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Do you think I need to make an FBA?
(no pattern/pics yet, just a general question)
o3b
o3b
Member since 5/25/07
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Date: 7/3/13 4:32 PM

I've lost a huge amount of weight and haven't sewn anything yet. I need all new patterns.

I've been to two stores now for bra fittings, and both places told me I would be a "C" cup - because that's apparently what I look like - until the bras were tried on. But, I am a DD cup. I lift weights, so I think part of the issue is that I have very developed chest muscles - so my above-bustline m'ment is pretty sturdy.

So...should I start with a pattern as drafted, or start with an FBA?

I will probably start with a Simplicity or Vogue.

JTink
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JTink
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In reply to o3b <<
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Date: 7/3/13 5:04 PM

If you are a DD you will need an FBA. My suggestion is to tissue fit your pattern and see how far the center front is from your center front. Have you measured and compared your above bust and full bust? You will need to consider your shoulders and neck, usually cutting a smaller size for that area and then morphing out to accommodate your bust.

misschris
misschris
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In reply to o3b <<
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Date: 7/3/13 5:25 PM

There's only one way to really know, and that's to make a toile (test garment). Use fabric that's similar to your fashion fabric -check out the bargain table for cheap fabric and remnants. For wovens, you can use old sheets.

You don't have to do any fancy seam finishes, collar, buttonholes, etc. Make the size you think you need and assess the fit. It may be that if your upper chest is well developed you won't need an FBA, or perhaps just a small one if there's straining across the bust.

Bra cup size is really only an indicator that you may need an fba - your cup is relative to your band measurement which is the measurement of the rib cage under the bust. To assess whether you need an fba, you use the measurement above the bust so that the neck, shoulders and upper chest fit. The amount to add for the full bust can depend on whether you have a flat or rounded ribcage, shallow breasts or projection, if you have wide breasts, the ease factored into the garment design and your preferred ease. There are a lot of variables, but once you understand your specific shape and preferences, the alterations will be similar on every garment.

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chris

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LauraTS
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LauraTS  Friend of PR
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Date: 7/3/13 7:24 PM

It could be that you have a larger and muscled ribcage, and don't need an FBA - but I would be surprised if you didn't need at least some of one, if you're starting from Big 4 patterns which are drafted for a B cup. You can look at finished pattern measurements for a basic top and compare them to your own to get a bit of an idea, but the other ladies are right, a tissue fit and/or a muslin/toile is the best way to find out for sure.
-- Edited on 7/3/13 7:24 PM --

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o3b
o3b
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Date: 7/13/13 3:01 AM

Thanks - all of you - for the responses. I kind of suspect whether I need an FBA might depend on the style. My upper bust and full bust are a little less than 2" different, which is why both stores thought I would need a C cup - they measured in those two places. However, my underbust is significantly smaller, and I ended up needing smaller bands than they thought (and bigger cups). So I'm thinking that I WILL have to do that toile, which I was hoping to get away from.

It's so odd - even in my swim suit, I look like I hardly have any breasts to speak of (well...compared to before), yet in some clothing, I can still look busty. And I used to know I needed about two sizes smaller through my upper arm/shoulder area than my bustline. I can't use any of the standards I counted on. I don't even know where to start with for the upper arm/shoulder/chest area. Sigh. I really didn't want to do the tissue fits (especially because I like knits more than wovens).

diane s
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diane s  Friend of PR
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Date: 7/13/13 5:44 PM

There was a woman in my FFRP class with a barely B cup that had to do a FBA, she was slim but had a large rib cage.

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

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