Author Topic: Empire waist pattern/full bust--help!  (Read 3412 times)

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Offline ChristineB

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Empire waist pattern/full bust--help!
« on: April 11, 2008, 12:14:13 AM »
I'm working on a muslin for the bodice of McCall's 5315.  Although the D cup pattern piece is definitely an improvement over the standard B cup one, I'm still having some problems.  I couldn't figure out how to post photos here, but I have them on my blog:

http://sewingdawn.wordpress.com/2008/04/10/so-i-lied/

I think I'm starting to realize that I may need a dart even bigger (wider) than the D cup one in order to get the bodice to fit properly.  But when I pinch out all that fabric, it distorts the lower edge of the bodice.  That means I have to put that fabric back below the dart, right?  What I'm not quite sure is how to do that - could someone point me towards a tutorial or previous forum post that can explain it?  Any other comments or suggestions would be appreciated as well.

Many thanks!

« Last Edit: April 16, 2008, 12:46:19 AM by ChristineB »

Offline DragonLady

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Re: Empire waist pattern/full bust--help!
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2008, 01:33:25 AM »
It looks to me like both darts need to be larger.  :-\
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Offline LizGo

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Re: Empire waist pattern/full bust--help!
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2008, 01:59:55 AM »
Ooooooh, Christine- I'm not going to be much help here, I'm afraid, but Ill put my .02$ in anyway. Yeah, if I were you I would add to the bottom and the top of the bodice because, as you have already pointed out the unfinished bodice is probably about the size it should be w/o taking off the seam allowances. I'm wondering if you should just start over with the regular ole' B cup piece, add to the top and bottom to make the bodice  larger over all, then do an FBA. Do you have any fitting books like Sandra Betzina's or Palmer Pletsch? I hope so because I would follow one of their methods for a FBA. I would do the method where you cut thru the existing dart and spread the amount you need where you need it (thru the bust not at the bottom or top).  I haven't actually used any of these "d cup" patterns yet, although I bought one once. I get the impression that they are not all they are cracked up to be.

Offline fzxdoc

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Re: Empire waist pattern/full bust--help!
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2008, 10:30:40 AM »
Christine, here is a link for a FBA by Debbie Cook, who sews beautifully and fits the more generous bustline with amazing expertise:

Debbie Cook's FBA for an Empire bodice instructions


You may want to check out some of her other tips as well.

I have a similar problem that you do with the top of the bodice often gapping out even though the bustline fits.  To eliminate this, I dart the bodice just above the bust points on my muslin or pattern.  Then I pivot those darts into the side bust dart. 

Often, when my side bust dart is too large, I pivot some of it into the lower empire seam, forming a new dart just under the bust.  Bust fitting is about having enough fabric to go around it comfortably in the first place, which appears the case in your size D pattern piece, but it'a also about correcting for the curvature.  That's why sometimes I have to add two bust darts at that lower seam line to get that to work well, and to decrease the size of the side bust dart. In order to true the lower bust dart pattern, I may have to add some length at the empire seam.

You're so smart to test out that pattern piece instead of jumping right in with your fashion fabric!

Best of luck,
Kathryn

Offline Martha

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Re: Empire waist pattern/full bust--help!
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2008, 10:45:35 AM »
Yes, you do need more length.  The dart is too long - you need to end it at least another inch from the bust point.  I would also suggest making two small darts, instead of one huge one.  And if you want to make them even smaller and deal with the bottom gapping, you could rotate some of the dart space into a vertical dart below.

Offline Pam

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Re: Empire waist pattern/full bust--help!
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2008, 11:48:43 AM »
Christine, I think that even though you have enough fabric going around your chest, the cup size still isn't right for you. You need a bigger dart. A bigger dart would eliminate the gapping at the top and add length to the front. Notice the finished garment measurements on the pattern envelope. In each size, the D cup bust circumference is only 1 1/2" wider than the B cup. Generally, a D cup is considered to be 2" wider than a B cup, I think.

When I've used the McCall made-for-you patterns, and used the D cup version, I have the same problem (even though I wear a D cup bra). I still need to do a small FBA. I do it the full-blown way that adds both length and width (as well as increases the dart size) -- like in the tutorial for which Kathryn provided the link. I think the last time I used one of these McCall made-for-you patterns, I added another 3/8" in width to each side. In your case, if you do that you may have to take out some of the width the small FBA adds.

