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Forum > Fitting Woes > High bust measurement larger than full bust ( Moderated by CarolynGM, Deepika)

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High bust measurement larger than full bust
Pattern alteration - high bust
aitchbee
aitchbee
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Date: 1/3/13 9:35 PM

I'm a swimmer with 'man shoulders' (according to my son!): a high bust measurement 2 inches larger than my full bust (which is an A-cup), and very erect posture (ramrod straight through the upper back). Most advice on pattern adjustment tends to assume that the full bust measurement is larger than the high bust. I can make adjustments to accommodated my shoulders, but I struggle with getting garments to fit through the upper chest. With loose-fitting garments, I can simply base pattern size on my upper chest measurement rather than my full bust, but it's more difficult with fitted styles, as any adjustment messes up the armscye and I end up with gaping sleeves. I often end up making things with kimono or raglan sleeves to avoid the problem, but it would be nice to be able to make clothes in more fitted styles occasionally. Any suggestions other than moving to patterns specifically designed for men?

Scheri
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Date: 1/4/13 2:35 AM

I will give my suggestion but please note I am beginner and many of the women are this site are Advanced.

I would use your high bust to accomodate. Your upper body portions. Its easier to do a bust adjustment.

Will watch this post as it will be intersting to see how to deal with your issues :-)

Good luck

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Scheri Manson
Edmonton, AB CANADA

SandiMacD
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Date: 1/4/13 4:56 AM

My first though was that man style patterns would work because I like them for myself.
But it sounds like you would like to have a more fitted bodice and looking at how to alter your pattern for a smaller bust? Or find a flattering pattern style?

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QuiltSewSewSue
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In reply to aitchbee <<
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Date: 1/4/13 5:03 AM

I am not sure it is the answer to your problems, but I would fit for my high bust (so that shoulders, etc fit) and then do a small bust adjustment (sba) and alter waist sizes, etc if needed. Search on 'small bust adjustment' and you will find tutorials.

I will watch this thread also. I am tending toward your shape but not so extreme. I have not much difference in high bust to full bust. (I work out in the gym so have a 'chest').

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Sue (Toowoomba Qld)
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Nancy K
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Date: 1/4/13 9:34 AM

Use your upper bust measurement and make a small bust adjustment. I assume that you are narrower in the hips and waist, so cut or grade it to fit. Your shoulders may yet be too wide and too square for the pattern so make a muslin and look for those issues. It's easy to add width to the shoulders. The other thing that I found with my dd who is a rock climber is that while she has a full bust, a DD cup her upper bust measurement is only two inches smaller than her bust. She has a muscular back which adds to the measurement. For her, I used her full bust measurement and added a half inch. It worked. You have to think outside the box a bit but you should be able to fit your body. No one is un fittable!

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SheBear0320
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Date: 1/4/13 10:06 AM

I do a lot of work for female bodybuilders and would recommend that you select your size by the upper bust and then do a small bust adjustment.

I also recommend that you do "half measurements" -- the front half and back half as I find that particularly with the female bodybuilders the measurement distribution can be different from one to the next. Although several may measure 38" in the upper area, the way in which those 38" are distributed can vary widely.

And I agree with Nancy K -- every one is "fittable" -- some just take more work than others.

Good Luck!!!

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Sheila
"sewing very slowly to fill an empty closet"

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meleliza
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Date: 1/4/13 1:14 PM

A while back , Gertie posted a list of bust adjustment links. http://www.blogforbettersewing.com/2010/12/helpful-links-for-bust-alterations.html?m=1

There are a few good sites there. HTH

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Melanie

LauraTS
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In reply to SheBear0320 <<
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Date: 1/4/13 4:40 PM

Quote: SheBear0320
I also recommend that you do "half measurements" -- the front half and back half as I find that particularly with the female bodybuilders the measurement distribution can be different from one to the next. Although several may measure 38" in the upper area, the way in which those 38" are distributed can vary widely.

That's what came to my mind too - although your "upper bust" measurement may be bigger than your bust measurement, it's probably more in the back than in the front, and that will make a difference in how you adjust the pieces. You might have good success using one size for the front and a bigger one for the upper back (adjusting the seam lengths to match, of course).

I can't remember if Sarah Veblen's new fitting book addresses this issue specifically, but I found it really helpful with all the pictures and the fitting approach with the vertical and horizontal style lines on the muslin.

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aitchbee
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Date: 1/6/13 6:35 AM

Thanks everyone for your helpful suggestions. I will try selecting pattern size on the basis of my upper chest measurement, and doing a SBA. Actually, I find that most of the additional inches are in the front, rather than the back... on a couple of occasions I've sewn t-shirts patterns with a shaped centre back seam to accommodate the curvature of the average spine. I've had to eliminate this to fit my 'shoulders back, stand up straight' posture. My fitting problems have been as much about posture as breadth. I'm sure there are a number of other women out there who share this problem - muscly through the upper chest, big, square shoulders, small breasts, 'backward' rather than 'forward' shoulders, erect through the thoracic spine.

charid dawn
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Date: 1/12/13 3:11 AM

Here is a link to SBA using the slide technique.link

In the Fitting Finesse book by Nancy Zieman, it says that you get a better fit with the front width measurement anyway, rather than the bust measurement. She says to choose your sizing based on front width. I assume that high bust is just front width + back width. The part I don't understand is how do you know which size based on the front width measurement because that isn't included on the sizing chart.

Nancy Zieman says that in misses patterns a 14" front width equals a size 14 and every 1/2" interval equals one size adjustment whether up or down. For example if you are 13.5" from one arm crease to the other, then you go down a size from 14, which is 12. If you are 14.5" front width, then you go up a size, or size 16.

Problem is I don't know if I trust that cause my math says I'm a pattern size 6 at my front width but in between a 12 and 14 at the bust so...

Anyway from there you make your bust adjustment.

Now if it's a one piece dress then you will have to most likely alter from front width to bust to hip, if your waist is larger than your hips then you will have to alter that too but you are a swimmer so I doubt that you need all that.

I hope someone with better knowledge will correct me if I'm wrong. I haven't had a reason yet to make such adjustments and so I cannot testify to the accuracy of doing it like that.

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