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This archived content is from Mary Wilkins’ sewing and quilting message board “Sew What’s New,” which was retired in August 2007. It is being provided by “Sew What’s Up,” which serves as the new home for many members of “Sew What’s New.”
From: Petallica
Date: 03-26-2006, 07:34 AM (1 of 8)
I have recently purchased this vogue dress pattern: V2745
and I'm not anywhere near being the b cup that it is designed for. I have made a practice version of the slip to set how it all sits, but the bodice is huge (gaping armpits) and the darts too long. :sad:

I've had a look around to see how I can better fit it to me but the methods that are outlined (e.g. slash and overlap always use the side/waist dart to help alter the shape and here there is none.

Does anyone have a good set of instructions for altering a bodice pattern or for creating one from scratch? This dress is also cut on the bias which may mean a few extra considerations...?

I'll have to alter the bodice for the overdress too, but seeing it will be made with a chiffon maybe gathering will be prettier than a huge dart?
User: Petallica
Member since: 03-26-2006
Total posts: 3
From: karen v
Date: 03-26-2006, 09:53 AM (2 of 8)
Hi Petallica
I have a very small bust too, so I know what you are going through. One thing to consider, though is not to overfit it--wear a padded bra. I say this because if I just wear a regular bra, I look like a man. I decided a few years ago that my clothes looked better with a padded bra which brings me up to an "A" cup.

Now as far as alterations, you have to measure yourself in the bra you will be wearing. measure your bust height (from bust apex to where neck joins shoulder) and circumference too. I like Nancy Zieman's "Busy Woman's Fitting Book" because it has an easy method of alterations. (pivot and slide). I'm going to take a look at your pattern now--be right back...

OK, so the bust height (or lack thereof) is easily adjusted by shortening the straps between neckline level and armseye notch level. Since this is sleeveless, you don't have to worry about matching your changes to a sleeve.

I guess the first thing to do is find out how your measurements differ from the pattern. I forget the formula for calculating bust cup (because I hardly have one!) but someone will post that info, I'm sure. This info will help you adjust the dart takeup. Then there is the circumference measurement which may or may not change depending on how you are built.

For example, I wear a size 12 pattern and even though my bust "circumference" measures out at 36 1/2, it is all mostly in my torso measurement, and not bust cup. Feel free to post your measurements because it would be easier to see where you need to adjust. Hope this helps.
Karen V.
all art is lies that help us see the truth
User: karen v
Member since: 03-12-2006
Total posts: 31
From: Petallica
Date: 03-26-2006, 11:42 AM (3 of 8)
Hi Karen

Thanks for replying.

Measurements - I come out as just (or almost) an A I think, but I'm not really sure. My bust circumference is 34 inches. I'm a size 10 in patterns I think, I've made the first practice run with a size 12 and it's alot bigger than expected.

Because the dress is low cut at the back (the overdress bodice will be see-through) I probably won't wear a bra. I am considering sewing padding or an underwire into the dress, but it doesn't appeal to me that much as I'm much happier when its just me in the dress! Because the bodice is lined my trial version doesn't feel too naked.

The book would be a great idea, will note for the future, but unfortunately I'm currently living in Germany and it's not that easy to get hold of specialist titles in english. And I haven't had any luck with the local library selection of sewing books .

One other option that I though might help is to change the empire line at the front to straight across (dropping the v slightly and bringing the empire line right under the bust so the bodice doesn't look so empty. What do you think? Then when I modify the dart it won't be so difficult to match with the body piece?

I've had one trial run trying to follow the concept in this forum:
but I'm not sure I'm getting it, the dart is still so long that I end up with a pointy buldge. Can I just shorten it and make the angle bigger, how do I decide best where the dart should end?

Thousand questions rolling around in my head, time for a dinner break...
User: Petallica
Member since: 03-26-2006
Total posts: 3
From: bunzino
Date: 03-26-2006, 05:53 PM (4 of 8)
This Vogue pattern should come in 3 sizes all together in one. You want to flat measure the pattern on the table and compare to your own measurements. Always flat measure.

Hopefully, your bust will fit the smallest size lines on the pattern and you can use larger lines for the rest (inbetween you go between the lines to do a gradual changeover).

If you bought a too-large pattern and can't exchange it, the you can probab ly redraw the lines smaller just by looking at how they did the 3 sizes and keep going in the smaller direction.

