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pattern size vs. bust size

barbara | Posted in Fitting on

I remember an “ah-ha” when I read an article about getting the correct pattern bust size – that patterns are made for B-cup and must be adjusted for larger cup sizes. My daughter is a C or D (lucky woman!), and I want to use what the article said. Trouble is that even though I looked in the online index, I couldn’t find the article I read. Does anyone remember what issue it was in? Thanks!


  1. KarenW | | #1

    Not sure what issue it was, but you might also try Silhouettes Patterns - they come drafted with different pieces for B, C or D cups so you may end up doing much less altering.  When you browse the patterns be sure to click the option that lets you see them made up differently, some are shown in fabrics or renderings that I may not jump at but seeing them made with different fabrics or tweaks makes many very appealing. http://www.silhouettepatterns.com



  2. mem | | #2

    I dont remember but basically you buy a pattern based on the chest measurement which is the one that goes around you with the tape ABOVE the bust and under the arms and across the back .This will give you a better fit than buying for the bigger measurement of going over the bust points. Then if you are a C /D you do a full bust  adjustment to the pattern. This means that you are accomadating the the fuller shape of the breast itself.

  3. sewanista | | #3

    In Threads issue 120 (current issue) onpage 74, Karen Howland explains how to choose the pattern size by measuring the frame (chest or high bust circumference + 2" gives the pattern size). She also explains about the patterns covering a range rather than just the one measurement. This is the best explanation I've yet seen for this problem. However, the gist of the article is fiting a narrow shouldered figure, so the full bust adjustment instructions need to be found elsewhere. Try "fitting" in the index and then looking in the subheadings.

  4. SkiNsew | | #4

    The advice regarding buying a pattern by the upper chest measurement is so that the pattern will fit through the shoulders.  It does not help with a large bust.   Basically you must open the bust dart 3/8" for a C cup and 3/4" for a D cup.   You do this by extending the bust dart to the bust point, slashing through the dart and then slashing up (BUT NOT THRU) a line from the center bust point to a second point on the pattern which is determined by the type of dart that the pattern has.  After you do this you will have to true the dart line.  A book on pattern design will explain this and is usually available through your local library.

    I agree with the advice that the easiest and most fool proof way to go about this is to buy a pattern that has already been adjusted for a larger bust size.


  5. alotofstitches | | #5

    You should purchase the pattern based on her high bust measurement--that's her bone structure--then alter the front to accommodate her larger bust.  I've found a princess style pattern (center front with side front pieces & seams across bust line) work best for larger bustlines.  You can increase and get better results than with darts.  Typically the center front piece is lengthened to allow extra fabric to cover bust and be long enough and the side front is wider at the full bust point and sometimes the side seam too.  The garment will fit better in the shoulders as well as across the back rather than just being large enough to go around her body.

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