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Help with bodice

loriarrowood | Posted in Fitting on

 I am making my first dress and it has a square neckline and sleeveless.  I noticed when I tried on the dress the sides pucker at the arm.  How do I fix that?

I have already sewn the bodice to the skirt.  Do I need to put a dart in somewhere?  If so how would I do that.  It has a lining. I have an idea but am too new to sewing and want suggestions.



  1. mem1 | | #1

    Is it puckering in the side seam orin the arm hole and whatsizde bust cup are you ( sorry to be personal)

    1. loriarrowood | | #2

      In the arm hole.  Kind of like the arm hole is too big.  I am a D cup.

      1. mem1 | | #6

        it sounds to me like you need to buy a size smaller pattern and then do a full bust ajustment . You canen make ir wideraround the waist etc as you need . I really recommend the Palmer Pletch book of fit for every body . Its very easy to read and will open your eyes to a whole range of fit issues and you will be encouraged to continue on and gain the skills which make dresmaking so much fun.

        1. loriarrowood | | #7

          Thanks I will purchase one. 


          Everyone has been very helpful.

  2. SewNancy | | #3

    If you chose your size by your bust measurement then the area above the bust is too big.  usually you choose a pattern by the upper bust measurement if you are above a B cup.  It is probably too late to add a dart , but Sandra Betzina's method for vests might work for you.  she runs an ease line at the arm hole seam to pull in the opening.  Then sew stay tape to keep the size and sew on the facing, which will have to be taken in too.

    Good luck.

    PS  you might invest in a good fitting book like Fit For Real People.


    1. loriarrowood | | #4

      Thanks for the help.  I am glad to get such quick replies.

       I am not sure what you mean by upper bust.  Where to I measure then?  Do I measure just above my bust and not around all of it?


      1. SewNancy | | #8

        Under the arms, above the bust.  This is the measurement that I use to determine what size.  Then I adjust the front for half the difference between this measurement and my full bust measurement.  Again, a good book will help enormously.


        1. loriarrowood | | #9

          Thanks.  I plan to  get one.  I guess my bodice can't be fixed then.

          Oh well, you live and you learn.

  3. loriarrowood | | #5

    Thanks for the reply I will check it out.

  4. Lynnelle | | #10

    I'm a new sewer too (over 1 year).  I am petite with a full bust (DD cup).  I had the same problems making bodices as you.  Check out the discussion I started titled full-bust adjustments (if you haven't done so already).  Many people have graciously offered a lot of information.  Good luck.

    1. DONNAKAYE | | #11

      When you say "pucker at the armhole," can you tell me:

      -Do the puckers run lengthwise, crosswise, or diagonally (on the bias)?

      -Where exactly do they begin and where do they end?

      As has been noted, "puckers," in the strict sense of the word, denotes additional fabric fullness; but I cannot be certain whether that was the meaning you intended to convey.  It may be as simple as a basic lesson in proper set-in sleeve techniques, as poor technique and poor pressing can produce a multitude of problems than could potentially immediately be alleviated with professional skills.  I think I can probably help you, but I need more info. I'm not so ready to give up on your dress yet....

      Donna Childress Brandt


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