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Bust alterations
Choosing patterns by high bust measureme
Marley
Marley
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Date: 11/30/03 11:01 AM

I have a figure that is more than full through the bust but narrow in the shoulders. While I'm not a very experienced sewer, that's partly because my projects seldom have fit well enough to make it seem worthwile. (You know things are bad when RTW seems better!;) I've come across suggestions to buy patterns according to the high bust measurement rather than the full one. When I look at the pattern packets this information is not there. Gigi, how can I find out the HB information about pattern sizing? And why is it recommended? Do you think this would make a difference for me?

Gigi Louis
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Date: 11/30/03 11:49 AM

Marley, patterns are designed for a b-cup figure.  Anyone with a fuller bust needs to select a pattern by high bust measurement so that the fit is good through the upper chest/neck/armscye/shoulder.  A full bust adjustment would then be made to accomodate the fuller bustline.  When you measure the high bust/chest area you will buy a pattern size whose bust measurement corresponds with your high bust measurement.  Then, depending on the pattern style, you will have to make a full bust adjustment.  If a fuller-busted woman chooses a pattern using her bust measurement, she will end up with a garment that fits nowhere else but the bust.

It is really important for beginners to learn how to make these pattern adjustments.  They are not difficult in the least and will help you get to the next level where your self-sewn creations will actually fit you. :biggrin:   I highly recommend that you buy a copy of Fit For Real People by Pati Palmer and Marta Alto.  This wonderful book has loads and loads of photos and diagrams that will guide you, step by step, through full bust alterations.  This will be an investment in your sewing future and will save you money in the long run since fit disasters will become a thing of the past.

Mandolin82
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Date: 11/30/03 11:05 PM

Hi Marley,

I recently took a fitting class with the authors of Fit for Real people.  As Gigi Louise says, you do have to measure at the high bust, and I agree that it is very confusing that that info is not documented on the patterns.  By the way, they pulled the measuring tape quite snuggly when measuring.

In the class the instructors measured all of us to determine size.  If anything they would round DOWN when determining size from the high bust measurement.  I had been buying size 20-22 patterns, they put me in 18 and were considering 16 for a while!

I have been using my new knowledge to fit my daughter (large bust, small elsewhere) and although her high bust measures a size 12 and thats what I used, I think she might have been better in a size 10 - although the 12 worked pretty well (with major bust increase).

Good luck fitting - the book Fit for Real People is really wonderful.  If you order it from their website you can get the spiral bound edition, which is really nice to have because it lays open.

Susan

Gigi Louis
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Date: 12/1/03 7:53 AM

Yes, sometimes the high bust measurement can be deceiving.  For instance, if someone has a broad back that can throw the measurement off a bit - it would be necessary to size down and then alter the back width.

Asa Hagstrom
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Date: 12/1/03 12:46 PM

Marley, most pattern companies list their measurement/sizing chart at the very end of the pattern book - the catalog with all their patterns. Sometimes they also print it on the pattern sheets.

Marley
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Date: 12/7/03 4:36 PM

Dear Friends- Thank you for filling me in on this. Next time I'm at the sewing store I'll check out the back of the pattern books for the high bust measurements. The neck and arms of recent projects were disappointing. This should improve the results I get. I will look at the fitting book too. Until I found this web site I couldn't account for the weird results my garments ended up with. Having no innate sense of spatial relationships, I was just discouraged and confused. How nice to know the poor results had more to do with the poor information on the patterns (and my non-ideal proportions)  and not because I'd made mistakes!

Mel.J
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Mel.J
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Date: 12/7/03 5:50 PM

Hi Marley
Just to clarify, you won't find a high bust measurement listed anywhere... you compare your high bust measurement with the standard (b-cup) bust measurement they provide.
(Then you'll need to do a full bust adjustment.)

:) Mel

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Mel (Melbourne, Australia)

Zaida
Zaida
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Date: 12/9/03 4:54 PM

Well, I'll be darned. No wonder nothing ever fit me right.

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I'd rather be sewing.

Gigi Louis
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Date: 12/9/03 5:08 PM

Doesn't this just make you wonder (or in my case, scream) WHY DIDN'T ANYONE EVER TELL US THIS WHEN WE STARTED???  Not one teacher, not one book, not one video!

When I was first learning to sew, I was taught that if you needed extra you just added it at the side seam.  With a D-cup bust you can imagine that I ended up with humongous armholes. :wow: It's a wonder that I didn't give it up altogether.  I sure ruined a lot of fabric learning how to fit myself!

Neefer
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Date: 12/10/03 11:34 AM

Quote (stickman34 @ Dec. 09 2003,18:08)
Doesn't this just make you wonder (or in my case, scream) WHY DIDN'T ANYONE EVER TELL US THIS WHEN WE STARTED???  Not one teacher, not one book, not one video!

ME!  

I think this is one of the reasons that I gave up on clothing and went into quilting.  

When I was home with my first baby, I watched Sandra Betzina on TV, and she was the first person that mentionned the high bust thing to me.  I'm sure she did that show with me in mind.  :winkgrin:

What I really don't understand is why the pattern companies don't tell us this.
Would it be so hard to put a little note in the measurement section that said, "Misses sizes are fitted to a B cup bust"
"Junior sizes are fittle to a B cup"
"Plus sizes are fitted to a D cup"
or what ever it is.  

It has been very far and few between, the patterns that have noted what cup size they are drafted for.  The Kwik Sew swimsuit book discusses it.  Does Sandra Betzina give that information for her Today's Fit patterns, or am I recalling it from TV?  

I share your frustation, Gigi.

------
Neefer aka AgitProp and Village Churl Sewing Blog: http://www.oaktrees.org/blog/

Bonny lass, bonny lass, will you be mine?
You shall neither wash dishes nor serve the wine;
But sit on a cushion and sew a fine seam,
And feast upon strawberries, sugar, and cream.

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