Sometimes medical conditions are not diagnosed by a doctor, but by a dressmaker. I had a young woman come to me at the last minute to make her a prom dress and it was nice to see her after several years. She has grown into a lovely young woman, tallish, but most of all with a “straight” spine. She is one of my special young women; I “diagnosed” her scoliosis while making a dress for her years ago. There are three more young women in this group. Scoliosis is a sideways curvature of the spine that occurs most often during the growth spurt in pre-teen and teen years.
I encountered the first one almost 20 years ago when she was a teen. I was making a gown for her that had a fitted bodice. When I pinned the center back seam closed I noticed it was twisted into an “S” shape. I unpinned and re-pinned the dress and the twisting would not go away. I had her mother take a look at it and we noticed one of her shoulders was higher than the other. Her mother took her to the doctor for an exam and it was determined that she had scoliosis. Her treatment included a brace.
A few years later when making a dress for another teen, I knew instantly that she had scoliosis when I pinned her center back seam. I told her mother that she needed to take her daughter to the doctor to have her spine checked. I saw them both recently and the mother still remembers that fitting after all these years. She still can’t believe a dress fitting would discover a problem like that. Her daughter had to have surgery and a brace.
The other two young ladies just had to be monitored during their growing years. The best thing is that their conditions were detected early while they were very young teens.
So, if you are ever making a dress for someone and the center back seam twists, a visit to the doctor may be in order.