, and that causes the hip area to be much larger than the size of the waist – proportionally speaking. So you fit the bodice, waist, and then poof, everything goes wrong just below the waist (although the wrinkles appear at the waist).
NOTE: For today’s great waist profile, I like to start this alteration a bit above the waist. This will make the actually thinnest part of the garment silhouette just above the waist. If you’ve been on this site a lot, you’ll notice I do this a lot. I do it mostly because it makes a very pleasing silhouette line from the waist to the hip; it’s a sure-fire way to avoid a muffin-top silhouette; and it avoids this sway back wrinkle. So when you make this alteration, start releasing the seam a bit above the waist – about ½” to 1″ above the waist (depending upon how tall you are).
So because that hip is larger (proportionally speaking), you have to release those seams. Here’s the kicker, often this is so easy. In addition, all this requires is usually a tiny amount in the seam to lay flatly along the waist and not ride up from the hip to the waist.
And there’s another benefit: you won’t have the hem level problem that you will definitely have it you make a tuck in the waist. All in all, this is much simpler, it can be done on RTW and it doesn’t require a hem re-leveling. Here’s a little video – if a picture is 1,000 words, then a video must be 1,000 pictures or 1,000,000 words!!!!