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Message Board > Plus Size Sewing > Armscye after big FBA - what am I doing wrong? ( Moderated by JEF)

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Armscye after big FBA - what am I doing wrong?
Armscye sits forward, feels tight and sleeves set badly.
Czedwards
Czedwards
Member since 12/2/11
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Date: 7/12/13 1:49 PM

I can sew anything you throw at me, with the caveat that the original design was current before 1850. Houpelandes, Elizabethan effigy bodices, an 18th century riding habit. Not much challenge. I draft and drape and get excellent results. I make fine skirts and trousers.

Modern woven upper body clothing is making me cry. The Boob Fairy was incredibly generous and also apparently had my name multiple times on her mailing list. It's been twenty years since I could buy an off the shelf bra in the United States. I wear a 38 FF bra, which means an 8" difference between band size and full bust.

My measurements are 39" High bust, 46 full bust, 38 underbust and waist, 45 hip. Apex to apex is 9.5". Armscye circumference is 18". Most of my bust circumference is forward -- I look like the prow of a ship. I do not know what my RTW size is -- I alter t-shirts, deal with the boxy or drape something functional that doesn't scream 1803. I wear a lot of diamond back bodices, adapted from late 18th and early 19th century fashion. (This gets me a decent amount of unwanted attention from modesty-minded fundamentalists, who take me as a fellow traveler. I don't mind talking about clothing; I do mind the rest of the discussion.) Fortunately I work in an environment where everything goes, from caftans and birkenstocks to boiler suits, but that's not what I like and looking like I'm from a religious conservative subculture makes it harder for strangers to take me seriously.

I can make the FBAs -- that part makes sense. When I fit the unaltered pattern chosen for my high bust, the unaltered armscye is perfect. The shoulders are fine. The side seams are fine. It's just the front that I can't close. After I make the alteration (both standard and the Y version because I'm adding at least 3" on most patterns) everything gets skewed. But such a large FBA turns the armscye from a flowy J to a tight V and pulls it forward on my body. The back of the armscye is about an inch too close to the front, while the front is creeping onto my boob. The side dart is always huge and bulges in the wrong places. The closer the dart apex to the bust apex, the pointier the apex gets; the further back, it gets poofy and bulgy. The front vertical dart could shelter a few small children from an unexpected hail storm. The toile looks sufficiently bad on my fitting double that I don't even bring out the good fabric.

What am I missing?

JTink
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JTink
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Date: 7/12/13 3:00 PM

I know this doesn't help, but you gave me a good chuckle with your writing skills

My FBA isn't as large as yours(34DDD), so I don't have a problem with the armhole. I use the slash and spread method. I'm wondering if the pivot and slide would work for you.

Hopefully, bumping this up, someone with experience in the larger adjustment, will chime in

Carol Mendoza
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Carol Mendoza  Friend of PR
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Date: 7/12/13 4:03 PM

I must say I really enjoyed your post....because of your writing skills!

I will try to help though...my first thought was your FBA shouldn't have effected your armscye at all. I do them all the time (only about 1 1/2" though) but it has never made a diff in the armscye.

I found this Blog. It address a FBA of 3 inches. Hope it helps!

------
Bernina 730E; 440QE; Vintage 121; Babylock Evolution

Marilly
Marilly
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Date: 7/12/13 9:18 PM

I don't have endowments, but Shams has great advice for those who do:
Advice for the Uber-Busty
Shel

knitmachinequeen
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knitmachinequeen
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Date: 7/12/13 9:39 PM

The blog that was suggested is a great place to start. No matter what you do you will need a huge dart. Just like you stated there are a few problems with a huge dart. One way around this would be to divide your dart into three darts as a "designer" feature. You could also rotate part of the dart to the shoulder as well as one to the waist. I am fearless when it comes to rotating a dart. You'll have to figure out, through trial and error what is going to work best for you. Don't be afraid to rotate the dart to the waist and translate it as gathers or tucks. Whatever you do, don't get discouraged or start comparing your body to somebody else's. You are unique and are the best you that you can be!

------
knitmachinequeen
I aspire to be the kind of woman that when my feet hit the ground each morning the devil says,
"OH CRAP, SHE'S UP"!!!!

AdaH
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AdaH  Friend of PR
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Date: 7/13/13 0:13 AM

I have found that making an FBA bigger than 2" is a problem. Any extra needed circumference is added to the side seam.

Do check out Shams blog It has some great information.

------
Ada

KiwiWendy
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Date: 7/13/13 5:19 AM

yeah, the scary letter of the alphabet isn't necessarily a great place to be.

I've never found the shape of the armscye relevant to how the the dart fits. It may be that you need to split the dart .... and if you're a further down the alphabet ADD an underbust dart as well. If you only need a quarter inch FBA that's not so much extra width, but once you're out there in the, say, GG or H or HH-land, then that extra width requires an underbust dart to remove the extra width resulting from the FBA.

And depending on the personalised shaping of your particular twins in their undercarriage, the shape of your darts may need to be personalised from a staight to a curved or even slightly S shaped wiggle.

Modern underwear structures us quite differently from historical shapewear, and so the pattern alterations also need to adapt.

------
Sydney, Australia

Denise L Perry
Denise L Perry  Friend of PR
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Date: 7/13/13 10:58 PM

This is a great thread that I am interested in. Let's keep it going!

goosegreen
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goosegreen  Friend of PR
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Date: 7/13/13 11:32 PM

Don't be afraid to re-draw the armhole. My sewing teacher used to get me to trace the armhole first, then do my adjustments & re-draw the armhole back where it was. I often cut armholes down as the FBA will pull them up. Sometimes I just free hand draw the lines in. Try it!

------
Alison in suburbia - Sydney Australia
My sewing blog: http://nosilasews.blogspot.com/

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.

quathy
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quathy  Friend of PR
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Date: 7/14/13 1:34 AM

The more shaping you need, the more darts you'll need. I find that double darts often fit better than just one large dart.

If you think about trying to wrap a flat piece of paper around an orange, imagine how many folds you'll need around the sides. That's kind of what we're trying to do in fabric. If you had only one fold, you'll get pointy oddness and weird fabric placement. Not sure if that is affecting your armscye, but you might get different results if you move a portion of the dart to another area. I find that often with one really large dart (I usually do 2.5" - 3" FBA and lower bust point by 2"), I end up with a good deal of one piece on a bias. I wonder if that is affecting how your piece is fitting?

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