How-to Pattern Adjustments to Fit a Small Bust
If you typically find that garments are too loose over and around the bust, you may need to make a small-bust adjustment. Commercial patterns are drafted for a B-cup bust, where the full-bust circumference is 2 inches larger than the upper chest circumference (above the bust). If the difference in your measurements is less, there’s a chance the front bodice pattern includes too much length and width
Current demographics show that more individuals are full-busted, and there’s a lot of information available on making full-bust adjustments. A proportional fit is best on any figure, though, and it can be difficult to determine when a design incorporates too much volume for a small-busted person. I’ll show you how to diagnose a small-bust fitting issue on a muslin, and how to adjust a pattern to produce a better fit, whether with darts or princess seams. It can be empowering to know several ways to adapt different styles.
You’ll start by trying on a muslin test garment, and analyzing the fit. By comparing what you see to the following images and descriptions, you can decide where and how much excess fullness exists in the original pattern. Then, based on any adjustments you marked or pinned on the muslin, you can adjust the pattern to remove the length, width, or shaping you don’t need. It’s important to remember that fitting a bodice involves getting the right overall circumference around the bust and the correct amount of shaping to accommodate the chest and bust projection (the distance the bust apex projects forward from the surface of the chest wall). The standard darts or princess seam curves included in a pattern may be too large, or even too small, for your figure, even if you are small-busted. While this article might appear to be just for small-busted people, the information can be helpful to those with a fuller bust, as well. This is because, in my experience of fitting full-busted sewers, they often make too large an adjustment to accommodate their cup size. When you’ve incorporated the right amount of 3D space in a bodice, you ensure a comfortable and streamlined fit.
Identify where to remove the excess
Most fitted and semifitted bodices include darts or princess seams to create 3D space in a garment. The main issue in fitting a small bust is that the bust has less projection than the bodice is designed to accommodate.
A garment in a woven fabric with no darts will not fit the body smoothly. The fabric must flare somewhere, whether it’s at the hem, the armhole, or the neckline. To draw the fabric closer to the body and obtain a smooth fit, you need darts or shaping seams. With the correct dart intake, the garment looks better and is more flattering to your figure.
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