Author Topic: Shirt collar symmetry with asymmetrical shoulders and neck?  (Read 1202 times)

NigelW

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Shirt collar symmetry with asymmetrical shoulders and neck?
« on: January 24, 2020, 08:21:22 PM »
I have made around eight shirts for myself now and evolved a pattern initially from copying an existing shirt and then using a draft I found on this site's predecessor.  Using these as starting points I tweaked the draft after making each shirt to improve the fit to reflect better my body shape.  I am pretty happy with my latest shirt except for the collar, which is not symmetrical.

I have a low right shoulder.  Not only is the arm end of the shoulder lower than the left side but the neck end is too.  Furthermore my neck is wider on the right side than the left so that the line of symmetry of the neck is further to the right than that of the head and torso.  Having adjusted the body of the shirt to take account of these asymmetries I find that the collar does not sit well; on the left side the collar comes down from a higher point over a shorter distance than on the right to reach the centre line of the chin.  Consequently the edge of the collar running to the point is rotated up while that on the right is rotated down.  The effect is quite pronounced.  Off-the-peg shirts, while not fitting properly on the shoulders, don't suffer from this problem to anything like the same extent.

I have thought of two possible solutions (other than adjusting the body):  The first is to cut the collar in an asymmetrical way with different angles on the left and the right.  The other is to adjust the collar stand, either by just making it higher at the front on both sides (the less the collar has to drop from the shoulder the less the effect will be) or by building up the right more than the left, or both.  I don't much like the first option as I feel it will be too obvious, especially if a striped material is used.  I should perhaps add that I have a slightly stooping posture too so my collars tend to look a bit low.

Any suggestions would be gratefully received.

peterle

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Re: Shirt collar symmetry with asymmetrical shoulders and neck?
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2020, 10:04:23 PM »
Could you post some pics? It would be easier to get an impression.

How did you alter the low shoulder/neck area? For how much did you lower the shoulder? Did you widen the the neckhole on the right side? does the collar cling to one side of the neck and stands away on the other?
 I know a lot of questions, but itīs necessary to know.

NigelW

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Re: Shirt collar symmetry with asymmetrical shoulders and neck?
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2020, 12:27:26 AM »


Here are some images.  With the collar unbuttoned the asymmetrical effect especially noticeable (all images are taken in the mirror, so left and right are reversed):





Looking again at the fit it seems there is a crease at left side back neck when the collar is buttoned



Here is the top of the front of the pattern.  Both left side and right side are shown,  The tip of the pencil indicates where the right front point is (in other words i have tried to adjust for the symmetry of the neck as well as the low shoulder).


peterle

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Re: Shirt collar symmetry with asymmetrical shoulders and neck?
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2020, 03:32:01 AM »
The first thing I see are severe pulling folds beginning at the neck point running to the second and third button. This indicates shortness. I also see a crease at the collar seam runnig to the back.
I think the neckhole is the problem, not the collar. You first should get the neckhole right by fitting.
I also think you did the lowering wrong. This shirt has a front yoke seam that is shifted forward from the true shoulder line. It seems you did the alteration at the yoke seam and not at the true shoulder line. Look up in your pattern instructions how much the yoke seam is shifted (about 3-4cm?), draw in the true shoulder line and do the shoulder alterations at the true shoulder line (back and front).

NigelW

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Re: Shirt collar symmetry with asymmetrical shoulders and neck?
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2020, 04:25:13 AM »
Thanks for this.  I see what you mean about the pull.  I have been having trouble with vertical balance on a number of garments I have been making.  Looks like I need a longer front to allow the yoke to sit further back.  I had adjusted the back and the front for the low shoulder.

peterle

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Re: Shirt collar symmetry with asymmetrical shoulders and neck?
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2020, 07:09:06 AM »
Ok. But the folds donīt look to be a balance problem, itīs more a neckline issue. When you did the alteration at the yoke seam instead of the true shoulder seam, all the shortening just happened at the front and thus it would be too short. Maybe you should use the slash and pivot method to lower the shoulder. It will also alter the neck hole accordingly but keeps the neck hole as wide and deep as necessary. I think wīve had a thread with a pic recently covering this method.

NigelW

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Re: Shirt collar symmetry with asymmetrical shoulders and neck?
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2020, 07:54:47 AM »
Looking back at my notes I see that I made a direct measurement of the back from neck to waist then shortened the front by two inches compared to the draft instructions to allow for my stooped posture.  I then based my low shoulder adjustment on the cut and rotate method for both front and back.   The reason why I suspect that the two inch reduction of the front was excessive is that in a subsequent draft which I made for a coat, whose muslin I have had checked out by a tutor at my tailoring class, I only needed a front shortening of between 1 1/4" and 1 1/2".  The pattern for the shirt draft shows that the front yoke is 3cm down from the shoulder line and the back yoke is 5cm down whereas, as you rightly point out, in mine the yoke is much further forward.  I can see that if the yoke is shifted backwards the neckline will need to be adjusted too.