No need to change design lines or pad yourself if you don't want to, but measurements are critical. Yours in your preferred underwear, and the pattern's when ironed and laid flat on a surface.

User: bunzino
Member since: 08-16-2002
Total posts: 119
From: Sancin
Date: 03-26-2006, 07:44 PM (5 of 8)
I am going to have stop contibuting to this forum as when I write a response I preview it and then forget to submit it!!

Karen, I usually always sew Vogue as overall they tend to fit me best, but I always have to make some adjustment as my aging body changes monthly. One thing that I do is find the pattern of something I have made that fits me well and lay the pattern pieces over the current pattern pieces and note the changes. Try to find a pattern with similar lines - eg. do not select an old raglan sleeve to measure against a set in sleeve. However one can pin a princess seam together and lay over a piece that isn't and consider that the princess seam is in fact the dart. You then redraw the pattern piece cutting the princess seam to discover dart size and then make the bodice up in cheap material adjusting it there.
Good luck and let us know what worked for your.
*~*~*~* Nancy*~*~*~* " I try to take one day at a time - but sometimes several days attack me at once."
User: Sancin
Member since: 02-13-2005
Total posts: 895
From: paroper
Date: 03-26-2006, 09:18 PM (6 of 8)
You slash the bustline to make a fuller bust and then enlarge the dart. To make the bust smaller you should be able to fold the pattern. The easy way would be to make it up in the muslin and just "do it" to the muslin. However, just folding the pattern and shortening the dart should do. The wider the dart, the longer it should be. The narrower the dart the shorter it should be. This just goes along with your fitting problem. When I do full bust enlargements for people, I make a muslin and slash it on the bustline (of the pattern, spread and fill it in with loose fabric. The muslin then becomes my pattern. In your case, you should just be able to pleat the muslin and take it up. Then you just redraw your pattern lines and use the muslin for your new pattern.

Bernina 200e, Artista V5 Designer Plus, Explorations, Magic Box, Bernina 2000DE & 335 Bernette Serger, Bernina 1530 Sewing Machine, Bernina 1300 DC Overlock (with coverstitch)
User: paroper
Member since: 02-03-2004
Total posts: 3775
From: paroper
Date: 03-26-2006, 09:20 PM (7 of 8)
I also agree that Vogue and Butterick are better suited to the younger looking, less full figure. I really enjoy using those brands for older teens and young professionals because they just look and fit those body styles better.

Bernina 200e, Artista V5 Designer Plus, Explorations, Magic Box, Bernina 2000DE & 335 Bernette Serger, Bernina 1530 Sewing Machine, Bernina 1300 DC Overlock (with coverstitch)
User: paroper
Member since: 02-03-2004
Total posts: 3775
From: Petallica
Date: 03-27-2006, 05:06 AM (8 of 8)
Hi everyone!

Bunzino: I've done a flat measure and then seen that my calculations bring up the number written on the pattern, the flat measurement for the size 8 is 85cm (33in) and 87 (34in) for the size 10. The 8 is still 2cm more than I need alltogether and I don't really need the reduction at the back, only at the front. I will be going down to the size 10 though. (and next time I will flat measure first!)

So I'm still going to do a small breast reduction. The dart is rather wide originally so it shouldn't be a problem to reduce it.

My attempts so far are all based on a bent slash (like in the link in my previous note) - the pattern has no horizontal dart. What I started off with is a slash up the centre of the dart and then angling off towards the armpit. I've tried this with a slither left attached at the end -hinging the overlap, but I'm still ending up with too much at the armpit.

So now I'll try the more traditional method - a vertical slash/fold (straight up the dart centre to the 'shoulder centre' and hinge from there. A horizontal slash would cause alot of problems with the join between the bodice and the body of the dress so I'm going to leave that for the moment. It looks like I can just adjust the side seam to absorb the 'armpit extra' instead. Does this all make some kind of sense?

Here's a review of the pattern (It will be my wedding dress too! Thats why my brain is a bit obsessed with getting it perfect)
This sewer also had problems with the darts (too pointy - same here but mine are also too big) and made them smaller but doesn't say specifically enough how.
I'm currently working on the slip pattern to do my reduction, but will have to do it on the dress too.
User: Petallica
Member since: 03-26-2006
Total posts: 3
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