Sometimes making a pattern to fit over your bust is frustrating. You may have the perfect rayon twill or sateen for the job, but ill-fitting moments are still happening: creasing under your shoulder blades, tightness where your bust just doesn’t fit, and even wrinkling at your torso too – I totally get it! Shopping off the rack doesn’t always guarantee a flattering fit either, as picking out a top is never really the end of the road for us large chested gals. Needless to say, fashion doesn’t consistently acknowledge that big busted girls exists, and as a result, we’re regularly exposed to thinner models on the runway and in the media – but we’re here! Now, fear not because with our handy guide, you’ll be able to adjust any pattern to fit your bust – whether prominent or not. If some fabric needs to be taken in for a smaller bust or extra room is needed for the girls, we’ve got you covered – literally!
As with any pattern adjustment, you should always begin by retaking your measurements. To measure your bust, measure at your apex, the fullest part of your breast. I also recommend measuring your underbust to ensure that your garment fits snugly. When taking your measurements, wrap the measuring tape slightly loose around yourself, and do not hold it too tight or you’ll get a wrong measurement. Be sure to compare the measurements against your pattern, to see where any discrepancies may arise. Then, add or subtract from the pattern accordingly by following the instructions below!
To take in the bust, you simply will need to pin across the chest, and add darts to your pattern towards your armhole. The method here is to reduce fabric around your chest, where it’s too loose. Simply mark where you’ll be taking the fabric in! Begin with a line for your side seam darts, pivot, and then add another line going down towards the hem of your pattern. Then from the bust point, add a line going towards your armscye. These lines are to ensure you have a nice shape when you take in your pattern! Cut where you’ve marked your pattern, and tape down to reduce the surface area of your pattern. It should be significantly smaller! Use this newly adjusted pattern when creating your next masterpiece.
To let out space in your bust, slash the pattern according to the figure above, and use pattern drafting paper to fill in the additional space needed. It should look similar to when we’re taking fabric in, but this time we’ll be adding more pattern paper! Sew along the slashed lines, and be sure to have this turned inside out for the garments you are making, if you’re not to keen on having the seams visible. With this kind of alteration, it’s also smart to have muslin to practice with.
Did you find this guide helpful? I hope so! I know there are so many different ways to adjust a pattern for your bust, so how do you guys do it at home? Let me know in the comments below!