Monday, March 22, 2010

A or B Cup Alterations for Colette's Parfait Dress

Hello all! Shaerie here, with the first in a series of posts designed to take some of the mystery out of fitting your body correctly when using commercial patterns. We teach a class here at Sew L.A. using Colette's awesome Parfait Dress pattern, which is drafted for ladies with a C cup. Most commercial patterns are drafted for B cup ladies, so while this is a boon for some of us it ends up looking too baggy in the bust for many petite ladies.

The technique illustrated herein is sometimes called a small bust adjustment and can be used on almost any pattern. You can also use this technique to remove a bust dart on any pattern that has one, like our Best Party Dress (Kwik Sew #3521) or our 1950's Dress (McCall's #4769). This tutorial may look long, but it really doesn't take a long time to do. We just have so many pictures! Shortly, I'll be posting the opposite technique - a large bust adjustment or how to add or enlarge a dart if needed.

How do I know what my cup size is? you may ask yourself. Don't listen to what those ladies at Victoria's Secret tell you! They are helping you find a bra that fits, not a pattern size. For pattern sizes you need two measurements: the fullest part of the bust and also what is called your high bust measurement - this goes under your armpits and over your bust. The difference between the two is what determines your cup size.

1" or less: A cup
around 2": B cup
around 3": C cup
around 4": D cup
around 5": DD cup

Supplies needed:
Extra paper - pattern paper or copy/printer paper
a sharp pencil - a mechanical pencil is best
2 x 18" clear ruler
clear tape - the matte kind you can write on
push-pin type thumbtacks
a small Vary form curve or french curve ruler

The Parfait Dress pattern has only two inches of ease at the bust - we can tell that by comparing the bust measurement on the size chart with the finished garment bust measurement on the back of the pattern. We measured the bust and came up with 35", so we started with the pattern size 4. On this specific pattern, check the waist measurement as well - there is only 1/2" of ease per size!

1. Choose size by full bust measurement
2. Cut out pieces A and C: bodice front and midriff front
3. Draw in 5/8" seam allowance on the bottom of A and the top of C

Thursday, March 18, 2010


It's finally happened. We have a SIGN!

It's been sitting in the back room for quite some time begging to be put on the building and today it happened. Now when people call and ask where we are I can tell them to look for our SIGN!

Oh happy day!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Holy post-impressionist fabric!

Sitting in the shop minding my own business when the UPS man walks in the door carrying the biggest box I've seen walk through our doors in quite some time. I knew what it was immediately; it was the Van Gogh collection. 

We ordered some really amazing rayon prints in October and were completely convinced that they were never printed, and I never thought I would be so happy to be wrong. You really have to see them to understand, but they look like paintings and have the most amazing hand. Anyhow, here's a sample of all of them all in a gorgeous row. Enjoy, try not to drool, and check out the prints individually on the fabric store website.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Hooray for new Echino fabric!

Etsuko Furuya's most recent collection is from her Nico line, which focuses more on technology and pop art than on her other collections which have nature and animals highlighted. We ordered a whole bunch and now comes the hard part - waiting for it to arrive! It will be here in about 7 weeks and we'll be sure to let everyone know. We also ordered a bunch of new Nani Iro fabric from designer Naomi Ito, and will be posting pictures of that soon...