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fitting hips in blouse for large bust

howardmouse | Posted in Fitting on

How do I fit a blouse for someone who has a full bust (48″), 44″ waist, and 46″ hips?  They have pinned in the bust dart continuing through the waist and increasing in size to the hem of the blouse, so that it takes in 3″ of fabric at the bottom.  This fits their hips, but it makes the side seam slant forward and pulls the fabric off grain on the side.  I could use some ideas!  Thanks, Carole


  1. starzoe | | #1

    It sounds as though the dart is not on grain. Meaning that the dart was not pinned following the grain. Either that or the grain itself on the blouse is off. Is this a RTW blouse?Could be also that the dart was sloppily pinned and that it wasn't gradually decreased/increased. Maybe the waistline is not in the right place for your client. A dart in this case should be narrow at the bust,widening to the waist and then angled to the hem. And then maybe the pinning is taking up too much fabric. Take out the current pinning, find the bust point. Mark the grainline from there to the hem. Turn it inside out and re-pin on the client, beginning the dart 1" below the bust point.

  2. ljb2115 | | #2

    Check the Singer Perfect Fit book.  This is a compendium of all major and minor fitting problems.  Do you really need a bust dart - check the bust fitting section of the book and you will find your answers.  Also check Pamela Erny's website:  http://www.offthe cuffstyle.blogspot.com for more blouse and shirt information.  She is a professional shirtmaker and her work is above reproach.  If you are an ASG member, she was featured in the latest (Fall 2009) Notions magazine.  IMO, a bust dart screams homemade in a shirt or blouse.  Just MO.

    Issue #142 has a very comprehensive article by Louise Cutting concerning the addition of a bustline dart.  Hope this helps.



    1. starzoe | | #3

      I am going to disagree with one of your comments "a bust dart screams home-made". Bust darts can come from any direction and they are essential for a good fit for some body types. As the original question was about a "bust dart" that went through the waist, I had to assume that it was not one coming in from the side seam but one originating at the hem and ending below the bust. I should have added that the dart could have been divided between two locations to get away from that 3" at the hem. In fact, that technique might have been the best one.Personally, I am not keen on the bust dart from the side seam for myself and have found that rotating the dart to another location: from the shoulder, the armscye or even the neckline gives a much better fit and look.

      1. Ceeayche | | #4

        Starzoe, I agree with you, for those of us who have been abundantly "blessed," a bust dart is a lifesaver. 

        Ljb2115 Please don't over generalize! It's easy to say eliminate them when you're less endowed.  And for my sister, I do this when I'm sewing for her model sized frame.  For the rest of us, the placement of darts or other fitting seams appropriately makes the difference between the tent and a well fitting garment.

        My chest is just a hair smaller than this, and without the appropriate darts clothing does not fit me well and looks not just home made but matronly!

        I have two white blouses one in heavy cream silk and the other in fine white cotton.  Both have covered buttons and bust darts in the front size and waist, and waist darts in the back.  They are my "go to" blouses for my business suits.  They fit well and skim the body without clinging.  Yet they aren't so boxy as to age me 30 years.  I'm planning to clone them with different collars and blacket treatments for some variety.

        Like Starzoe, I do typically move my darts to the waist seam, but I MUST have them.

        1. ljb2115 | | #5

          I am not less endowed, just my opinion about shirts.  Blouses usually have darts, both bust and waist, but shirts generally do not.  Fit is engineered by pattern drafting.  I am a shirtmaker and did not intend to offend anyone. 

          Right now the close fit is in vogue. Give this a few years and the pendulum will swing in the other direction.

  3. Teaf5 | | #6

    Perhaps the problem is that a full bust adjustment is usually for someone whose bust is full compared to the rest of her torso, rather than someone whose bust, waist and hips vary only by a few inches. 

    For the measurements you are dealing with, a side dart and a shaped side seam would take care of the fullness, while the dart you are describing is more like what someone like me (with 10" difference between bust and waist measurements) needs to prevent tenting.

    1. howardmouse | | #7

      Thank you -- I think you're correct.  I think I solved the problem by raising the upper leg of the bust dart, which swung the side seam into alignment.  (I'm doing this long distance, so don't know if it will work on her body, -- but it does seem to work on the dress form which she made and sent me.)

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