Do You Need A Bust Adjustment?

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Hi Rachel
Based on what you have discussed my daughter although curvy doesn’t require a large bust adjustment for most commercial A cup patterns. – high bust 41 inches and full bust 42.5 inches.
However she has a difference of 6 inches between her full bust and under bust measurement and though I realise that bra cup size and pattern size are different, in the past I have had an issue with using her full bust size and the fit under the bust and – i’e the fabric just seemed to hang off the bust . I have never looked at comparing her apex with the pattern before so wonder if that would help particularly the waist to apex measuring to include the curve of her bust. I wonder what you would advise. She has requested a simple knit shift dress and I need to resolve this quite apart from then having to grade between sizes lower down as her waist and hip ratio bear no resemblance to the pattern’s in part due to having had a C Section!! Her waist is 2 sizes larger than her hips. Thanks in anticipation of your help. Ruth

Rachel (Administrator) 9th May 2020 at 10:06 am

Hi Ruth, I think you are on the right track with checking the apex. If her bust is quite large but the difference between the high bust and full bust is fairly small, it could mean that her bust is sitting lower on her body so moving the apex is a great place to start. Make sure she has a good bra on (or at least one she is likely to wear with the dress) when she measures as this will make all the difference as to where her apex sits. Unless the style of the bodice is extremely form-fitting, i.e. has a cup (like a bra top), an empire seam or an under-bust band, the garment is not often intended to hug the body along the full curve of the bust including the underside. For most fuller busts, unless really perky or wearing a really sculpting bra, the underbust is actually higher than the apex and the fullest part of the bust sits below it. This also usually means that there is less space between the bust apex and the waist for you to create that definition, which is why a waist seam is very helpful/flattering so that you have something to bring that fullness back in towards. I would start by moving the apex and seeing if that gets you closer, however I would also give careful consideration to the style and fit of the pattern. Hope that helps x

Thank you Rachel. Will start here, though not sure in her case the under bust is lower than the apex
Thanks too for a great class well explained as usual.
Think I probably need a bust adjustment but SBA! I often have an issue with gaping round the armhole.
The other thing I struggle with is fitting round the back of the neck. Think some would say high round back adjustment required possibly?The back neck of rtw garments often too low etc. and if pulled up the bottom rides up. I’ve given up making dressed or tops for myself at the moment as the same issue applied and I can’t sort it out not for want of trying and spending quite a lot in the process! I’ve fabric I’d love to use but…Any plans for looking at other fit issues? You explain things so well. Thanks again

I have a small bust, my upper bust and full bust measurements are the same. I’m not sure where this leaves me if I still attempt a small bust adjustment? Whenever I usually make bodices they end up very big as my waist measurement is a lot larger than my bust. I’ve just made a toile of the indigo bodice and finding that choosing a size based on my upper bust measurement has left it feeling really tight across the bust, into the armholes and even across the back. Could I actually need a different type of bust adjustment or should I try sizing up instead?

Rachel (Administrator) 17th July 2021 at 9:02 am

Hi Hayley, Tilly patterns are drafted for a B cup which means that if you choose your size based on your upper bust, it will assume that your upper bust is 2″ smaller than your full bust. Because this is not the case for you, it is too tight in all those other areas. Having made the Indigo myself, the design of it would be very accommodating if you simply wanted to size up especially if your fabric is drapey. I would add 2″ to your bust size and then select the size closest to that number. But if you choose to do a small bust adjustment, you can remove that extra 2″ (and probably the entire bust dart too) which would mean that your upper bust and full bust would be the same. Hope that helps and good luck x

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