In my browsing, I came across this method of making a swayback alteration. I took the same pattern (with four inches of ease) I used for the lavender camp shirt and followed the directions in Design-It- Yourself Clothes for the tunic. I made the pattern with the swayback alteration and discovered that three inches is too much. Sure, it takes away the excess fabric, but the armholes now are too tight on the back and bottom with too much ease on at the shoulder; the sides pull as if there is no ease; the back is tight across the shoulders; and the front neckline is at least an inch higher than where it was cut to be, making the front hem shorter than the back hem. I think the back is somehow pulling the front out of alignment, but I can't figure out what to do.
Because I don't like to waste fabric, I pinched and tucked and manipulated and got a shirt that is wearable. I machine embroidered it so that it looks less like a sheet. The sleeves are too tight, even though I thought I made them with two inches of ease. This is also the first time I tried to sew pin tucks. That didn't work out so well, either. Yeah, I did a lot of learning on this shirt.
After I made this shirt, I found the directions in Pattern Fitting with Confidence that produce the same result, but the process is simpler. I used this process to make a one inch adjustment on my t-shirts. I don't know that it really makes a difference in how the shirts look, but for patterned fabric, I can't put in a horizontal dart and to put in vertical darts, I would need to add ease to the width, so I don't know what to do.
The first time I wore this shirt, I thought I was staying at home, but people ended up coming over before I could change. Two separate people complimented me on the shirt and one of them asked if I lost weight, so I guess it looks better to non-sewers than it does to me.
I think three inches is too much for this alteration. Maybe one inch would be better and the rest of the excess fabric could be taken care of with another alteration? When I used only one inch on the t-shirts, it didn't seem to make a difference. I really don't know where to go from here. On to more experiments...