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Message Board > "Gigi's" Expert Forum - (READ ONLY) > Bust alterations

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Bust alterations
Bust/sleeve extensions
3bearz
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3bearz
Intermediate
MD USA
Member since 11/22/03
Posts: 19
Date: 12/6/03 7:22 PM

I am preparing to re-make an old Butterick 3712 blouse, v-neck "loose-fitting, pullover..., slightly extended shoulder, shoulder pads and above elbow sleeves."  As recommended by Nancy Zieman's sizing chart in her Fitting Finesse, I am making size 18.  The pattern measurements are 40, 32, 42.  My measurements are 47, 42 1/2, 49 1/2.  My back length measurement is also 1" shorter than the pattern, so I used the petite sizing lines.

The side seams of the pattern are perfectly straight from the bottom of the armhole to the hem--I mean no shape to them.

I am trying to use Nancy Z's instructions, but she says that if you need to add more than 4" to the bust, then you should use extensions to the sleeve as well as to the bust, in addition to pivoting.  The sleeves on this blouse are already big on me.  I'm very confused about how to do these extensions, and would appreciate any help you can give me.

Thanks!

Gigi Louis
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Gigi Louis
Advanced
Member since 4/4/02
Posts: 7876
Date: 12/7/03 7:49 AM

I don't have Fitting Finesse so I am not familiar with what Nancy means by extensions.....

However, let me start out by saying that just because the pattern is drafted to fit a size 40" bust and you are a 47" bust does not mean you have to add 7" to the bust area of the pattern.  You will simply use up some of the design ease (unless you are making something very fitted - then you *will* have to add that much).

I tissue-fit all my patterns - it's an easy way to see how much you need to alter.  Before you begin overlap small pieces of tape next to the stitching lines at the neck and armscye.  The edges of the tape will just touch the seamline - now clip to the seamline.

Next, pin the pattern together at the shoulder and side seam.  Pin the sleeve together and pin the cuff (if there is one) to it - do not pin the sleeve into the armscye.

Now try the pattern on - make sure the center back is at your center back.  The center front will not meet your center front - measure from the CF line of the pattern to your CF.  That is how much of a full-bust adjustment you will need to make.  In other words, if the amount is 1.5", when you slash and spread for your dart, the vertical spread for width should equal 1.5".  The horizontal dart can then be sewn, moved to a vertical dart and sewn or moved to a vertical dart and eliminated at the side seam.

To check the sleeve fit, simply slide it into position and make sure there is enough width and the length is correct.

I find that once I add for the bust, I almost always end up with enough for my waist and hip.  Try the pattern on again once you've made the bust alteration to check that.

It will be easy for you to add some shaping to the side seam once you get your blouse cut out - then you can pin it to fit your figure.

Hope that helps!

3bearz
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3bearz
Intermediate
MD USA
Member since 11/22/03
Posts: 19
thumbsup 1 member likes this.
Date: 12/7/03 4:39 PM

Okay, I understand everything you said, except, "In other words, if the amount is 1.5", when you slash and spread for your dart, the vertical spread for width should equal 1.5".  The horizontal dart can then be sewn, moved to a vertical dart and sewn or moved to a vertical dart and eliminated at the side seam."

This pattern has no darts.  I thought I would just be adding on to the side seams and a little bit at the sleeve to make the sleeve fit the new armhole size???  Sorry to be so dense.

eleda
eleda  Friend of PR
Intermediate
OH USA
Member since 8/24/02
Posts: 35
Date: 12/7/03 7:37 PM

Per Gigi
Quote
"The horizontal dart can then be sewn, moved to a vertical dart and sewn or moved to a vertical dart and eliminated at the side seam."


Gigi, how does one eliminate a vertical dart at the side seam?

Thank you.   :confused:

Katharine in BXL
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Katharine in BXL
Intermediate
Member since 8/1/03
Posts: 972
Date: 12/8/03 2:34 AM

Fit For Real People answers a lot of these questions, including pictures on how to tissue fit and tape seamlines.  It's highly recommended!  It shows you how to widen the vertical area for darts on pg. 143.  Vertical darts (to stitch or not) are on pg. 145.  Check out Amazon or used book sites now for a copy!  It's well worth it.

--Katharine (now in Taiwan, not the Netherlands)

------
DD Jan 2010, DS Aug 2011: busy!
http://eurasianlocation.wordpress.com/

Gigi Louis
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Gigi Louis
Advanced
Member since 4/4/02
Posts: 7876
Date: 12/8/03 6:51 AM

Katharine, you are getting around! :biggrin:  Yes, Fit For Real People is an excellent (dare I say the best?) fitting book around.  It has loads and loads of photographs and diagrams.

3bearz, making a full bust alteration entails adding a horizontal dart to increase length and width.  Whether you end up sewing the dart or moving it/eliminating it, is up to you.  Here's how:

Mark the approximate location of the bust apex (I kind of just hold it up to me and make a mark).  Then I draw a line from the apex to the side seam, another from the apex to the bottom 3rd of the armscye and then lastly from the apex to the hem (keeping that line on-grain).

Now, cut from the hem up the line through the apex and TO but not THROUGH (am I shouting??) the seamline at the armscye.  Also clip from the cutting line at the armscye TO the seamline - this will give you a little hinge that will retain the length of the seam.

Lastly, cut from the side seam to the apex, also leaving a small hinge.  Now, open up the dart to the desired size, being sure to keep the vertical cut up the front straight as it spreads apart.  At this point, I pin everything into my cardboard table or a cardboard cutting mat.  Make a final horizontal cut in the center section of the garment so that you can drop this down to match up the extra length added in the side section as the dart is opened up.  Then fill in all the areas with tissue.

This method reshapes the armscye a little and adds needed width and length that a fuller bust needs.  

Rapunzel, once the dart is moved to a vertical dart, that amount is simply taken in at the side seam in the front only - just as if it were stitched but it's being stitched at the seamline.

eleda
eleda  Friend of PR
Intermediate
OH USA
Member since 8/24/02
Posts: 35
Date: 12/8/03 6:52 AM

Katharine, thanks for the info.  Now I know where to look.

eleda
eleda  Friend of PR
Intermediate
OH USA
Member since 8/24/02
Posts: 35
Date: 12/8/03 6:54 AM

Thanks Gigi.

Katharine in BXL
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Katharine in BXL
Intermediate
Member since 8/1/03
Posts: 972
Date: 12/9/03 4:14 AM

You're welcome, Rapunzel!  HTH!  
Gigi, as soon as my sewing machines arrive (sigh!;) I'm going to make KS 2029 to compliment the steamy climate here.  With your advice and everyone elses, I know it will be a success!

------
DD Jan 2010, DS Aug 2011: busy!
http://eurasianlocation.wordpress.com/

3bearz
star
3bearz
Intermediate
MD USA
Member since 11/22/03
Posts: 19
Date: 12/9/03 11:10 AM

Received my copy of Fit for Real People in yesterday's mail, and stayed up reading half the night.  I live half way between Baltimore and Philadelphia; how do I go about finding a class/group that will help me to make the body graph, body map, etc.  Also, do you do the tissue fitting by yourself somehow, or must you have a second person to help with pinning/tucking in the back?

Will I ever get to actually SEW on my new machine?

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