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Back Waist Draglines Corrections – Adding a Center Back Seam

Back draglines often occur due to the curvature of the spine or the roundness of the shoulder blades. Natural body lines may be deceiving and could result in fabric excess along the back waist area of your patterns. There are several options for fixing this problem. This one is a great correction in combination with adding back darts, as seen in the previous post. Did you know that we can reduce the back waist draglines by adding a shaped center-back seam?

Before going into this correction, always check if the pattern is balanced. So often, the back armhole is too low compared to the front armhole, which should be checked before you make this correction. That can actually fix a big part of this issue as a starting point. To review pattern balancing, here are the videos about balanced tops and balanced coats and jackets.

1. Pin horizontally the amount needed at the back waist area to eliminate the back draglines as much as possible.
2. Mark the pattern in the location you pinned at the waist.
3. Close that amount on the pattern.
4. Add a slight curvature to the CB seam by bumping out the shoulder area about 1/4” and going back to zero at the neckline. Smooth out the CB seam for a nice curve at the waist too.
5. Then, rebalance the side seams by laying the front pattern piece on top of the back piece and taking the middle point between them. That middle point will be the new side seam for both the front and the back pattern pieces.
6. You may need to add back to the CB length at the hem, depending on the curvature of the spine.

Again, always check that armhole depth-first between front and back bodices to make sure they’re balanced!

This information and more can be found in The Fitting Book. Order your book today through the link below.

Learn the 3-Step
Fitting Process:

  • A) Identify the Fitting Issue.
  • B) Pin, Cut, & Tape the Fitting Sample.
  • C) Correct the Sewing Pattern.


  • This Fitting Book Includes:
  • ~ Tops ~
  • ~ Pants ~
  • ~ Skirts/Dresses ~
  • ~ My Secret in Diagonal Draglines ~

It’s Time to Sew Clothes You Love that Fit.