Puckering bum?

Well I didn't know what else to call this, so feel free to fill me in on the actual issue name :) Another alteration question (I really need to learn more about what is and isn't commonplace alterable *sigh*). Please pardon the bed head ^^

Ok! I bought this pretty sheathe with a long exposed zipper, and at the end it puffs up and creates a very unbecoming pucker, all sticking out and whatnot. I tried to show it in #2-4, not sure how well you can see it though. Is the zipper too long? My bum sitting too high, or too much or the-far-less-likely not enough? I'm curious what causes it and if it's alterable because I see this all the time with dresses, honestly both with and without the long zippers; I always figured it was a darting issue due to swayback, but this dress is seamed very nicely and shouldn't otherwise need darts. I think, but hey what do I know! Would love to hear if anyone knows if this is an alterable issue or if I have to send the dress back. Thank you!

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • viva replied 5 years ago

    I hope the seamstresses among us will answer. This drives me crazy too, and I don't have your lovely shape. I think it's a construction issue. (Beautiful dress, BTW.)

  • rae replied 5 years ago

    I have this sometimes, too, and if I remember I think I was told it is from having more junk in the trunk than the designer had in mind. I didn't investigate further re: alterations; I'll be watching with interest to see if the forum can provide answers. It is a really pretty dress on you!

  • Suz replied 5 years ago

    I don't have the answer, but that is a GORGEOUS dress and you look absolutely stunning in it. I so hope it can be altered. 

    I wonder if the zipper is too long for your torso? That's my first thought. Does the dress come in petite? 

  • rachylou replied 5 years ago

    Hmm. I'm interested to know the answer.

  • catgirl replied 5 years ago

    Wow what a dress! I think this happens when the zipper buckles or pulls the fabric into buckling because it hits a curve. I have had this too, without a booty curve. Curious!

  • KMRW replied 5 years ago

    That is a beautiful dress and I don't think the fix is difficult. it has to do with a sway back. Those folds are extra fabric that need to go into darts. You might be able to take in another 2 darts. I have a similar figure at the back and always need darts.

  • replied 5 years ago

    I'm afraid no amount of altering the darts will fix it as it's to do with pattern depth at centre back waist. Here's a link to a web page explaining it a little : http://buzzybeesworld.blogspot.....lysis.html. I always adjust my patterns before cutting fabric as ther'es often no going back. A seam put across the back can fix when desperate, but it's not an ideal fix as the bottom of the zip has to come out and the horizontal seam has to taper to nothing at the side seam.

  • replied 5 years ago

    You could try releasing the darts/seams a little. You never know. But if it feels big enough around your bottom then my first reply stands I'm afraid.

  • rachylou replied 5 years ago

    Oh wow, Diane. Great info/link. It's an engineering doc in fabric(!)

  • Beth Ann replied 5 years ago

    Rachylou!  Hah!  You're right of course, sewing is engineering of a sort!
    Diane, I've linked the blog and pinned the page!

    Aida:  I so feel you here.  As my midriff has grown a bit with my age, I have this problem less than I did.  I would wear it about the house a bit.  If it stretches even a tiny bit about the side, it might release the back a bit.

    What a gorgeous dress!

  • lyn* replied 5 years ago

    Can I pipe in to say that this dress is gorgeous? :) And it reminds me of Kate Middleton's recent dress in blue and white.

  • K. Period. replied 5 years ago

    Seriously, what would we do without Diane and why can't we clone her so that we all have one in our hometown for alterations?  

    Aida, so bummed as I love this dress too.  

  • Jeanie replied 5 years ago

    Wow!  Gorgeous dress.  You do black and white well.

    Diane, I am fascinated by your comprehensive explanation on your blog!   No wonder the clothes are so hard to get right for us short waisted folks.

  • Peri replied 5 years ago

    Wow that's gorgeous! I wish it could be fixed...I'm sad for you. I often have that problem with skirts. But I'm long waisted, not short. I guess I need to go read Diane's link!

  • Aida replied 5 years ago

    Thanks for all the input!

    Diane, WOW that was an incredibly enlightening read thank you so much!! I have all those problems you listed all the time, dang -_- I was standing in a way to really pronounce the effect for the photos, but it's still there. I'm not sure I want to put a seam across the print right there, it would be too noticeable don't you think? The dress fits on the looser end of tailored all around (I could probably wear a size smaller but it'd be quite fitted), so perhaps loosening the back seams would add enough ease. Is this something a very very skilled tailor needs to do? It sounds so complicated! I bought the dress at Nordstrom, so I could take it back to them and ask their tailor (which I haven't done before). Or I could take it to the tailor my husband sees (also for swayback issues) who is very good, though I certainly haven't done anything this complex before.

  • pil replied 5 years ago

    Beautiful dress, Aida. It will be interesting to see what the tailors have to say. Diane, your knowledge is so impressive - my eyes basically glazed over while reading the blog you linked to. And I even sew some, but apparently not as much as I thought :)

  • Sveta replied 5 years ago

    This is one gorgeous dress and I hope you can make it work, Aida. I would take it to Nordies tailor because i think they will reimburse you if the tailoring goes wrong, no?
    Fingers crossed it will work for you!

