Tag Archives: full bust adjustment

Full-bust adjustment on Sewaholic Belcarra Blouse

The Sewaholic line of patterns is specifically designed to fit and flatter pear-shaped woman.

I am pretty much the opposite of a pear-shaped woman.

My bust is my largest measurement, then my hips, with my waist not much smaller.

But the great results a variety of women are getting from the Belcarra Blouse pattern looked too good to resist, so I jumped in the fray.

Then came the pattern adjustments.

I started by making a muslin of the pattern as it was. It seemed to fit everywhere but the bust. Here is the result, after some slashing to accommodate my figure:

I marked my bust point, then made slashes typical of full-bust adjustments, so I could see how much room to add.

I marked my bust point, then made slashes typical of full-bust adjustments, so I could see how much room to add.

Obviously, I had work to do on the pattern. I made a typical full-bust adjustment, so the front bodice pattern looked like this:

Here you can see the full bust adjustment. Width is added across the bust, length is added to the center front, and a dart is added to the side.

For a typical full bust adjustment, width is added across the bust, length is added to the center front, and a dart is added to the side.

After trying that on, I realized that the bust point needed to be raised. I guess this is pretty common. The way the full-bust adjustment is done ends up creating a dart that does NOT point toward the apex of the bust. You often have to move it, but it’s impossible to know exactly how much to move it until you’ve done the adjustment. From this pattern alteration, I cut a new front bodice piece and replaced the slashed one.

As you can see, the muslin fits Gene much better, but the bust dart needed to be adjusted and the hips are way too wide.

As you can see, the muslin fits Gene much better. However, the bust dart needed to be adjusted and the hips are way too wide. I have them pinned in an inch on each side, for a total of four inches.

To accommodate these changes, I altered the pattern again.

Here, I raised the bust point, then narrowed the hips. I almost made them straight but settled on a gentle curve.

Here, I raised the bust point, then narrowed the hips. I almost made them straight but settled on a gentle curve.

Now, I think I’m ready to cut out my fashion fabric.

Taking a simple blouse pattern made for a pear and altering it for an apple is a lot of effort, but I think it’s going to be worth it. I had forgotten how nicely raglan sleeves sit on my shoulders, and this is a quick basic pattern. Once I have this pattern perfected, I can sew up a bunch of these basic tops. I’m hoping they will make a good substitute for the cheap knit tops I always buy at Target.

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Progress on the Paris muslin

The Paris wearable muslin has turned into quite a project unto itself. I was mainly concerned with the fit of the bodice because I had made some crazy alterations to the pattern I was not at all sure would work. But they seemed to do what I wanted them to do.

The front:

Here is the original muslin. You can see the gap at the front edges, which means the center fronts are even further apart. And I keep the waist set at smaller than my own waist, otherwise waistbands that fit me won't fit it.

The original muslin. See the gap at the front edges? The center fronts are even further apart.

The renovated front looks good! The only issue is the stiffness of the quilt-weight fabric.

The renovated front looks good! The only issue is the stiffness of the quilt-weight fabric.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I did not even attempt to match the pattern across the front. That would have been crazy, particularly for an experiment.

The back:

The back fit me just fine.

The back fit me just fine except for being too short. My dress form can’t expand to my back length.

The back is unchanged except I made it an inch longer. My dress form doesn't expand enough for my back length, so it looks too long here.

The back is unchanged except I made it an inch longer. It looks too long here, but isn’t on me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The side:

The side view shows that it rides up in front because it needs more length.

The side view shows that it rides up in front because it needs more length.

Aha! The waist seam is horizontal. This is good. If you look closely enough to see the dart I put in, you'll note that it's pretty low. That's because my dress form has unnaturally high "girls." Really, she looks sort of deformed with them up that high.

Aha! The waist seam is horizontal, and the length is just where it needs to be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once I was sure the changes to the bodice were working, I altered the front skirt pattern and went to cut out the rest of the pattern pieces. I had enough fabric according to the pattern requirements, but I hadn’t used the suggested pattern layout because I just cut out the bodice pieces at first. Turns out, the front facing wouldn’t fit. I could have cut it cross grain and pieced it, but this fabric is directional. One of the pattern views shows a contrasting collar and front facing, so some white sateen that was in my stash is currently in the dryer.

