A sewing blog about building a functional, cohesive handmade wardrobe, one garment at a time.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

High round back adjustment

If you have been reading this blog at all lately, you'll know that I've recently become enamored of a new fitting technique: the high round back adjustment. I've written a photo tutorial for the adjustment, and you can find it over on the Oliver + S blog today.

Learning about this adjustment was a lightning moment for me. I'd been using forward shoulder adjustments only for years, and was wondering why they were not working to keep my tops from sliding backwards. As it turns out, though my shoulders are hunched forward a bit, my upper back is also rounded, which means that I need extra length there.

I've been doing the high round back adjustment in tandem with a forward shoulder adjustment for the past two months, and it really has helped me with the backslide problem. I haven't completely fixed the issue yet, though, so I need to play with slanting my forward shoulder adjustment a bit (i.e. adjusting different amounts at the outer and inner shoulder), but my clothes already fit so much better.

Here are some of the recent tops that I've used the combination of adjustments on.



Seeing what a difference the high round back adjustment has made for me, has invigorated my sewing. I honestly didn't think I would ever figure out this fitting problem, and now that I'm making strides, I just want to sew everything.

If you think this adjustment might work for you, check out my tutorial

As always, thanks for reading, and see you next time!


  1. In my latest (unblogged) make I did a 1/4” forward shoulder adjustment and wondered about the high round back. I think I’ll give it a shot!! I have the issue with tops sliding backwards too.

  2. H There I think one of the issues might be that the forward shoulder adjustment you are doing is purely cosmetic, i.e. it is only shifting where the shoulder seam is visually and doesn't appear to be changing anything structurally in the pattern.
    With the high round back you're demonstrating here - is there a curve to the CB seam, otherwise I can't see how the pattern sits flat without having a dart in the neckline? Susan

    1. Can you explain more what you mean about it being cosmetic vs. structural? If you shift the shoulder seam forward, including the sleeve and how it attaches, how is that just visual?

  3. Hi Susan! Yes, the high round back adjustment does create a center back seam. Though I have also done it and just added a neck dart. As far as forward shoulder, I don't know. Just following the Palmer Pletsch instructions for the adjustment, which is a pretty common one. Maybe it is just cosmetic which could be the reason why it doesn't work for me on its own. I do prefer my shoulder seams to be in the right place, though, so there's something to be said for cosmetic changes as well.

  4. Yes!! This is something I want to try on my button down tops. The drag doesn't seem to affect me as much on loose knit tops, but definitely wovens ...


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