Alterations; Fixing a Failure 8

Everybody I know who sews has fitting challenges! I love to sew but fitting is my least favorite part & I am really bad at it.  Yucky. 

[See my strudel post related to this & other very cool sewing etc. at

Disparate Disciplines. She’s asking “do you sew Cake or Frosting for yourself?” ]

Okay, I Hate Fitting! I made this and then Never Wore It!
So, since I am taking the Couture Dress Class, I went back & picked up a “Wad it into a ball and bury it!” project from last fall.  Use it Up, Make it Do… 🙂

Like now, getting chillier, last fall I wanted a jumper that looked “fallish”, could double as an apron. I’d been reading about vintage “house dresses” & wanted something really comfy for around the house. Butterick 3725 looked fine. Add cozy cinnamony plaid baby wale corduroy.  I was set to go, had bodice lining ready…

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The fit was terrible and I didn’t really have a clue what to do, So disappointing!

  • The shoulders fell off.
  • The bust just didn’t fit
  • The side seams just fell away

I looked up Full Bust Allowance (Vogue advice). I am gritting my teeth and am now resolved to add the following adjustments:

  • Choose pattern size by upper chest measurement: around the back, up under the armholes and across the upper chest (not “bust).
  • Consider using an even smaller back size, or at least look at any back fitting needs.
  • Look at the bust area, and adjust if it needs more room, by adding both horizontal and vertical allowances.
  • Narrow the neckline and widen the shoulder straps to try to get them not to slip off. btw, my shoulders are uneven, so adding shoulder seams helps.

The jumper is done & I’m wearing it! The wider straps are less of a problem, but not perfect. I’d enlarge them onto the back wrap-panels and again, insert a shoulder seam. The bodice fits better!  I  would narrow the neckline/center panel even further to keep those shoulders up! –and stay stitch that curve– the elastic did the job, but *I know*. it was a mistake, and it shows.  🙂

I hope this helps you, if you are looking at bodice fitting!



  1. Wow. I can’t believe you fixed this. Also can’t tell you the number of times I sewed things that never got worn. A house dress sounds so comforting, like cinnamon toast. Fantastic job, and great photo series.

  2. Pingback: Apfel Strudel & a Jumper « Disparate Disciplines

  3. I had stopped sewing clothes for myself because I had problems like this, but now, I am encouraged to try again. I hope to take a class sometime soon.

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