Adjusting pattern for a small bust.

Here is a blog post on how I recently adjusted a dress pattern to fit flat chest/ small bust. I have been going on my blog on how value for money dress patterns are from burda magazine. In fact all commercial pattern you buy with exception some Japanese patterns. These are pattern blocks are custom made to fit a certain type of person. For all that been sewing awhile we all come in different sizes and shapes. As a result you will find that once all the time put in the garment doesn’t really fit that well.

pink silk fabric that I made the dress out of

Why I need to make it fit

I am of Chinese origin, I inherited flat chest genes from my mother thru my ancestors. I wouldn’t change it for the world though. As a result as most commercially available patterns fit more of a Caucasian rather than Asian built I always have to adjust the pattern to fit it. Otherwise the lovely garment I have just made can sometimes be unwearable?!! I am also size UK 12 (US 8) on the bottom but a size 8-10 UK (US 4-6). It’s can be a challenge when it comes to making a dress.

Recently I found this lovely last year pattern from my burda magazine stash. As the weather is warming up what a better excuse to make a lovely silk dress. Here a previous blog post on the reasons to make you own clothes. Of I went cut the pattern out and make the dress the up.

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Fitting it’s the most exciting and anxious time for me. As I always find it hard to visualise how the garment would eventually look on me. Also the good important fit. This time it just would fit at the top!! It just kept falling of my shoulders. In order to make the dress nice and wearable on small bust/ flat chest I had to do something about the pattern. Also work with what has been cut up.

Self help books

There are books on how to alter commercial patterns that are available on ebay or Amazon. One of then is by Sandra Betzina Fast fit a great book if you want to move darts or jacket for all types of sizes and shapes. However it doesn’t have detail information on every pattern like how to tackle the dress. If you take your own measurements you can also alter in of the pattern itself before cutting out. However, there are lots to take into consideration the measurements on the pattern and how the block is made by the pattern cutter. I much prefer doing it as I go along as the type of fabric and how it is cut will affect the fit as well.

What I did in the end

Slept on it overnight, next day I found a solution. I decided to make gathers at the flounce sleeves and make a bias tape to finish the neckline. I had some excess fabric leftover and made a bias tape as result. As a result it has given the garment a better fit on flat chest person. compare to the original pattern. One of the reasons I always love making dresses and it just gives me room to manipulate the pattern if I have to.

front view of altered dress

I have also set the zip on the garment as high as I can on the dress neckline. My advice if you are flat chested always try to give yourself extra length especially on the neckline. It gives you more room for altering the pattern. Perhaps this is not the best way to alter patterns I am sure by altering the pattern before I cut the fabric is a better solution. So I might give it a try one day.

back view of altered dress that needs proper zip insertion

Online course like bluprint

I am also in the process of learning on how to pattern cut online course on bluprint. That will influence the way how I handle patterns as well.

Now I am quite happy with the result. Just waiting for a matching invisible zip and lining fabric to arrive so that I can complete making this dress.

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