The length of the dart, the dart height, and the question of whether to rotate some of it to a vertical dart below the bust are all separate questions.

HTH.

Pam

Offline ChristineB

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Re: Empire waist pattern/full bust--help!
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2008, 12:21:25 PM »
Thank you all for the advice and suggestions.  I'm going to cut another muslin with extra fabric all around and see if I can't widen and shorten the dart and get that lower edge to a more horizontal position.  I think I'm going to see how it looks as a single dart first, though - because I'm using a burnout type fabric, I'd prefer to minimize the number of dart lines that are visible through it.  But if I have to put one in, I will. (Or maybe I could convert the extra fullness to some gathers below each boob, if there's not too much...?)

What's really making me crazy is trying to pin and mark on my body - this would be soooo much easier to do on someone else!

Offline ChristineB

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Re: Empire waist pattern/full bust--help!
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2008, 02:21:26 PM »
On the original bodice pattern, there's a circle with a cross through it in the vicinity of the point of the dart.  I say "vicinity" because it's approximately 1 inch directly above the tip of the dart.  I thought that it indicated the bust point, but I was under the impression that darts were supposed to point to the apex (and end 1-2 inches before it, depending on the cup size/fullness of the breast), not someplace an inch below it.  Am I crazy, or missing something here?

Offline ChristineB

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Re: Empire waist pattern/full bust--help!
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2008, 05:16:31 PM »
Well, I did the FBA as per the empire waist tutorial (TY, Kathryn!) although I was thrown initially as my bodice doesn't have any armhole seam to slash.  I just picked a point roughly equal to the angle shown on the tutorial, and cut and spread from there.  I just took a stab at how much to spread it out, with the idea that I could go back and do more or less if it didn't work.  I also added the 5/8" to the upper edge. I used my original back pieces (will need to remember to add 5/8 to that for the finished garment) & stitched them all together with a zipper in the CB (there's no way I can pin that seam closed, straight, by myself).  I don't have any pictures yet, but I'll take some and post them to my blog this weekend.

The gapping at the upper edge is much improved.  I think I will take a 1/4" deeper side seam above the dart on the front bodice piece (in effect, shifting a vertical dart to the side seam) to take up just a bit more slack.  I really do need to take out some fullness at the lower edge, as well.  I'm still thinking gathers or tucks rather than darts.

I am SO excited to be making progress, finally!  And I figured out the little circle thingie - it's the spot where the finished bust measurement on the pattern envelope was taken.  (You would *think* that would be the bust point, though, wouldn't you?)

Offline ChristineB

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Re: Empire waist pattern/full bust--help!
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2008, 06:40:37 PM »

Offline fzxdoc

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Re: Empire waist pattern/full bust--help!
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2008, 07:01:09 PM »
Ohmigosh, Christine B, MUCH improved!  You're doing great!

Kathryn

Offline Liana

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Re: Empire waist pattern/full bust--help!
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2008, 07:48:04 PM »
It's like night and day, isn't it?  ;)  Looks like you're really going to have a lovely dress that fits beautifully.  :applause2:

Offline Karendee

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Re: Empire waist pattern/full bust--help!
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2008, 09:33:02 PM »
The bodice looks really good, now. Is it supposed to be an empire style? If not, the front looks a little short. With a larger bust, you usually need to add to the length of the front. At least I do.

Again, great job.

Karen (Karendee)

Offline ChristineB

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Re: Empire waist pattern/full bust--help!
« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2008, 10:29:29 PM »
Yes, it's empire waisted.

Thanks for all the encouragement.  I figured out how to deal with the dart point - because of the large angle of the dart, I kept ending up with a "bubble" at the tip.  I was getting so exasperated by it that I was considering adding a seam from bust point to bust point, cutting a top and bottom bodice piece and curving the seam where it would join the tip of the dart - and then it occurred to me, I could just CURVE THE END OF THE DART.  :blowsmind:

So now the dart seam comes in at a really steep angle about an inch before where it used to end, then it curves sharply so the stitching runs off the fabric at less of an angle.

I have a newfound love of curved darts!!

Thanks again for all the help.  Will post more when I get a little further along.

 

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