Mar 25, 2012

Bust Rotation for New and Improved Burdastyle Cap Sleeve Dress

I'm not afraid to admit this dress has issues. I was pretty happy to use the remaining lining from my Minoru jacket in this blue dress here, made with Burdastyle's Cap Sleeve Dress With Gathered Skirt pattern. But unless I stand with perfect posture, shoulders drawn back, lungs fully inflated, it's a little loose around the neckline. 
To be perfectly honest, it gapes:

This is the family friendly photo. In case you can't tell, I can see clear to my naval down the front of Burdastyle's Cap Sleeve Dress With Gathered Skirt
But I like this look, and wanted to try it again. So to figure out how to adjust the bodice pattern to better fit my chest, I began pinching and pinning the fabric until I found a dart on the neckline about 2 inches from center front took up enough ease to make it fit better through the bust.


But, of course, a dart placed like that would look odd. Luckily there's a super easy way to transfer that excess to the existing dart. 

To make that change on the paper pattern, I first marked the point on the neckline where I wanted to take out the excess. I measured 2 1/4 inches from center front and marked a point. Then I used my ruler to mark a straight line from that point to the apex of the dart (that's my red line):


The next step is to cut along the inside dart leg, up to the apex. Then fold the neckline excess (I had about 1/2-inch to take out) and tape it down. That will take the excess out of the bust and transfer it into the dart, which becomes wider as a result:


Then all you need to do is reshape your neckline and waistline slightly using a French curve, and re-trace the whole bodice pattern piece onto a new piece of paper, making sure to transfer all your markings.

I should note that having a single bust dart that is TOO BIG can result in torpedo boobs. If you find that you're increasing your dart by a lot, you should consider adding a second dart, which could open into the armhole. My alteration resulted in a slightly pointed bust, but I still really like the results.



I sewed my second version of this dress using a remnant of printed cotton I got at Metro Textile for $5, plus some orange denim (leftover from my Minoru jacket) for the waistband, and really lovely black cotton for the kurt (leftover from my sailor shorts I made last summer). That's some serious stash-busting. The skirt is an A-line pattern I drafted myself. As I was sewing, I thought the black and white print with the bright orange was a little Mondo-ish. (I was totally Team Mondo.)


I centered my print perfectly this time:


Of course, Mondo would have added another color. Or another print. Or both. I was only bold enough to add this orange waistband. 


But I'm happy with it. See how happy? Even my hair was happy.


Does this dress remind you of something? Is it a little '80s Lady Footlocker? I can't quite put my finger on it.


There you have it. Burdastyle's Dress with Gathered Skirt A-Line Skirt With Cap Sleeves adjusted to fit the concave chest of a weakling petite-busted pear-shaped lady. No more gape, and if I need to check the status of my belly button, I guess I'll have to pull up my skirt like every one else.




24 comments:

  1. WHOAH. i was going to start on this very pattern today, armed with a print bought out of jealousy of your coat lining, yet i was sore afraid of the Known Issues! you are a magician, cause this here pattern ba-lows in terms of drafting, and i am glad i have not yet begun to cut.

    your dress is a piece of hotness. i'm fully team mondo too (quelle suprise. though i've yet to see all stars.)

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    1. Haven't you already made this dress? I swear I was inspired to make my bodice and skirt from different fabrics thanks to you, non?

      The fit issues were weird, right? Even in the smallest size, this bodice was way too big, which is weird because I am short, but not really crazy skinny or anything: I also took a half-inch off center back, and folded some excess out of the front, horizontally at a point halfway between the shoulder seam and the bust. Does that make sense?

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  2. Thank you for this tip! love your new dress!

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    1. I had to look up what "FTW" means. (It means I'm old because I needed Urban dictionary to tell me..)

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  4. Thats a great tip... and one that will come in very handy for me! Thank you for sharing :-)

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  5. Wow. Just want to say that's really cute and I'm in awe of your dart sewing skills. That would have turned out pointy for me but yours is great!

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    1. It is slightly pointy. One way to fix that (and something I will do when I use this pattern again) is move the apex of the bust dart down by a half-inch. (a half-inch toward the waistline). We always did this in pattern making class. I'm slipping because I didn't catch that in my first-go-around with this dress.

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  6. Meant also to add... I love both the dresses but particularly like the black and white one. Very striking and and a fabulous fit. :-)

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  7. YAY! Love your dresses and THANK YOU for the sewing tip...I always have this issue with Burda dresses!

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    1. No problem. It's a classic bodice. Once you get the fit right, it's so flattering. In this dress, my waist does not look like the waist of a lazy lady who thinks getting up early to make cake is worth it while the gym is not.

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  8. totally love this version! as much as i love a frilly gathered skirt, i'm really liking the a-line. glad you salvaged the pattern! and i'm team mondo all the way! i kinda think they set up all stars just to right the wrong of his not winning season 8... but i don't care, glad he got the win!

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    1. you are TOTALLY right. I think they also wanted to bring together Mondo and Michael Costello again, the Odd Couple of Fashion. I love those guys.

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  9. Ooh, the fit looks great! Thanks for sharing your technique-- super helpful! I've had the sad pointy-boob thing happen before when I had to increase darts by too much. :( Love that bold print, btw!

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  10. Ok, that's totally fascinating. I also really like the a-line skirt. I try to avoid gathered skirts whenever possible.

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  11. Ok, that's totally fascinating. I also really like the a-line skirt. I try to avoid gathered skirts whenever possible.

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  12. Wow, this is so great! I am putting this bodice together right now. I am using very inexpensive fabric as i was nervous about fitting issues. I am having pretty much the same issues you did the first time. I pulled the outer edge of the cap sleeve a bit farther through than the inner edge, and I think that has helped enough, at least for this version. I saw your fix a little too late for this version, but am excited to use it for my 'real' version as it is exactly the alteration I need!!

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  13. Girl, you've got some serious talent (and probably some luck) in finding and combining great fabric prints! I loved all the looks with or without the bust issues! :)

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  14. I found this from the link off of Burda, and I just have to say THANK YOU!! I can't tell you how many dresses i've made (and bought!) that have gaping necklines. Now I know how to fix them (or at least the ones I make) :)

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  15. i love this dress! the pattern is cute, and the orange waist band is a nice accent. i'm amazed how much the fit had improved with your bust dart modification! Great work<3

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  16. Thanks for sharing! I just made a muslin for the bodice and have found that there is a LOT of gaping. I was going to try the dart rotation to describe so I'm glad to see that it works. I also have gaping in the neckline so I will try something similar there as well...

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  17. Ooo this dress is so cute on you. I just discovered you blog and going through all of your creations. Your very clever and make some really beautiful outfits!! Very inspirational!!

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  18. Wow, this dress is so wonderful, I wish, I could sew such a good dress by myself, but sadly, I can not :-(

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