A Crafts Community For Craft Ideas & DIY Projects - Craftster.org
Help | About | Contact | Press | Advertise | Cookie Policy | Terms | Site Map
Welcome, Guest.
Please login or register.
Random Tip: Need help? Click the HELP link at the top of the screen to read the docs or ask at the Help Desk.
Total Members: 306,065
Currently Running With Scissors:
397 Guests and 9 Users
Home Craftster Community Crafting Articles Craft Tutorials My Craftster Crafting Calendar City Guides Craft Shop


Pages: [1]
Jump to page:
  Show Images Only     Send this topic  |  Print  |  Bookmark  
Topic: Dress pattern for a "female" figure?  (Read 3421 times)
Tags for this thread:  Add new tag
Share the love... Pin it Submit to reddit add to Wists
1+
 
BlackResonance
« on: May 17, 2008 11:34:41 AM »

I have the hardest time finding a dress pattern that works for me. I have a tiny frame (and waist) but my boobs and hips take up more room. I've tried altering patterns but I can never alter them enough. There's about a 4 size difference between my waist-bust and waist-hips. Is there a pattern out there for me?

I have one of those B, C, D cup patterns from Simplicity, or whoever makes them, but I would have to make the D cup and then STILL take in the underbust and waist. Is there any hope? I'm about ready to chuck my machine out the window!
THIS ROCKS   Logged
Kaitlinnegan
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2008 01:00:15 PM »

The truth is that hardly anyone has patterns fit perfectly right out of the envelope.  Most of us have some "usual" alterations we do in order to get patterns to fit.  I am similar to you, except my waist isn't super tiny.  My waist is well defined and my bust and hips are larger.  I like my body and don't want to hide in baggy clothes all the time, so I usually prefer a little closer fit than a lot of patterns are designed for. 

My usual process for selecting pattern size and altering goes like this, to give you an idea:
1. Check envelope for finished measurements (sometimes they are printed on the tissue instead of the envelope).  Compare to body measurements + minimum ease (for a fitted garment) - I usually add 2" for bust, 1" for waist, 2-3" for hips above body measurements.  For the bust, I usually use my high bust measurement (for patterns that don't have separate cup sizes).
2. Cut out the pattern, sometimes using a smaller size for waist and a large size for hips depending on the style.  For example, a full skirted dress probably won't need a larger size at the hips, which a sheath would.
3. Do a full bust adjustment to bring the bust width up to my full bust measurement + ~2".  I also add 1/2" in length for a C cup (more length to cover over the bust).  Skip this, of course, if it's a pattern with the separate B, C, and D cup pieces.

If I'm planning on using an expensive fabric, I'll do a practice version first.  Even if I'm not doing a muslin, I will usually baste the seams first to check the fit before doing any finishing.  For a pattern I'll use more than once, I like to keep notes of what changes I made and what I might want to change in the future, along with saving the altered pattern pieces.

Fitting can be really frustrating, but I've found it helps to look at it as part of the process rather than "extra" stuff getting in the way of your success.  I definitely don't have it all figured out yet, but I will say that it is worth the effort when you make a garment that fits you just right!   Smiley
THIS ROCKS   Logged

My sewing message board: Sew What's Up
BlackResonance
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2008 01:31:40 PM »

The pattern I was working on was New Look #6969 - I couldn't find it online anywhere but I'm thinking it may have been more of a Juniors style. The last time I used it I didn't have as many problems but I think I know why now. I used to not follow patterns with the 5/8" rule for most seam allowances, only recently have I been doing that. So the last time I used this pattern I only did 1/4" for all the seams. Also, I'm not sure if this had anything to do with it, the style was an empire dress and I used a pinstripe fabric so I made the top section on the bias do give it something different and the rest was verticle. Can people with boobs have fabric be on the bias or not? Because it never seems to work right on anything of mine.

