In Fitting Fashion

  • Fitting and Pattern Adjustment - The ABC Bust Adjustment

     As promised, today I am providing some information regarding a "small bust adjustment" specifically for the Belle Bow Blouse.  As you know, In-House Patterns have been developed specifically for a D cup size, so I am calling this The ABC Bust Adjustment. This means if you are an A, B, or C cup size, this correction may apply to you when using this pattern.  This adjustment will also be applicable on any similar style.

    I will start with how to recognize when this pattern correction is needed.  Whether you know your actual cup size or not, your test muslin will show specific fitting issues when you need this pattern correction.  Please consider the photo and annotations below:

    The soft vertical folds indicating excess chest width are created because the length of the front of your body at chest level from side seam to side seam is less than someone with a larger cup size.  The front waist and hem position drops because the length over your bust  from shoulder to waist is shorter than someone with a larger cup size.  These differences in the shape of a body change the balance of the garment and creates the fitting issues we see in the photo above.  Make sense?

    Now how do we fix that?  Let's fit our test muslin first. The photos below are the fitted and pinned test muslin.  Please consider the photos and annotations below:

    As you can see by reducing the length and the width of the front body in very specific areas, the fitting issues we see in the test muslin can be eliminated and now we have an evenly balanced garment for a smaller cup size.

    Now how do we transfer that information to the pattern?  Well let me show you!  You will need to use your test muslin to determine the exact amounts to reduce the length and width but here in essence is the method you will use:

    Step One:

    Determine your bust point position by trying on your test garment and marking your personal bust point position.  Transfer this point to the pattern as shown in the illustration below. (HSP=high shoulder point of the front)

    Step Two:

    Prepare the front pattern piece by drawing in the adjustment lines as shown below in red.  It is important that the bust line is at 90 degrees from the CF line.  The vertical adjustment lines on the lower front - under the bust line, are derived from the center of the pleats.

    Step Three:

    Cut along the adjustment lines leaving a hinge at the seam line of the side seam as shown.

    Step Four:

    Make the front length adjustment first by overlapping the upper front sections by the amount indicated on your test garment.  The amount overlapped will be the same amount on each section pivoting from zero at the side seam as shown.  This amount will vary depending on your individual bust size.


     Step Five:

    Make the front width adjustments next by reducing the depth of the pleats evenly by the amount indicated on your test garment.  The amount reduced on each pleat must be the same and the bust line must remain at the same level and at a 90 degree angle from the CF line.  Make sure your CF line remains perfectly straight too!  The total amount overlapped will depend on your individual cup size.

    Step Six:

    All that's left is to smooth out all the cutting lines and your done!

    In essence, what we have done is to remove the excess shaping that has been created by the gathering at the yoke and the pleats at the waist.  All the styling remains intact but there will be a little less gathers at the yoke and less volume in the pleats.

    Phew!  That was super technical!  I hope you have found this fitting tutorial informative and helpful.  Please let me know in the comments if this has been valuable to you.  Your feed back is important to me and will help me to focus the information I am providing on this site and gear it more closely to your needs.  Please contact me if you have any suggestions, I would really love to hear from you!



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