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Up a size or turbo-charge FBA?
choosing right size bodice pattern
piakdy
piakdy
Advanced Beginner
UNITED KINGDOM
Member since 8/6/11
Posts: 28
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Date: 7/8/12 5:30 PM

Hello all you fitting experts!

I'm making a bodice sloper from the B4's fitting shell pattern, and I'm wondering if I'm using the right size or not.

My chest is 32-1/2″, bust 34″, under bust 29″. I'm B-cup in bra size but a size 12 A-cup according to Vogue & McCall's instruction. In more recent projects, I've had problems with drag lines that look as if I needed a fuller bust than the patterns allowed.

So this time I'm following FFRP's instruction and working with a size 10 and a D-cup front. I think I might be one of those weird B-cup wearers with full rib cage who needs the bust room of a bigger cup, as mentioned in FFRP p141.

This combination definitely fits better. But the neck opening seems a bit large and at chest height the armhole feels a bit binding in both front and back - as if there's too much fabric.

I vaguely recall someone saying that bone structure and frame don't change with age. I used to be a size 8. I'm now wondering if I should have used a size 8 fitting shell instead and alter to accommodate an aging body.

What do you think? Have you gone up in sizes or have you stuck to your old size and adjust where needed?

JTink
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JTink
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In reply to piakdy <<


Date: 7/8/12 6:43 PM

I've gone up in size as I've aged. Everything shifted. Can you post some pictures of your shell? It's easier to figure out things, if we can see what's actually happening. I can't imagine doing an FBA for a D cup if you are a B. I'm a DD cup and use to be a B. At 32-1/2 you should be working with a 10, maybe an 8 in the neck and shoulder area. Bone structure does matter. I can't see using a larger cup size for a larger Rib cage. When you do an FBA, you are actually making a little "cup" for your breast to sit in. How would that help a larger rib cage? If your upper chest(above bust) is larger, there are adjustments for that.

diane s
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diane s  Friend of PR
Intermediate
Oregon USA
Member since 8/24/02
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Date: 7/8/12 10:33 PM

When I took my FFRP class there was a slim young woman with a small bust who had to do a fba. It was due to her large ribcage. No one would have ever guess that was what causing her fitting problems.

------
My grandmother taught me to sew when I was 10, and I've been sewing ever since.

ssg2111
ssg2111
Member since 2/27/12
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In reply to piakdy <<
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Date: 7/10/12 4:27 PM

Hi Piakdy,

I am still a beginner and this is my first post on the message board. I spent some time in the last months trying to fit B4 bodices and making a sloper. I thought I may have some useful comments for you.

We seem to have similar measurements to you (mine are 34" bust, 28.5 underbust, but an overbust of 30.5"). I learned a lot from reading this forum, but did not find too many others with similar fit issues so much of the good advice did not work for my body type, so I am happy to find a bit of a 'body (bust?) double' in you.

I had a very hard time fitting any of the B4 patterns I started out with, even size 8 ended up huge, with a lot of gaping at the armholes, I'd probably need a 6 or 4 for the shoulders. Most of the bust width in larger sizes seems to be added to the back, but I needed only more width in the front. After needing to take in my first dresses a lot, and realizing what ease is and what 'finished measurements' mean, I decided to be a bit more methodical. I had my husband take detailed measurements according to a pattern alteration book from the library (I am afraid I cannot recall the title). I then measured the pattern pieces, and altered the pattern accordingly. My bust measurement of 34" is mostly due to width at the front, so while the larger size would 'fit' without FBA, most of the pattern added more volume in the back, and the fit was baggy.

I had the best success using the smallest size, closest to my overbust (32.5") and made very generous FBA (6" total). (I have a long torso and need to add a lot of lenght in addition.)

My waist measurement is 25", so I moved the FBA added width to the waist to the bust dart. So, for me the best success I had was with smallest size, then FBA. This was the only time my muslin fit after assembly. The shoulders are still too wide, and the upper neckline gapes, but I think I made a good start. So, I would vote for smaller size, and FBA, after taking more measurements (which you may have already).

Please excuse my rambling, I hope this was somewhat useful, and I wish you success with your sloper!

P.S. I have another question about "B" cups and pattern sizing. Your measurements of 34/29 give you 5" difference, which would corresponds to 30D bra size (I wear 28F). B cup indicates 2" bust underbust difference, So according to your measurements, I don't think it is weird that you need the D cup space. B cup volume changes a lot with band size, so 30D = 34B. So does that mean a size 8 B cup is smaller than a size 10 B cup in the pattern? I am not sure how B4 decided on something being "B" apart from deciding that B has to be the average cup size. I am curious, and hope you do not mind me asking, if this is indeed your bra size? Have you recently been refitted? I wore 34C for years, and it was completely off.

piakdy
piakdy
Advanced Beginner
UNITED KINGDOM
Member since 8/6/11
Posts: 28
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Date: 7/10/12 5:49 PM

ssg2111 , I normally buy 32B bras, which seem to fit best and is inline with instruction given on most generic bra size selection guides. They always seem to instruct you to add a certain amount to the under-bust measurement for the band size. And the cup size is based on difference between bust measurement and band size, not bust and chest. So that does make it a 2" difference or a B cup. But you're right, I should get professionally fitted. Maybe I am wearing the wrong bra size!

