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Forum > Fitting Woes > Petite alterations for bust and shoulders ( Moderated by CarolynGM, Deepika)

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Petite alterations for bust and shoulders
Petite Fit
sewnotwork
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sewnotwork
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Member since 7/19/11
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Date: 10/17/11 0:37 AM

Although very simple pattern, did a muslin for Simplicity 2995. Cut a 10 for the upper body grading to a 12 at the waist. I'm shaped like a rectangle. I wear a 32c bra. Upper chest 32 1/2, 33 bust, waist 28 (on a good day) and 34 1/2 hips, lower hip 35.

Shoulders are too wide. and I think the armscye is too long. Also the neckline is low and wide. I'm short, barely 5' 1". Also the darts are about a half an inch lower than at my bust.

Any suggestions as to how to make this work? I have always stuck with dresses that have a bodice with thin straps because of this. Also since most patterns have are geared for a "B" cup. Do I need to make a bust adjustment when I actually probably could wear a 34B, but the fit is better with 32C

Help Please!

helen in oz
helen in oz
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Date: 10/17/11 6:11 AM

If the bust dart is too low and the armscye is too low, sounds like you need a standard petite adjustment at the armscye notches. However, if the the neckline is also too low, you might be able to do a three-in-one by lifting the whole thing at the shoulders (sewing a deeper shoulder seam). You may need to lift the front more than the back or vice versa.

Regarding the shoulders and neckline being too wide - it might be that you need a smaller size in the neck and shoulders than you used, then do a small FBA for the chest.


-- Edited on 10/17/11 6:14 AM --

jenleeC
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jenleeC  Friend of PR
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In reply to sewnotwork


Date: 10/17/11 7:02 AM

Did you use the petite alterations on the pattern? At 5'1" these would help with your fit.

I am 5'2" and similarly sized to you, just a little more hourglass/pear shaped - 34/25/35. I am also 32B/C and have never needed to do a bust adjustment. Your fit issues sound like the same ones I face. I think you need to do two things: firstly, shorten your pattern by about 1/2" between the bust point and shoulder using the petite adjustment line. This should lift your dart, neckline and armscye. As suggested by Helen, you could also lift the shoulder by sewing a deeper shoulder seam.

Then for the neckline width, see what would happen if you took 1" out on the centre front line. For your muslin, just sew a centre front seam straight down the middle to test this alteration. Alternatively you might be better just cutting a size 8 for the upper body. I commonly cut an 8 for myself even though my measurements would suggest a size 10. I find this gives me a much better fit around the shoulders, armhole and neckline.

As a petite, it is really worth understanding how ease is added to patterns. You will find that the same amount of ease is added for a size 8 as for a size 14. For example, a pattern may have 3" ease at the bust line for all sizes. This means that a size 8 will be relatively bigger than a size 14. As a petite, I find I cannot carry as much ease as a taller person and yet patterns are drafted just the opposite. Cutting a smaller size can help a lot.

I don't know if Simplicity patterns have improved, but I gave up on them a long time ago as they always made up way too big for me. I know some sewers here love them and find the fit suits them well, but they never suited my petite frame.

Sorry this is such a long post, but your fit issues were such a close match to my own that I thought I should share. I hope this information will be of some use to you.
-- Edited on 10/17/11 7:43 AM --

------
Jenny, Perth, WA

sewnotwork
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sewnotwork
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Date: 10/17/11 9:51 AM

Thanks for the replies. I do use the petite alteration lines but most patterns just have the adjustment at about the waist and not one that goes between bust and shoulders. I do have a book that shows it so will give it a try.

Maybe I will cut an 8 for neck, shoulders and armscye. When you do that do you have trouble with the bust fitting?

sewnotwork
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sewnotwork
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In reply to jenleeC


Date: 10/17/11 9:55 AM

Quote: jenleeC

I don't know if Simplicity patterns have improved, but I gave up on them a long time ago as they always made up way too big for me. I know some sewers here love them and find the fit suits them well, but they never suited my petite frame.




What pattern line do you prefer? Do you find you have to do an FBA when you cut an 8?
sewnotwork
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sewnotwork
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In reply to jenleeC


Date: 10/17/11 9:55 AM





[/quote]
What pattern line do you prefer? Do you find you have to do an FBA when you cut an 8?
-- Edited on 10/17/11 9:58 AM --
-- Edited on 10/17/11 10:05 AM --

solosmocker
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In reply to sewnotwork


Date: 10/17/11 10:10 PM

I am five feet tall and must "petite" every pattern. I take out length in the bodice between the shoulder and bust apex on every garment. I also usually scale down any garment details, like pockets, collars, by a 1/4 inch or sew. I also FBA up to a C on every pattern. I have a tute on my blog on how to "petite" a pattern. It took me many years to figure this out but now I do these changes automatically right out of the envelope. It's made a huge difference. Here' s that link: Petiting a Pattern

As far as pattern lines, among the Big Four, I do the exact same changes to all of them and have never noticed a difference in how one differs from the other in fit. I've been doing this a long time, too. I'm always amazed when some say Simplicity runs big or Vogue runs small or whatever. I personally have found no difference and do the same changes to all of them. HTHs.
-- Edited on 10/17/11 10:12 PM --

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http://lasewist.blogspot.com/

sewnotwork
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sewnotwork
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In reply to solosmocker


Date: 10/17/11 11:43 PM

Thanks for the reply, I took at your blog and instructions are really clear. I'll definitely do that. How would you adjust for the narrow shoulders/back?

jenleeC
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jenleeC  Friend of PR
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In reply to sewnotwork


Date: 10/18/11 0:27 AM

Quote: gedaste
[/quote]
What pattern line do you prefer? Do you find you have to do an FBA when you cut an 8?

I sew predominantly Vogue patterns but this is just because I find myself drawn to the styles not because the fit is any better for a petite. When I sew I am usually looking for something a bit unique with some special detailing or designer element and the vogue line seem to deliver in this area better than the other lines. The Burda patterns also look good but I find their website such a pain it puts me off! I am also sewing a few McCalls patterns these days as my two girls (11 & 14) like the more fashion forward patterns offered by McCalls.

As far as FBA adjustments go, I have never needed to do one, but then I really am quite small in the bust. I would only be regarded as a B cup. I tend to chose a size 10 pattern for fitted garments but go down to an 8 for less fitted dresses and shirts. Unless you are a very full C cup I would think you would be fine without a FBA, even in a size 8. I guess this is one area you will have to experiment with and find out what works best for you.

Do post a review and some pics of your final dress!


-- Edited on 10/18/11 8:37 AM --

------
Jenny, Perth, WA

sewnotwork
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sewnotwork
Advanced Beginner
Colorado USA
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Posts: 82
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In reply to jenleeC


Date: 10/18/11 1:21 PM

Quote: jenleeC

Do post a review and some pics of your final dress!


I will... I am using an embroidered sheer fabric that I have been told is pina fabric (made out of pineapple fibers) from the Philippines. It will be an overlay over a silk sleeveless dress. Thanks again!
-- Edited on 10/18/11 1:22 PM --
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