Bust fitting in sewing

Discussion in 'The Powder Room' started by AllaboutEve, Jul 17, 2010.

  1. AllaboutEve

    AllaboutEve Practically Family

    Messages:
    924
    I am just wondering how the larger busted ladies here get on with fitting during dressmaking and if you have any tips to share.

    I've spent the better part of a week struggling to fit the bodice of my pattern (I'm very out of practice and don't have a dress form or anyone around to help my pin-fit my muslin)

    Anyway the problems I am finding are that despite a FBA and taking in for narrow shoulders I am still in the valley of "armhole gape".

    It really is a trial and I'm not at all sure what to do next to fix it?
     
  2. lareine

    lareine A-List Customer

    Messages:
    309
    Location:
    New Zealand
    How are you doing your FBA? If you get armhole gape then I suspect you aren't doing it in the best way. To me, the best way is to follow the instructions in the book 'Fit for Real People'. If you don't have this already, add it to your library!

    You should also hop over to the Pattern Review website. They have lots of threads there on FBAs and the various methods and results.

    I have to do an FBA on just about every pattern, even the ones with cup sizes, so I know how difficult this can be...
     
  3. kamikat

    kamikat Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,794
    Location:
    Maryland
    Can you post pics of your gap? How to fix it depends greatly on where it is and what direction the folds of the gap are pointing, ect.
     
  4. AllaboutEve

    AllaboutEve Practically Family

    Messages:
    924
    Thanks ladies for your replies.

    I am using "Fit for real people" at the moment Lareine, but it doesn't seem to have an answer for my particular problem as far as I can see. I agree it is a tremendous book though!
    I will check out the pattern review site as I hadn't even thought of that so thankyou!

    Kamikat - I will try to get some pics posted today so that you can see what you think.

    Thanks again!
     
  5. GoddessMama

    GoddessMama One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    102
    Location:
    AZ
    Ok its been a couple years since I have altered for this but try this,

    1. Release the pattern seams from mid-shoulder to the armhole notch.
    2. Take in the shoulder seam and armhole as needed to decrease the width, tapering the orrigional seamline to the armhole notch.
    3. Shortening the garment shoulder would be achieved by lapping the sleave over the shoulder and down the arm hole as needed.

    For the bust you will want to give the garment more shape and length. I would do this part first then adjust the shoulders.

    1. Slash across the front of the pattern to give it more length.
    2. Release the pattern side seam from the armhole notch or just above the waist dart.
    3. Let out the side seam and waist seams.
    4. Let out the side seams from the armhole to waist to increase the width.
    5. lower the garment waistline
    6. Increase the underarm and waist darts to restore seam length and give more shaping.
     
  6. AllaboutEve

    AllaboutEve Practically Family

    Messages:
    924
    I have finally got around to uploading a pic of this for you to see!
    The shoulders need to be narrowed and other fine tuning but it's the armhole gape that is putting me right off at the moment.
    The centre front matches up fine too so I'm not sure that another FBA would be the right way to go?

    [​IMG]

    Thanks for your advice too Goddessmama I will have a look at your suggestions too, I'm reading them through to try and make sure I understand first :)

    Oh and I just saw that there is a sewing lessons FAQ thread on here, that I couldn't find when I searched so if the moderators want to merge this in then I'm fine with that, thanks!
     
  7. kamikat

    kamikat Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,794
    Location:
    Maryland
    If you make your side seam dart deeper, that should eliminate that fold. It will make your front side a little short when sewn to your back, so be sure to add the same amount that you deepen the dart to the length towards the bottom. It's also possible that a sloping shoulder adjustment might help, but without a head on pic, I'm not sure you have actual sloping shoulders. Will your finished garment have shoulder pads? If so, you need to put shoulder pad under the seam allowance at the shoulder edge.
     
  8. Lady Day

    Lady Day I'll Lock Up Bartender

    Messages:
    9,083
    Location:
    Crummy town, USA
    Did you think about repositioning the dart? Looks like you have a narrow upper bust and might benefit if the dart were higher? Or a french dart might work as well.

    LD
     
  9. AllaboutEve

    AllaboutEve Practically Family

    Messages:
    924
    Thanks for the suggestions Kami and LD I think that I will try both, by raising the dart and making it deeper. If I move it up do I still need to angle it towards the bust apex?
    Making a french dart is also a great idea as I'm guessing that it would lie flatter too?
    I do have a narrow upper bust and shoulders so it's definitely been tricky.
    I have already altered for the shoulders so I think that I have done as much as I can in that department.
    The finished dress is sleeveless so I don't have the option of pulling it up with shoulder pads but I will definitley remember that for future projects.

    You are both wonderful with your words of wisdom, I'm so glad that I asked!

    Thank you ladies!

    I will have a go at moving the dart tomorrow and will let you know my progress.
     

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