Mpressive Threadz Studio Blog

Sharing my love of sewing

Make it work!


I don’t know why I thought I could cut out a pattern for myself without doing a full bust adjustment.  I guess I was delusional at the time.  I decided to make a matching top for the black linen pants using Simplicity 7086, View B, an out-of-print pattern.  I had pinned this pattern to the fabric years ago, roughly cut around the pieces and put them away.  Since the pieces were already pinned to the fabric, I just cut.  Needless to say, my body has changed a little, and once I stitched the shoulders and side seam and tried on the top, my muddled brain cleared instantly.  The white tracing threads on the center front s did not meet at the bust comfortably.

I make the full bust adjustment on the pattern front and instead of a side dart I make a French dart.  I have a piece of the linen that wide enough but not long enough for the new front.  My top now has a yoke.  I stitch the darts, shoulders and side seams and try the top on again.  The white tracing threads on the center fronts meet comfortably, but there’s some poof above the dart to the armhole.  Why?  The point of the French dart is not in the right place.  It’s pointing below my apex.  I call it a night.

Morning time and now it’s time to make it work. I try on the top, wrong side out, matching the centers. Using a white dressmaker pencil, I put a dot at my apex.  Take the top off, open the side seam to just above the dart, remove the stitching in the dart and press the front piece flat. I redraw the French dart pointing toward the apex, stopping the dart point 1” from the apex.  I stitch the darts and try the top on again.  BETTER!   There’s a little bit of a poof along the dart so I fold it out, using my fingers to crease the fabric.  I take off the top and examine the crease.  The dart wants to be 1/2″ wider and to curve slightly.  I stitch on the crease making the dart wider, try on the top and it’s EVEN BETTER.  I see that the back side seam line laps in away from the front side seam line about 1” at the hem.  I stitch the rest of the side seam keeping the back seam allowance at 3/4″ and bringing the front seam allowance to 1 3/4” at the hem.  I do the other side.

The collar in on, the front facings are attached and I need a break.  Time for some coffee!


Author: Mpressive Threadz

I started sewing when I was 11 years old, and had my own clients when I was 12. I graduated from the H.S. of Fashion Industries, majoring in fashion design. I expanded my technical background by attending evening classes at the Fashion Institute of Technology and working many years at a major pattern company. I have been creating custom wedding gowns and evening dresses for more years than I care to count. I LOVE WORKING WITH FABRICS. I love fine sewing techniques. I love creating beautiful dresses.

2 thoughts on “Make it work!

  1. Sigh. I would love an “idiot’s guide” to making the bust adjustment. I am a 32GG – that’s 40″ around at the fullest part of the bust, and 32″ at the ribcage, with about a 29″ waist. NOTHING fits and I’m not skilled enough to alter the patterns!

    • Heidi:

      It’s an easy adjustment to make. Many of the sewing blogs actually have examples of how to do a full bust adjustment. Sew, Mama, Sew has a very good example of it.

      I would recommend you try it on a princess seam dress. Select the size that fits you well in the shoulder area because it easy to alter the waist. And I definitely recommend you make the dress in muslim and fit that to your body before you cut your good fabric.

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