Monday, March 01, 2010

Big Girls Blouse Month

One of the cool things about learning to sew garments for yourself is being able to create something that has been made just especially to fit you.
Unfortunately getting a great fit isn't always as easy as comparing your measurements to the back of the pattern envelope, cutting your size and sewing it up, since the pattern probably isn't going to be just right all over - maybe you need a bigger size in the hip than bust, or have a long torso, broad shoulders or a tiny waist.

So far in my garment sewing (not that there has been a huge amount!) I have been able to get away with fudging it a bit - making the closest size then adjusting it here or there when I'm done, or in the case of skirts, making A-line shapes which I can wear lower on the hip if they turn out a bit big, and higher on the waist if they're a bit smaller.

Now as I'm becoming increasing interested in making more of my own clothes (or, to put it another way, less interested in buying anything I see in the shops - I've started finding myself wandering around the shops wondering about the fashion sense of "young people these days"...) I'm keen to learn about how to make some of the adjustments I need right from the pattern cutting stage.

Fellow sewist Suzy and I spend a bit (ok a lot) of time talking about our latest sewing adventures - fabric, patterns, techniques and issues, and although we have quite different body shapes there is one problem that we both come across all the time. Finding and fitting patterns to suit a larger bust.

Did you know that most patterns are drafted to fit a B-cup? There are lots of tutorials and techniques out there to help with this, but they can still be quite confusing and intimidating - to be honest slashing through the apex, assuming I could find it, sounds a bit scary!

So, to get ourselves into gear, Suzy and I decided to make a sew-alongy challenge of it and are dedicating the month of March to tackling our busts.
Welcome to Big Girls Blouse Month.

We'll be aiming to sew one bust friendly top (whether it's adjusted or designed for or just plain flattering for a full bust) each week for the month, and will share our adventures and results on our blogs (you can find Suzy over here). Oh, and dresses count too!

If you're also wrestling (so to speak) with a bigger than B bust in your sewing, and would like to join us, even if it's just with one garment, feel free to grab Dolly off the sidebar there (fyi, I found her over here) and let us know so we can drop in and see how you're going! And if you have any tips, know of an ace tutorial or super pattern for busty sewing, we'd love to hear from you too!

Let the busting begin!



  1. Oh yes, I am always having to do FBA!! They are not always terribly successful but my last one was, so I was chuffed, and well fitted!!
    Good luck on your quest for a well fitting top!!

  2. YES! This is actually why I have avoided thus far anything that has to do with the top of my body. Skirts are way easier to fit to me whereas a 36G bust just makes sewing difficult.

  3. I'm in! I have been very scared off by changing patterns to feet my E cup. A bit of moral support is just what I need I think. What a great idea !

  4. I am planning to learn to make a shirt this spring for this exact reason. I'm in.

  5. Doh, I love this, sadly, I am in little boobs blouse club.

  6. I really, really need to join in on this. Almost all of my clothes either end up too tight or too huge. Add broad shoulders and an apple shape to the mix and I'm a patterning nightmare.

  7. Oh cool - I'll join in for sure (I wrote a little post about my bust dilemma here).

    I'm trying my first FBA (going up to a DD) on a Butterick dress at the moment. I used the instuctions in a Threads magazine and it actually makes the whole process seem quite straight forward (once you get over having to do the whole slash-and-spread thing). So far the bodice seems to be fitting quite nicely. I hope the rest of the dress turns out!!

  8. Wow, I had no idea that patterns were made for 'B's.. nowhere near that here!

    I have learned of a dress that you wrap long straps around yourself on top of a circle skirt thing...

    They called it 'infinity dress' since you can wrap it many different ways.

    It's pretty easy to make and a good tutorial can be found here...

    I've been seeing it a lot of places since and it goes by other names, there are videos on how to wrap it around yourself, etc.

    Pretty interesting stuff,

    Pam Hoffman


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