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Pattern Adjustments to Fit a Small Bust

Work from a muslin or pattern to reduce width and length

Threads Issue #211, Oct./Nov. 2020
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If you typically find that garments are too loose over and around the bust, you may need to make a small-bust adjustment. Commercial patterns are drafted for a B-cup bust, where the full-bust circumference is 2 inches larger than the upper chest circumference (above the bust). If the difference in your measurements is less, there’s a chance the front bodice pattern includes too much length and width

Current demographics show that more individuals are full-busted, and there’s a lot of information available on making full-bust adjustments. A proportional fit is best on any figure, though, and it can be difficult to determine when a design incorporates too much volume for a small-busted person. I’ll show you how to diagnose a small-bust fitting issue on a muslin, and how to adjust a pattern to produce a better fit, whether with darts or princess seams. It can be empowering to know several…

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