  • Golden replied 5 years ago

    I love that dress.  I hope it can be altered too, it is adorable on you!

  • shevia replied 5 years ago

    Gorgeous dress. Related sort of - my back does this too and I have been working to slightly tuck under to straighten my lower spine- I used to get a bit of lower back pain after walking long distances and this has really helped.

  • Kiwichik replied 5 years ago

    Wasn't quite sure what to expect when I viewed this post. I'm crossing my fingers that you can make this work as from the front that dress looks beautiful on you.

  • Aida replied 5 years ago

    Thanks ladies, I will take the dress to Nordies and see if it's something they can help with; if not, I can return it. I really hope they can alter it, but after reading Diane's very awesome and in-depth post I don't have high hopes :(

    Shevia, improved posture will improve this a bit, but no matter how much I tuck my pelvis I'm going to have a pretty wicked curve there ;) I do try to walk as well-postured as I can, though I certainly slouch a ton at my desk at work all day.

    KC, yaaaah I was worried the title might be a bit offputting ^^

  • SandyG replied 5 years ago

    Is it possible to replace the zipper with one that's shorter? As a petite, I've had successful alterations with zipper replacements.

  • Aida replied 5 years ago

    Now that is an interesting question, and I am really not sure what the answer is. I'll bring it up when I take it in to get the alteration, and in the meantime I'll ask my tailor if that's something he could possibly do just in case. That was actually my first thought, that the zipper needed to be a few inches shorter.

  • MsLuna replied 5 years ago

    I can see what you mean about the pucker! As someone who sews, when something puckers/pulls, it usually means that the dress is too small and needs to be let out. I'm not sure what expert seamstresses would say, but that's my diagnosis. I get this as well - I have a pronounced swayback and a bit of a juicy booty (heh). Usually when this happen, the dress never comes home with me!


    AIDA THAT DRESS IS LOVELY ON YOU! :) Seriously though, puckering aside, you look amazing in that dress!

  • replied 5 years ago

    Aida, I hope Nordies tailors can do this for you. Looking more closely at the pictures, I can see that the pattern is quite dense in the midsection so a seam across at waist level may hide quite well. I can even see some vague bubbling above your waist so I think doing the alteration as mentioned in the blog link would fix it no probs. The zip would need to be unpicked from waist to bottom of zip and sewn back after the seam is done. The seam must taper off to nothing at the sides though. How about printing off the link to show them what you mean?

    BTW, a couple of the replies above spoke as if you thought I'd written the blog... sadly not :), but it is a great explanation of something I may not have been able to get across as fully in words :) No time for blogwriting for me... too snowed under with sewing.

  • carolbee replied 5 years ago

    Bwahhhh, I hope it is fixable because this is STUNNING on you.

  • Suz replied 5 years ago

    I hope they can make it work, Aida. It's possible that if the dress fabric has some stretch to it, the shortened zipper might be enough. But Diane is the real expert here and I would listen to her. 

  • Mo replied 5 years ago

    I trust the seamstresses to have the inside scoop.  I have, relatedly, shortened a zipper on side zip skirts that do this around the curve of my hip.  These were stretchy fabric, though, so it could form up against my shape once the zipper was moved out of the way.

  • Diana replied 5 years ago

    This is so interesting.  Can you please post the results of your alteration attempt, Aida?  I have this problem a lot; in my case, it's a combo of big booty and short, relatively narrower waist, so there's often excess fabric both width and length wise in the waist area.  I think because zippers are stiff they tend to make that extra fabric pooch out rather than lying flatter against your body.  No idea how to fix it though!

  • columbine(erin) replied 5 years ago

    I wondered too if putting in a shorter zipper would work. The shape and pattern of the dress is so pretty on you it's hard to let go! I hope you can get it fixed. 

  • lyn67 replied 5 years ago

    LOL Aida, I wouldn't give a penny for altering it, I would be more than pleased with a puckering bum:-))(said the woman with a plain flat rear:-)). BTW, gorgeous dress!!!!:-)

  • replied 5 years ago

    Piping in again to say .. would you get the dress on and off if the zip was shortened? It may make it difficult to get over hips and booty . Depends on how much and it may not fix the problem.

  • Aida replied 5 years ago

    Thanks so much for all the help here ladies!! I should clarify that when I say "pucker" it's not actually pulling or small, it's more like what Diana describes in that that the zipper puffs up in back and gives me more volume there than I've already got ;) I'm hoping I'll have time this weekend to pop into Nordies and see what they can do.

    Diana, YES short and narrow waist with a extra booty sounds like me too. This is a perpetual problem with dresses >< In this case, the waist width is correct and actually sits at my waist for once! The zipper bias is definitely stiff.

    Diane, yes the pattern is quite dense there so the seam could work and honestly if that's the only solution I think I would be OK with it. Since the dress is a more loosely tailored fit, getting in and out should still work with a shorter but not excessively short zipper. I like the idea of taking a printout of the blog post with me, I'll definitely do that.

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