Tweaking the fronts

Have you ever worn a jacket or blouse that you needed to grab the center front edges and pull them together to cover your cleavage?

Well, here is a little true story to share. When I lived in Southport, England for 8 years and taught beading to 8 ladies in my neighborhood, there was a TV talk show with a female host. She spent the whole time grabbing and tugging on the center front edges of her suit jackets until it became quite a distraction. I wrote to the television station to ask about the poorly fitted jackets and was told that the wardrobe mistress bought her suits “off the peg/rack”so that the skirts fit tight and never thought about the jackets being at least 2-4 inches too narrow to sit properly on her full bust. It was then that my students dubbed this behavior, “pulling a Gloria”. Now my UK readers will know who I am referring to.

So we can fix this with your garments so you won’t get caught “pulling a Gloria”. What this involves is using your #4 measurement which remains constant from top to hem while something like the side panels of a princess seam are widened. Here is an example:

In this photo the side area panel above the pocket would be widened to allow the center front sections to lay flat and not gap. You add where you need it to allow the other sections to do their job. If you have a band that is a feature, you don’t want it flaring away from the center! Here is Nancy modeling her jacket.

You also want the princess seams to perfectly line up with your bust points for as soon as they veer off left or right, you lose the curved fit and shape.

So let’s tackle the adjusted front section on the mannequin. Even though we  dropped the dart, we have a dart forming in the armhole. This tells me that we need more fabric in the bust to allow this piece to drop down and lay flat. The first correction made a “B” cup into a “C” cup but we need more. You may not have this problem but for those who do…more to come.

The back is fitting ok but there will be excess fabric at the right shoulder seam with my sloping shoulder.

See the difference on the right shoulder, while it sits ok on the left one.

Back to the perfect posture “B” cup mannequin…shoulder sits well but there is still a little dart wanting to form in the armhole. You can see how the paper pattern is tight with very little ease for movement or breathing or sitting but it has just the correct body measurements without adding ease.

Back to the drawing board…please excuse my spelling error. The top pattern is a traced off original and the one underneath is what we have worked on already but it is not enough to fit the larger mannequin. Let’s add more!

Using the slash and spread method, we gain an inch where it is needed and this allows the side dart to enlarge as well from 2 inches wide to 3 inches wide.

Another advantage of this method instead of just adding to the side seams, you get more armhole coverage. The bust circle is redrawn .

The new larger dart is folded and trimmed.

Side view shows a better fit but still there is extra fabric/paper  that could be transferrred to the side dart which would alter the shape of the armhole. By adding to the already opened vertical slash, widening the new side dart, this small dart will drop down and the armhole will be back to the original shape and length. That will be next to test.

Next time this naughty little wannabe dart will be moved…but to where?

For the vegetable lovers…after another week of 100+ temps…this is what happens:

This week our local American Sewing Guild is having its 7th annual fabric sale. Tables will be piled high with every type of fabric for $2 a yard! Wish you all could come and get a bargain…imagine wool for $2 yard and fancy fabrics for Halloween costumes!

Stay cool my friends!

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2 Responses to Tweaking the fronts

  1. Thank you so much for this information. Your clear explanations and instructions are very helpful.

    • mrsmole says:

      You are so welcome. I know all these bust adjustments are not necessary for everyone but if you sew for a family member who has a bust larger than a “B” cup…they might come in handy…ha ha.

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