My overbust measurement is 30" but my full bust is 36". How would I use the bust measurement on a pattern for that with so much of a difference?
THIS ROCKS   Logged
Kaitlinnegan
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2008 05:13:01 PM »

The difference in your seam allowances (1/4"-->5/8") would definitely make a big difference.  Basically you will be subtracting 3/8" from each side of each seam, or 3/4" per seam.  For something with princess seams (6 seams around the bodice) that could mean your garment is 4.5" smaller in finished width!  Obviously, the width of your seam allowances is really important.

Cutting pieces on the bias will change they way they drape and stretch.  But, it depends on how the grain falls with those particular pattern pieces.  Here's a nice article about playing with grainlines: Go against the grain.

As far as the high bust vs. full bust issue, here's one link for how to do a full bust adjustment: FBA from Timmel Fabrics - if you search here on craftster or on google, you can find different methods, and applications to different styles (princess seams, raglan sleeves, etc).  Using the high bust measurement for picking your size usually means a better fit in the shoulders and back, and from there the basic idea is that you add width in the front without changing the neckline and armscye.
THIS ROCKS   Logged

My sewing message board: Sew What's Up
elijor
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2008 10:11:54 AM »

The difference in your seam allowances (1/4"-->5/8") would definitely make a big difference.  Basically you will be subtracting 3/8" from each side of each seam, or 3/4" per seam.  For something with princess seams (6 seams around the bodice) that could mean your garment is 4.5" smaller in finished width!  Obviously, the width of your seam allowances is really important.

Cutting pieces on the bias will change they way they drape and stretch.  But, it depends on how the grain falls with those particular pattern pieces.  Here's a nice article about playing with grainlines: Go against the grain.

Excellent point about the importance of seam allowance. However - in this case she used 1/4 instead of 5/8 so the garment would be much bigger than expected. Of course I can usually convince my students to sew with the correct seam allowance - then for some reason they always want to cut it off so the seam just falls apart - I can't figure why so many think they should do that.

Cutting on the bias does change the drape and such but often that can be used to your advantage for a full bust. Just be very careful you don't stretch it out while sewing or it will gap horribly.
THIS ROCKS   Logged
BlackResonance
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2008 10:26:55 AM »

The top part of the dress on the one that still fits me has 5/8" on the two side seams and on the back zipper. Those didn't pose a problem. It was the seam under the bust and over the bust - the neckline that I only made 1/4" so the bust was longer (which I need). On the one I threw out everything was 5/8" but I still needed to take in the sides anyhow, even though the bust area was too small, the sides and the underbust are always too big.

I would try the method up above but I fear that I'll completely ruin a pattern. Every time I've adjusted a pattern in the past I've had to adjust it so much just so I didn't look like I was wearing my mom's clothes and it ends up ruining the overall look of the dress, like there's too much curve or something so then it doesn't lay correctly. But I was doing it according to my measurements - I don't get it. I'm not new to sewing either, I've been doing it for 13 years. Just recently I've been noticing all these problems. And with the bust being on the bias I noticed it didn't have as much room. I basted everything before sewing so it wouldn't stretch out.

I'll just stick to stretchy fabric and forget making dresses anymore  Undecided 
Thanks for all the suggestions.
THIS ROCKS   Logged
Kaitlinnegan
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2008 11:51:04 AM »

Excellent point about the importance of seam allowance. However - in this case she used 1/4 instead of 5/8 so the garment would be much bigger than expected.
Sorry if it was confusing - I think BlackResonance was saying she has used the pattern before with 1/4" seam allowances, but now is using a 5/8" seam allowance.  So the finished product now would be much smaller than the one she made before.  I think...   Wink

I would try the method up above but I fear that I'll completely ruin a pattern.
You can always trace the pattern onto butcher paper, interfacing, or whatever kind of paper you have lying around so you don't have to worry about ruining the original.  But, if you have access to the $1 pattern sales at Joann's and Hancock, you could even use the original since it's so cheap to get a replacement.  Don't be afraid to play around and experiment on some cheap fabric (or an old bed sheet from a thrift store) - if it doesn't come out right, you can just toss it and not feel bad.  If you're having trouble with the patterns you already have, maybe pick up a couple new ones just to give you a fresh start.  I would pick a simple dress with princess seams or darts - perhaps something like these:

New Look 6403
New Look 6643

I know those probably look kind of boring, but for fitting, simple is good.  And you can always snazz them up with a really cool fabric, some pretty trim, a sash, or awesome accessories.  Once you've figured out how to fit a basic style, you can apply the same ideas to other styles. 