NigelW

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Re: Shirt collar symmetry with asymmetrical shoulders and neck?
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2020, 09:06:28 PM »
Your suggestion that I should look at where the yoke is in relation to the true shoulder line is proving most helpful (it now seems so obvious that I wonder why I didn't think of it!).  I have now tried on a shirt made from an earlier draft in which I had made no adjustment for the length of the front or back.  On this one the front yoke seam barely comes below the shoulder and the collars are not right either.  My first priority I think should be to get the body and neckline of the shirt correct, as you say.  Following this the collar may well sort itself out.

peterle

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Re: Shirt collar symmetry with asymmetrical shoulders and neck?
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2020, 09:13:00 PM »
Yes, only a good neckhole grants a good collar.

BTW: are You sure your collar is symmetrical? I count 7stripes at the right collar wing but 8stripes on the left.

Just to be sure we īr talking about the same slash and pivot, here is an illustration (thanks Posaune!):




Greger

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Re: Shirt collar symmetry with asymmetrical shoulders and neck?
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2020, 04:25:37 PM »
That is a nice drawing, Posaune.

NigelW

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Re: Shirt collar symmetry with asymmetrical shoulders and neck?
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2020, 07:02:23 PM »
Thank you for the comments and the advice on the importance of getting the neck right first.  You are right that the collar as cut does not seem to be symmetrical either!

The cut and rotate method in the illustration differs from the one I used; it places the centre of rotation on the neckline whereas I placed mine lower down, where the chest line meets the centre line.  I should also add that I used the cut and rotate process to get my first draft, but then tweaked it a bit to try to get the shoulders and neck in the right place (without fully succeeding clearly).

peterle

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Re: Shirt collar symmetry with asymmetrical shoulders and neck?
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2020, 09:27:41 PM »
Ok, I see. Now I know what causes these strange pulling folds. With a pivot point that deep you will get a kink in your center lines. You obviousely straighted it then by cutting away the "bulge".  Thus the diagonal gets too short and causes the pull lines.
Best would be You start tweaking with a fresh drawn block pattern, wich means no sewing allowances,  no front overlap and no yoke but the true shoulder line.

Schneiderfrei

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Re: Shirt collar symmetry with asymmetrical shoulders and neck?
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2020, 11:54:22 PM »
In the example of the adjustment that Posaune shows, peterle does the new form get a longer front scye?

NigelW

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Re: Shirt collar symmetry with asymmetrical shoulders and neck?
« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2020, 02:32:58 AM »
Ok, I see. Now I know what causes these strange pulling folds. With a pivot point that deep you will get a kink in your center lines. You obviousely straighted it then by cutting away the "bulge".  Thus the diagonal gets too short and causes the pull lines.
Best would be You start tweaking with a fresh drawn block pattern, wich means no sewing allowances,  no front overlap and no yoke but the true shoulder line.

This makes a lot of sense! 

Since doing my shirt drafts I developed a waistcoat draft which took me many iterations to get right (I have made it in muslin form only so far, which my tutor has critiqued).  The original draft from the pattern is in pencil, the final left side is in blue and the right in red (dashed lines represent later adjustments).  The draft is from an old pattern with an angled shoulder seam.

The key adjustments compared to the standard draft are the curving of the upper back seam (something you can't really do on a shirt except by use of pleats and curving of the yoke seam I guess), the shortening of the front compared to the back and the low shoulder adjustment.  The way the low shoulder adjustment has turned out in practice seems to be a hybrid of the the two cut and rotate methods; the back has a high centre of rotation as it moves the end of the shoulder vertically downwards whereas the front has a lower centre of rotation which moves the shoulder and neck point more horizontal than vertically (which makes sense given that my neck is not central).  The King-Smith book on fitting talks about different three different types of low shoulder, each with its own solution.


peterle

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Re: Shirt collar symmetry with asymmetrical shoulders and neck?
« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2020, 02:41:56 AM »
Schneiderfrei with this method you can choose:
Keep the new armhole as is and redraw the side seam to the new point; this makes the right chest a bit smaller.

Elongate the armhole line to the old side seam; makes the chest also a bit smaller but makes the armhole larger and keeps the chestwidth more or less the same. Downside:armhole gets longer (front and back add up)and probably the sleeve pattern must be adapted.

Most elegant because no unwanted impacts: make another slash perpendicular to the first one aiming to the outer shoulder point, wich is also the second pivot point. Thus you can shift the armhole parallely downwards (the first slash will overlap, the second will gape). Thus you also lower the neckhole and shoulder line but keep the sideseam, the chestwidth and the armhole the same.