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wedding gown bustline

clouie | Posted in Fitting on

I need to alter a wedding gown bustline. A strapless gown which fits everywhere except at the bustline.  It doesn’t lie flat against the chest and I’m not sure how to adjust this. Any advice out there?


  1. suesew | | #1

    Do you mean that there is too much room across the front above the bust line? Are there any seams you can take in there? In wedding dresses there are often princess seams that go over the point of the bust. You may be able or (you may have) to go inside the dress and take in those seams. To do that properly you would have to remove stitches freeing the ends of the seams where the lining, the fashion fabric and any interfacting or underlining come together. I hope you don't have some kind of trim or fabric piece that goes all the way around the top of the dress because then you have to remove that all the way around to the zipper, take in the dress and then replace it. How is the top of the dress constructed? Am I making any sense?

    1. clouie | | #2

      Yes, too much space between the body and dress. It is a princess style. So are you saying the cup size needs to be made smaller? would it be possible to take it in from the armhole sideseams?

      Edited 3/24/2005 3:03 pm ET by Louey

      1. suesew | | #3

        You can take in a garment along any seam, but you may not be able to take in enough along the side seams to make the front lie flat. If the cup size needs to be smaller you would need to take it in on the seam that goes over the bust or could you possibly use bra cups (pads) to help fill it out?

        1. clouie | | #4

          Thanks for your help. I think I'm gonna take in the bust seams as suggested.

          1. HeartFire | | #5

            if the center front panel is straight along the side seams, you may want to make all the adjustments in the side front pieces - you will have to take the seams apart, but this will maintain the shape and design of the front panel. If you don't, the princess seam may end up towards the center front of the bust point and will look funny, the princess line can be to the out sides of the bust point and look ok, but its wrong to have it go past the bustpoint towards the center front - does that make sense? This becomes slightly more complicated because there is usually about 1/4 inch of ease ( or more) in the side front pieces over the bust point. When you take the seams apart and adjust them, make sure you baste it by hand before you sew it back so you can make sure the seam lays smoothly over the bust. - does the dress need taking in across the bust area or only just above the bust? if its above the bust then just release the seam an inch or two and move it over. and I think I'm starting to ramble on here... good luck.

  2. FrancesC | | #6

    An idea from a different direction. Would padding be a possibility? The dress, or the person? Maybe this betrays my age, but we used to call them falsies.

    Frances C.

    1. clouie | | #7

      That's a possibility I will propose.  I came across that in an alteration book lately. thanks

      1. FrancesC | | #8

        I mentioned your problem about the fit of the wedding dress to my daughter last evening. She replied that a friend had such a problem with her dress and that it was solved with padding. That's no help with the actual fitting, I realize, but at least you know that it has been done. Frances C.

        1. Elisabeth | | #9

          I was in a ballroom dance gown rental shop once looking at an elegant full skirted dress. Most of those rental gowns have substantial bust cups sewed in and they look like they have a big Barbie in them even when they are on a hanger. When I asked the owner of the shop what I would do for my ballerina type bust in such a dress she answered by reaching in a drawer full of pads and pulling a couple out. I looked at the gown with its Dollypartonesque shape and said, gee I don't think that will do it. The lady didn't blink an eye, just pulled out two more pads and said I could double them up! That's when a mental door shut for me, no way would I wear those gowns!Those gowns rented for $100 per event then and many were for sale as well. The one I was looking at had a four digit pricetag, something like $3000. This was back when I my sewing machine hadn't been out of its case for years but I went home and copied the design and made my own! In a better color too! I did not have to wear big pads on my chest to make my dress fit, but, yes, it is definitely done by many people!

          1. craymondb | | #10

            Often you can just shrink in the remaining fabric.  Measure the bustline of the person you are fitting and then measure a piece of weft insertion that length minus 1 to 2 cm.  Turn the gown inside out and sew this to the bust line, stretching the insertion and shrinking in the excess fabric.  This should make the bustline lay flat against the body.


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