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Message Board > Fitting Woes > Full bust vs high bust vs bra band ( Moderated by CarolynGM, Deepika)

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Full bust vs high bust vs bra band
Bust sizing is more complicated than this...
BlueSailorNik
BlueSailorNik
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Date: 11/17/13 9:16 AM

I've looked in the archives, and there are plenty of discussions about this, but I haven't seen any response that really ties things together. I would love an explanation of the connection among ALL of the bust related measurements, and how they effect the choice of pattern size.

Here is what I experience: my high bust measures 38", my full bust is 40" and my under bust is 34". After years of trial and error, I finally went to an expensive shop to get fitted for a bra by a professional. I was sick and tired of having bras that fit my cup, but always rode up in back. Bottom line: I wear a 34 DD or 36 D.

So what gives here? What size am I, really, and what size pattern is right for me? Right now, if I use the 40" bust size, I still need to do an underbust alteration to accommodate the extra length from my center neckline over my bust point to the under bust line.

If anyone can explain the real mathematical relationship between all of these measurements, I'd love to know about it.

diane s
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diane s  Friend of PR
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Date: 11/17/13 10:58 AM

The only sizing that is standard is the measurements of the Big 4 patterns. Usually if you're over a B cup you need to choose your pattern by your high bust measurement. When you take that measurement pull the tape tight. You're trying to get the right fit through the neckline and shoulders.
Even bra sizes aren't standard, most US sizing doesn't go past DDD, Euro sizing calls that F cup, then they have FF cup, G, GG cup.

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demoiselle
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Date: 11/17/13 12:53 PM

Does that mean that if you are under a B cup you use a different bust measurement? I'm an A-cup and I'm having trouble figuring out what size to make, too!

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Quickie
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Quickie
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Date: 11/17/13 2:39 PM

I am so happy that there is not just one method to come to a right fit. Of course many of us now the Palmer pletch FBA. Than they say you better choose the high bust measurement. That is fine but it is not so that there is no other fitting left
That works, but that measurement is not on the pattern envelope.
In Kwiksew patterns and Jalie patterns they tell you not to use this high bust measurement, but the full bust measurement and they tell you how to adapt the other data in your pattern
I can go on...
When I work with a pattern I choose my method of adaptation according to what suits me best and I sometimes combine methods. They all have their merits

Nancy K
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In reply to BlueSailorNik <<


Date: 11/17/13 4:15 PM

According to your measurements you wouldn't make an fba, but obviously you are fuller in the bust than your measurements suggest. My dd is a 32DD but her measurements are only 2" apart, like yours and show that she wouldn't need an fba, but she does. She is a climber so her upper back and chest are developed which is why there is only a 2" difference. Claire Kennedy suggested that I add 1/2" fba to take her bust size into account and this worked perfectly. I'd suggest that you try the same thing.

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Karla Kizer
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Date: 11/17/13 4:47 PM

Nancy is right - the back measurement, shape and musculature affect all the measurements taken around the upper torso.
For my daughter, I generally use the size her full bust measurement indicates for the back, but drop down a size and do a half-hearted FBA on the front. The back shoulders are eased to match the narrower front. Life isn't simple, is it...

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“Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and it annoys the pig.” -Robert Heinlein and Ann's father. Thanks for the reminder, Ann.

Where are we going, and what am I doing in this handbasket?

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The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'



goosegreen
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Date: 11/17/13 6:28 PM

Yep...I agree with Nancy too. My mother & I measure exactly the same in the full bust. Yet her bra size is 20B and mine is 16H. She is all back and I am all front. So...I need an FBA but she does not.

As to 38" high bust with a 40" full bust, I would use a size 16 & depending on the finished bust size of the pattern, may or may not do an FBA. It all depends on the fabric, whether it's a knit or a woven and how much ease you like. You can only find this out by trial & error.

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Alison in suburbia - Sydney Australia
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Keeper of the flock - Janome MC8000, Janome MC4900QC, Elna Elina 40, Husqvarna Rose, Janome DC2101, Singer 201K, Elna Contessa, Janome My Excel 18W, Janome 634D & 534D overlockers, Janome Coverpro 1000CPX.

utahliz
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Date: 11/18/13 0:49 AM

One of the things that I couldn't wrap my mind around until recently is cup size. I thought a B cup implied a certain volume, and a C cup was associated with a larger volume. But, actually, it's more an issue of proportion. A 36C cup, for example, is the same volume as 34D and a 38B. When I finally was measured properly, I found out that I am a C cup. But I've never had to do a FBA--I have more breast tissue at my sides (apparently) than average. So there's a certain amount of trial and error involved, not just measurements.

Liz

tigergirl
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tigergirl
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Date: 11/19/13 9:46 PM

Oh boy, something I'm still trying to sort out. According to the "rules" I shouldn't need an FBA - only a 2" difference between upper & full bust BUT there's a 8-9" difference between my full bust and my underbust, so I wear a DD bra and always have. Buying a fitted dress is not going to work - the waist is pulled up and they just don't 'fit' in most places. I think I've got a narrow back too.

I recently made a Vogue dress, instead of the size 14/16 the envelope suggested, I made a 12 with a 2" FBA and still had to add more vertical length to the front of the bodice between shoulder and apex (low hanging fruit on this tree).

I really wonder if I'll ever come to grips with just exactly how my bod is differing from the patterns and why the conventional wisdom so often doesn't seem to work for me.

One ?benefit? of getting older is the difference between my waist & hips and waist & bust is steadily decreasing, so it's getting easier to buy clothes and I assume at some point, fitting myself will get easier too.

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Nancy K
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In reply to tigergirl <<
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Date: 11/20/13 2:41 PM

Did you make a muslin? This will help you pinpoint better what you need to do. Make sure that you mark the grain line and the bustline as well as a line midway between shoulder and bust point perpendicular to the grain. You will easily see that you need more length if your bust line is not parallel to the floor. Cut the line above your bust ending at each seam line at the armscye. Pin a piece of fabric to the upper cutline. Lower the other cut edge until it is level and pin it to the inset fabric. Measure this amount and this is the amount you need to add to the length to go over your bust. You can fit your self. It just takes some patience. You might want to make a set of tnt patterns. Simple lines that you can use to alter other patterns or make stye changes to. Carolyn from Diary of a sewing fanatic is really amazing at this. take a look at her blog. She is a plus size sewer, but what she does is applicable to everyone.

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www.nancyksews.blogspot.com

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