If you’re like many women, the standard B-cup of most commercial patterns isn’t enough to, ah, cover your bits without unsightly pulls and wrinkles. But with the popularity of wrap tops and DVF-style wrap dresses, there are some small but significant pattern changes you need to make so your entire bodice fits well. Let’s have a look.
The other day, I made Simplicity’s top, 4076. It has a great mock wrap with ruching at the side. In order to fit properly, you have to adjust for a full bust, not only on the actual bustline of each front pattern piece, but also on the wrap piece that extends under the bust on the other side. This is a fairly straightforward change, but it’s one that many people leave off, giving a happy-hands-at-home look to their garments.
The first thing you need to do is your standard full-bust-adjustment, or FBA. There are many excellent tutorials for how to adjust a pattern out there. Sewing Diva Gigi has a great one on her blog. I won’t bother to repeat what has already been said so well.
This will leave you with enough room over your bust on the primary side of your pattern piece. However, if you look at the picture of the un-adjusted pattern piece (on the left), laid on top of the adjusted pattern piece, you’ll see that the side seams don’t match:
Even if you do a FBA on both sides, when you line up the center fronts, you’ll find that the side seams are out of alignment, and this will cause distortion when you wear it. To fix this, lay your pattern pieces over one another, lining the center fronts up. Using a clear gridded ruler, trace a line over the slash line for your FB adjusted pattern piece, as shown:
Slash your pattern piece along that line, all the way from the top to, but not through, the bottom. Spread it so that it matches the spread on your FBA adjusted piece:
Repeat this whole process on the other side. Once you are done, you will have two pattern pieces that have two sets of slashes for the bust, and your top will fit great!
The finished result will be free of unsightly pulls and gaps, and will fall gracefully across the body.
I used this method on my Simplicity wrap top with great results.