Here is my mood board for the wearable muslin:

Here's the mood board for my Paris muslin: the crazy fabric, plus buttons and a slide buckle, all from my stash. You can see why I decided on red thread. The buttons were sewn to the card with red thread, and I thought the look would be perfect on my crazy Paris muslin.

There’s the Paris fabric, plus buttons and a buckle, all from my stash. The only purchase I had to make for this muslin was red thread.

I think the white accents will really pop on the fabric and calm it all down. You can see why I decided on red thread. The buttons were sewn to the card with red thread, and I thought the look would be perfect. This is an awful lot of effort for a wearable muslin, but it looks like it’s working. It should be really nice once I make it in the pretty teal and navy lawn. If I don’t run out of inspiration before I get there!

Adventures in full-bust adjustments

Well, surprise, surprise. I wasn’t sure how to handle the full-bust adjustment on Butterick 5846. The front and back bodice pieces gather into yokes at the top and pleat into the waist, like so:

There's a lot happening on the front bodice of this pattern.

There’s a lot happening on the front bodice of this pattern, so I wasn’t sure how to handle a full-bust adjustment. You can’t tell from the drawing, but the front and back yokes are separate pieces, so there is a seam at the top of the shoulder.

With the structure of the pattern being what it is, I didn’t even hazard a guess about what to do and instead went straight to sewing a muslin of the bodice. The results were surprising.

First, the back and neckline fit fine. The side seams are right where they should be, and I could pin the center fronts together at the top. Then things became wonky. The center fronts spread wider and wider from neckline to waist until they were four inches apart at the bottom.

Wait, shouldn’t the gap only be at the bustline, not the front waist, too?

It seems that I don’t need just a full-bust adjustment; my front torso from bust to waist is a size bigger than my back torso! How weird is that? I needed four more inches across the front width but not at the neck or the shoulders. Well, with the gathers and stitched pleats, I just added 2 inches in width from the top to the bottom of the bodice piece, in the space between the pleats. I also added 2 inches in length above the pleats to lower the bust point, and took out that two inches at the side seam with a dart. I also added one inch of overall length to the front and back bodice pieces. The pattern pieces now look like this:

There is an awful lot of slashing and spreading going on here.

There is an awful lot of slashing and spreading going on here. Both of these pieces gather into top yoke pieces that fit fine.

Of course, now I’ll need to add four inches across the skirt front. But not the back. This is all pretty dicey pattern engineering, to say the least, so I am not cutting my nice teal and navy cotton lawn quite yet. I have 4 yards of a bright and gaudy Paris-themed quilt fabric in my stash (purchased for a work event, long story), so I’m going to sew it up in that and see if my adjustments work out.

I told you it was bright and gaudy.

My “wearable” muslin fabric. I told you it was bright and gaudy.

After all that, I am hoping it will be clear to me how to fine-tune any problems. It will also give me a chance to see how bad the gathered sleeves might look on me. I have some off-white buttons in my stash, but I want red thread for sewing them on and for the topstitching, not that it will stand out much on this print. I’ll be heading to Jo-Ann’s in the morning. I just pulled the fabric from the dryer, so I’ll cut it out tomorrow while the boys are in Oakland watching the Giants play the A’s. Maybe I’ll get a crazy but wearable Paris-themed dress out of this experiment. I don’t know what else I would have ever done with that fabric.

If cutting up the Paris fabric means the teal and navy lawn ends up as a well-fitting dress, the Paris fabric will not have died in vain.

Bust issue resolved!

I’ve been altering the Sencha blouse pattern from Colette Patterns, and my first attempt was off. I tried to eliminate the riding-up of the front. I eyeballed it at one inch and altered the pattern accordingly.

Oops.

I pinned the pattern together and it was still riding up. This time I measured using something besides my eyeball, and it actually was riding up one inch. Which means it was originally riding up two inches.

So, where I added one inch in length at the bust point, I added another inch. The excess at the side was taken out with a dart.

Here is the result:

Does this hemline look even to you? Yes? Me, too!

I’m happy to have this issue resolved. Because of the sleeve construction, the side dart is not level. It points up. I hope this isn’t an issue, because I’m going straight to cutting the silk next.

From everything I’ve read, this will be easier if I layer the silk fabric on top of tissue paper and cut both out at once. Time to pull the Christmas wrapping supplies out from under the bed.