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Bust Cup

HollandtownGirl | Posted in Fitting on

1.  I have a small cup size (B).  I am large around the bottom line of a bra (42).  How do you know if you need a bust cup adjustment or just more ease at the side seam of a garment. 

2.  If your bicep measurement needs enlarging, but in doing so, you are left with a wad of fabric at the top of the sideseam (bust area), because you add inches to the sleeve and then add inches to the underarm portion of the garment, how do you do the sleeve alteration?

You ladies are so wonderful.  Deb


  1. Teaf5 | | #1

    A true B-cup doesn't need a full bust adjustment because that's the standard for the pattern industry--I think that's a 2" difference between full bust and underbust measurements.  With a 42" underbust measurement, a B cup will be a 44" full bust measurement, falling into a size 22 pattern.

    Those of us with a D cup have a far greater difference in those two measurements--in my case, 8"--so I have to choose a much smaller size pattern to fit the rest of my frame and do an FBA to accommodate my bust.

    Before you add to the side seams, check how much of your underbust measurement is in the front and how much is in the back-- you might need more in the back (for a broad back) or more in the front (for a narrow back).  Some people are nearly half in front and half in back, and others of us are mostly in one or the other.

    Can't help with the biceps alteration, as I don't need that one, but perhaps the larger pattern would have a proportionately larger sleeve pattern, too. 

    Remember, those size numbers on patterns always seem too large (at least two bigger than your readymade size), but once you find the correct one, they are fairly consistent!

  2. cafms | | #2

    In the April/May 2005, #118, issue of Threads there is an article,"How to Fit a Prefect Sleeve" by Sarah Veblen.   If you have or can find this issue http://store.taunton.com/onlinestore/storeitem.html?iid=15336 you will probably have answers to your problems.  For the biceps she has you cut from the center shoulder point  to the wrist or bottom of the pattern. Then across between the underarm points and spread the pattern the amount needed. 

    This is another site with instructions.  I found it a little hard to read mostly due to the color of the background and some of the pictures could be clearer. http://sewingfantaticdiary.blogspot.com/2008/09/sleeve-bicep-alterations.html

  3. Josefly | | #3

    The sleeve alteration described by cafms in the post above works without changing the length of the sleeve cap seam. So you don't have to alter the armscye or the bodice side seam to accept the altered sleeve. It does change the shape of the curved sleeve cap seam, but not the length.

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