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need to modify patterns for no bust

kandi | Posted in General Sewing Info on


I am new to this board but am hoping you might be able to help me.  I had a double mastectomy a few months ago but found that I just cannot wear the bras and the prosthesis.  It is too uncomfortable. 

So my problem is finding blouses that are nice but fit me.  I am big, very broad and somewhat overweight.  I usually wear a size 18 or 20 top but generally fit better in a mens size large or xl shirt especially now that I have no chest.  However, I am going to try to sew my own tops so I can find some prettier things that will work without my chest. 

So the question is: how do I modify womens patterns to have no chest.  I will be working with patterns in the 18 size range so the bust is usually pretty big.  Alot of the patterns I see have the darts but that won’t work.  SHould I just taped down the darts before cutting the fabric?

Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated.

[email protected]


  1. susanmwilson | | #1

    Kandi, I e-mailed you privately but got a 'not delivered yet' message -- did you get my email? Sue Wilson

  2. susanmwilson | | #2

    Kandi, I think this would work best for removing a dart; first fold out the dart and pin it; then trace the side and bottom so you have a guideline for the original side seam and hem.  Then slash through the center of the dart to the edge of the pattern, leave a tiny hinge.  Now fold out the dart as much as you can, keeping the pattern flat.  You may or may not be able to fold out all of the dart (if you try this without slashing to the edge the pattern will not lay flat).  Then using the tracing as a guide redraw the side seam and hem to match the original length.

    Of course there are lots of patterns with no darts that are more of a tunic style that would work fine but are still feminine, like Vogue 9040, 7667 or 7700 which has a lovely gathered back and shirt front.  If you are concerned about balance visually each of these patterns have details that draw your eye away from the bust, which may work for you.   Also Issey Miyake 2580 (which I am wearing now!) is a little different, and you can wear it unbuttoned which creates a nice drape at the front completely concealing the bust area, but has a more fitted hip area in underneath giving illusion of bust fullness.

    Hope this is helpful,

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