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Message Board > Plus Size Sewing > What size pattern when... ( Moderated by JEF)

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What size pattern when...
you have large breasts, small shoulders
Canadian Jane
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Canadian Jane
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AB CANADA
Member since 10/30/10
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Date: 7/23/12 2:18 PM

About to embark on a new experience for me. Haven't sewn anything from a pattern for eons and have decided to try and make a simple top for my vacation.

Choices are Butterick 5644, Kwick Sew K3611 (made into a top, and Simplicity 2409 (View D sans the goo-gaw flowers around the boobs).

Haven't sewn a garment for me for ever and I was several sizes smaller back then. I still have large breasts, large hips and now I have the spare tire below the boobs but still relatively small shoulders. (I feel like I look like the Michelin man). I am also very short - 5' 2".

Should I buy a smaller pattern size to fit my shoulders or the larger one to fit my bust? Patterns are loser fitting and I am going for a soft light knit or tee-shirt material - depending on pattern I choose.

It used to be that patterns always fit much larger than the measurements. Not sure if that is true now days. Wondering if it would be harder to increase the bust on these patterns, or decrease the size of the shoulders.

Advice?? Pattern preference?

Thank you for anything you can offer.

------
Forgiveness does not excuse the behaviour. It prevents the behaviour from breaking your heart over and over again.

SheBear0320
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SheBear0320  Friend of PR
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Date: 7/23/12 2:58 PM

I am a member of the small shoulder/upper chest width and bigger bust club -- I select my pattern by my upper chest size (14 or 16 depending on ease) and do large FBA (G cup) and circumference adjustments on the way down. After doing the FBA I usually have to remove some fabric from above the bust and at the waist but it's way less fuss than starting with the larger size.

I recently tried a Simplicity Amazing Fit pattern with the different cup sizes and while I still had to do an FBA, I was able to do a smaller one which meant that I had less to remove from above the bust and at the waist -- still working on the test garment so haven't reviewed the pattern yet.

------
Sheila
"sewing very slowly to fill an empty closet"

2014 Stash Busting Sew-Along:
27.5 yards sewn (as of 04/17/14)
20.125 yards purchased (as of 04/17/14)

KathySews
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KathySews  Friend of PR
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In reply to SheBear0320 <<


Date: 7/23/12 6:35 PM

I have the narrow shoulders issue and at 5'2" am into body acceptance now. I do buy by high bust measurement. And as you have probably read over and over 'Fit For Real People' book and their Bust Fitting DVD are a must.

Some patterns I like
Amazing Fit
Petite Plus
Pamela's Perfect Tee
Patterns with multiple bust sizes (even if you need to upsize the D, it is easier than doing an fba on a B)

Shoulder princess seams work well for allowing narrowing of the shoulders. Avoid armhole princess designs. They are difficult on a large bust.

Hope you get some great success

Courtney Ostaff
Courtney Ostaff  Friend of PR
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Date: 7/23/12 8:21 PM

My mom has this problem, plus very ample hips, and I generally cut a muslin, and then pin fit it. I ended up taking 4" out of a sleeve cap today. ;)

diane s
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diane s  Friend of PR
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Date: 7/23/12 9:54 PM

If your measurements fit into the Petite Plus patterns, their book that includes the patterns is a really good deal.Petite Plus book

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

corinne kelly
corinne kelly
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MS USA
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In reply to Canadian Jane <<


Date: 7/23/12 10:47 PM

Out of those patterns I think the Simplicity would be a good choice as the K. Ali patterns are designed for a larger bust to start with.

I also am well endowed with very narrow shoulders. After much experimentation what works best for me is buying the pattern by my real measurements and doing a narrow shoulder adjustment. This is contrary to what many full busted sewers do. Works for me.

------
Corinne

velosewer
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velosewer  Friend of PR
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Date: 7/23/12 11:53 PM

My mum is a large bust /small shoulder petite lady so I've been making tops and jackets that fit her bust but I decrease the neck to shoulder seam. This doesn't affect the sleeves.

I can do a FBA if I need to but I haven't had to do this by buying patterns that fit her bust measurement. She doesn't have waist or hip definition so I make sure her necklines are a v-neck or a soft v-cowl neckline.
Here is the cowl top I recently made for her. This is the v-neckline knit top I also tested for her. This jacket is very flattering on her. These are all pieces that will be her TNT patterns. I know it's hard to buy decent RTW for her so I'm thrilled these patterns work

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Alias - velogiant;http://cleverthinking99.com/
Fabric wakes me up. I'm a Minerva Sewing blogger. I pattern test for Pattern Review.

JTink
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JTink
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VA USA
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In reply to Canadian Jane <<


Date: 7/24/12 8:07 AM

Canadian Jane, as you can tell by the other posts, it's "six of one, half dozen of the other" I think it all falls on what you feel most comfortable adjusting. I'm for the upper bust measurement. After looking at your pattern choices, I would stay away from The Butterick 5644, simply because of the cross over V-neck. I find them more challenging to do the FBA. Also if you are small (short)in the neck area, you have more chance for gap. IMHO, the Simplicity and Kwik Sew, would be a neck line easier to raise if necessary. Once again, this is all personal preference and what you feel easier adjusting.

I like the K Ali patterns too. I'm not a plus size lady, but I like the flow and fit of her garments.

Canadian Jane
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Canadian Jane
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Date: 7/24/12 12:07 PM

Great advice/tips as per usual on these boards! Thanks so much for the feedback.

Velosewer - thank you for the links to those patterns. Perhaps once I master the one top I can move onto something more tried and true. It is always nice to have a TNT.

I have my Mom's old Bishop Method of Sewing (circa 1970 - I think - at least that is when she bought the books) that shows a lot of adjustments but I really think I need to learn some new tricks. I think a book like the Petite Plus would be immensly helpful for someone my height and size so I am going to invest in that.

I will probably go with the Simplicity or the Kwick sew. The concern I have with the Ali K pattern is that it looks like there may be a LOT of material below the bust. Sometimes a lot of excess material on someone my size is not a good thing. I can probably fix that but.... I will know when I look at the pattern jackets which one might be the lesser of two evils for me at this point and go with that.

JTink - I have to laugh. I was looking on the internet last night for FBA tutorials trying to figure out how I would do and FBA on the cross over on the Butterick Pattern as you suggested. Well, last night in my sleep, I was having near nightmares with this pattern. I think I will take this as an omen that this pattern is not my best choice!!

------
Forgiveness does not excuse the behaviour. It prevents the behaviour from breaking your heart over and over again.

JTink
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JTink
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In reply to Canadian Jane <<


Date: 7/24/12 2:05 PM

Canadian Jane, sorry about the nightmares I have had a few of my own, concerning the same alteration I have a favorite summer dress pattern that I've used for years(OOP Butterick 5024). As my "girls" have grown, the FBA had to get more aggressive. I finally found my answer with Debbie Cook's alteration. It's not difficult, but I did have to alter the neck line again, because of gapping and do a bit of fiddling with the cross overs. Always somethin'

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