I forgot to mention earlier, but check out your local library or used bookstore if you don't have a book that covers some basic fitting techniques.  One book I have that I really like is Vogue Sewing - it has a lot of basic (and not so basic) sewing techniques as well as fitting information with clear illustrations.  But there are lots of good books out there, so don't be afraid to shop around - some other titles you might look out for are "Fast Fit" by Sandra Betzina, "Fitting Finesse" by Nancy Ziemann, "Fit for Real People" by Palmer and Pletsch..that's just a few I can think of off the top of my head.

You might find it helpful to make a duct tape dressform - using a dressform can be a lot easier than trying to pin and fit clothes on yourself, and the duct tape ones match your shape much better than the ones you can buy.  There are several tutorials here on craftster if you search.  I do hope you'll give dressmaking another try!
THIS ROCKS   Logged

My sewing message board: Sew What's Up
uglybeat
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2008 07:41:50 PM »

may i suggest finding some vintage (40's-60's) patterns that you like?  Back then, they sized more for an "hourglass" figure and you might have more luck with their sizing.  i'm super skinny and find that modern patterns tend to run a little too roomy all over.
THIS ROCKS   Logged

"Don't be so open-minded that your brains fall out..."  my mom
kjlutz
Tutorial Contributor

Friend of Craftster Friend of Craftster

I am woman watch me grow!
Offline Offline

Posts: 5852
Joined: 23-May-2007

I've got a smile on my face & trees all around me


View Profile available for personal swaps
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2008 05:36:19 AM »

I don't have a pattern suggestion persay, but i do have some suggestions.

I have a similar figure and a horrible time getting things to fit (the last dress I made induced a nervous breakdown (literally)). 

But I have learned a few tips.  If you want something that's easy to fit try a dress where the bodice is strapless or has straps that are cut our separately from the bodice (this will make it much easier to fit).  Try princess seamed patterns instead of ones with darts, and look up on line how to do a Large Bust Adjustment as it will help immensely.  When I was making the aforementioned dress I followed these instructions and also made some further adjustments to the waist area (and it did not end up looking over tailored).  Remember the more seams there are the more places there are to alter so each seam can be altered less ensuring that the original garmet style is maintained. 

As for the hips, find styles of skirts that you like that are very roomy in the hips (I like both circle skirts and A-line skirts) because if they are roomy enough you won't need to alter them for your hips (or at least you won't need to alter them as much).  Gathered skirts can also work very well, and again you just make them based off of your waist measurement. 

Like everyone else has said, good luck, and try a mock up first (and unlike me keep trying the mock up until it is perfect).     
THIS ROCKS   Logged

Sometimes you get to change the world, and other times the world changes you.

The only PhD I earned stands for Pretty Happy Dropout! Now starting new adventures!
BlackResonance
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2008 07:14:40 PM »

Thanks bunches for all the suggestions! I've managed to alter on of my patterns in the past but it still fits a bit odd, definitely better than when I started though. I'll give the bust alteration mentioned above a try. It's just a motivation thing for me  Roll Eyes
THIS ROCKS   Logged
Threads you might like:
Pages: [1] Jump to page:
  Send this topic  |  Print  |  Bookmark  
 
Jump to:  



FacebookTwitterPinterest
only results with images
include swap threads
advanced search



Latest Blog Articles
@Home This Weekend: Stenciled Table
Tute Tuesday: Mrs. Weasley Inspired Burrow Afghan
Creative Craft Supplies

Comparison Shopping




Support Craftster
Become a
Friend of Craftster

Buy Craftster Swag
Buy Craft Supplies
Comparison Shopping

Craftster heartily thanks the following peeps...
Moderators

Follow Craftster...






Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
SimplePortal 2.3.5 © 2008-2012, SimplePortal
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!

Copyright ©2003-2016, Craftster.org an Internet Brands company.