JTink, here are some pictures of my tissue fitting with no alteration made yet. As you can see, the size 10 B-cup front won't reach my center front. But the D-cup will. On B-cup front there's also a bit of gaping at the armhole with drag line pointing to the bust.

Not sure how the whole fitting "larger rib cage" works. It was just the name used by FFRP. Maybe it's not the correct term. I don't think my upper chest is larger - chest area seems to fit alright. It's bust downward that seems too small. Maybe my rib cage protrude more towards the front than average? See this duct tape double of me. The bust doesn't protrude very far, but if I move the side seam backward for a more comfortable back armhole bottom, then my midriff looks a bit thick.

By the way, does anyone else have weird tilted armhole like mine? Standard dress form has the oval straight up-and-down. Kathleen Fasanella argues that armhole should in fact tilt forward at the bottom for freedom of movement. Mine is the exact opposite! Makes it very difficult to fit the armhole.

tigergirl
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tigergirl  Friend of PR
Advanced Beginner
Queensland Australia
Member since 11/30/09
Posts: 281
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In reply to piakdy <<


Date: 7/15/12 10:44 PM

Quote: piakdy
ssg2111 , I normally buy 32B bras, which seem to fit best and is inline with instruction given on most generic bra size selection guides. They always seem to instruct you to add a certain amount to the under-bust measurement for the band size. And the cup size is based on difference between bust measurement and band size, not bust and chest. So that does make it a 2" difference or a B cup. But you're right, I should get professionally fitted. Maybe I am wearing the wrong bra size!



JTink, here are some pictures of my tissue fitting with no alteration made yet. As you can see, the size 10 B-cup front won't reach my center front. But the D-cup will. On B-cup front there's also a bit of gaping at the armhole with drag line pointing to the bust.



Not sure how the whole fitting "larger rib cage" works. It was just the name used by FFRP. Maybe it's not the correct term. I don't think my upper chest is larger - chest area seems to fit alright. It's bust downward that seems too small. Maybe my rib cage protrude more towards the front than average? See this duct tape double of me. The bust doesn't protrude very far, but if I move the side seam backward for a more comfortable back armhole bottom, then my midriff looks a bit thick.



By the way, does anyone else have weird tilted armhole like mine? Standard dress form has the oval straight up-and-down. Kathleen Fasanella argues that armhole should in fact tilt forward at the bottom for freedom of movement. Mine is the exact opposite! Makes it very difficult to fit the armhole.

Finally, a bra cup determination that uses the under bust measurement! I've always wondered why so many people (including a lot of pattern drafting books) seem to use the upper bust measurement in this calculation, when it seems obvious that it is all determined by the difference between the band size and the breast size. Coincidentally, that site also agrees that I'm a 32DD which is what I've always worn (more or less).

There is only 2" between my upper bust and bust BUT 9" between my under bust and bust. Like you, the width is only at the front which is confusing because you say you have a big rib cage, whereas I assume I have a small one (it's the same size as my waist) but we seem to have the same bust fitting problem.

------
Brother BM-2600
Janome 693
Lumina Overlocker (Serger)
http://tigergirladventures.blogspot.com/

lca
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lca  Friend of PR
Intermediate
Colorado USA
Member since 6/4/07
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In reply to piakdy <<


Date: 7/17/12 4:40 PM

It looks like you could use a little bit of a broad back adjustment. This will make the center front come closer to the center using a smaller cup pattern.

AdaH
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AdaH  Friend of PR
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Iowa USA
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Date: 7/17/12 8:37 PM

Here is my two cents worth of advice.

The B cup pictures.
Looking at the picture of you from the side:
Center back is not coming to your center back. You do not add to the center back. You let out the side seam till the patterns CB meets your CB. You will need to add to the side seam. This is a circumferance issue.

The side bust dart is to high. This is subjective as there is a 3" bust circle (according to Peggy Segars) and as long as the dart is within the 3" it is OK. I like my dart to point to the bust point..
CF is not reaching your CF. Again a circumferance issue.

The diagonal dart going from your armhole to your bust point is a dart issue and the first place I would adjust is the shoulder seam. Pinch it up at the out side edge of the shoulder and see if that makes a difference? If not then I would pinch up the side dart and see if that takes care of that armhole diagonal wrinkle?


-- Edited on 7/17/12 8:46 PM --

------
Ada

Courtney Ostaff
Courtney Ostaff
Intermediate
West Virginia USA
Member since 11/23/10
Posts: 664
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Date: 7/18/12 0:25 AM

People use the upper bust because it's difficult to adjust that area. It's easier to adjust downwards than upwards.

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