Thursday, September 13, 2012


Hello All,

To say I’ve been a bad blogger is a HUGE understatement. I have been sewing, just not successfully. I figured I would turn to you all to get some opinions about everyone favorite topic – Fit. I have read fitting book after book and blog after blog leading me to some small success but even more confusion. Here are my specifics hopefully you all can point me in the right direction.

Bodice fitting – Palmer/Pletsch teaches tissue fitting using your High Bust (HB) measurement and making adjustments from there. According to the charts for the Big4 I am a size 24 pattern solid. Taking my HB measurement snugly I should be using a size 16 pattern and making changes from there. That’s a big difference people! I understand that it has to do with the neck and shoulders fitting better in the smaller size, but they haven’t been better. I need to do a broad back (which I don’t need in the shoulders), I have to add all the width that I would have gotten had I used the size 24 and I have a CRAZY (and I do mean crazy) FBA. The FBA is often so big that it makes the front armhole cut way to high, which in a sleeveless is ok but not when you have a sleeve. So I tried going up to the size 18, not much different or better for that matter. The one constant thing I have noticed regardless of the pattern size I use is that there is always too much length in my upper CB (from neck to arm crease).  I tried using the size 24 and they normally fit around, but then I have to remove no less than 3 inches above the bust which again makes the armholes tight. I won’t even get started about sleeve adjustments, because I have NEVER gotten a sleeve to fit comfortably. Ok rant over.

The reason I gave you all this background is because I’m thinking of Fall sewing and even though South FLA is almost never chilly (unless you count rainy as chilly) I want some jacket like items. I picked up Simplicity 1761 a Khaliah Ali pattern and I cannot figure out where to begin fitting this. I bought the 20W-28W sizing but now I’m wondering if I should go back and get the 10-18 sizing.

Any thoughts?



  1. How tall are you? I'm 5'4" with long legs and it sounds like I have a similar issue (though I don't have a broad back). I wear a 36DDD bra. I make the 16 with a 2 1/2 inch FBA, but then I remove 1 inch between the bust and neck line and because of my straight shoulders, I remove another 1/2 inch when I straighten them out. I think it sounds like you will have to do like I do and figure out a number of pattern alterations before you ever begin. I have a standard five that I do right off the bat. Because of this, I don't ever use the pattern pieces and trace everything. It's just easier for me to draw lines on the pattern piece where my changes are and then I move the pattern pieces at those point as I trace. It takes longer, but is much less frustrating.

    Here is another thing to try. Measure from your shoulder to your bust tip. For me, it is 11 1/2 inches. I get the impression that the patterns are designed for about 13 inches. This should give you sort of an idea about how much to remove in that area.

    I hope this helps at least a little.

  2. Kimberly, thanks so much for reaching out! I'm about 5'1" and from what I read in FFRP I believe that I am petite. Your changes sound exactly like what I have been doing. I also have fairly square shoulders. A lot of my issues are with the armhole, I think I will try removing a "dart from the upper chest instead of a tuck. I'll play around with your suggestions and keep you posted.