Sencha for a Small-er Bust

Finally, after a week or so of pattern tracing and cutting I started in on a few muslins over the weekend. (My multiple-pattern project is going great except–big except–I have little piles of patterns everywhere–which could make things get chaotic fast. I really need some hangers or clothespins because I don’t want to fold them up.)

First up is the Sencha blouse by Colette Patterns. Here is what could happen when one picks a sewing pattern by bust width:

Hilarious, right? I’m sure there’s some sort of style in this. (I had no one to help me pin the back, but I don’t think it would’ve pinned shut anyway!)

Many patterns recommend picking a size based on bust width, and according to Colette Patterns that would put me at size 0, their smallest. I knew that was silly as I was tracing it, but I decided to make a muslin out of the 0 just to see what would happen. (My Lady Grey coat started out as a size 4, with some bust alterations.)

It’s a good example of how picking by bust width might get one into shoulder trouble. I’ve read on blogs that Colette Patterns are based on a C-cup. That tells me that a 33-inch bust would correspond with a 30-inch upper bust (mine is 32). What I don’t know–outside of measuring the pattern itself–is the shoulder to shoulder width for each size. Obviously my shoulder width is at least two sizes larger than Colette’s proportions for my bust size–I can’t even tell you how painfully small these cap sleeves are–hard to see from the photos but they barely go over my arms.

As darling as they are, it’d be awesome if Colette included more measurements in their patterns. I’m sure larger bust ladies need them, too, because not every larger-busted woman has large shoulders. The only patterns I’ve used that do include more than the usual bust/waist/hip (and sometimes) back length are Burda and HotPatterns. Hotpatterns really goes into detail, which is very helpful when picking out sizes.

So back to tracing another size, most likely a 4 to fit my shoulders and chest, and doing an adjustment in the bust area. I’ve got some big plans for this pattern if I can get it fitting correctly–a top secret design I’ll share soon!