Crisis of confidence

I’m feeling pretty down about my abilities as a dressmaker.  This morning I felt pretty positive but my emotions with regards to sewing are like a roller-coaster.  Why do I feel so miserable?  This is the culprit ..

It looks ok on the dummy but when I wear it the back gapes out.  It wouldn’t feel so bad but it’s actually the third time I’ve made it – I made two “test” pieces before cutting into the actual fabric and thought I’d altered it properly.

The problem lies mainly with my bust – I’m a DD cup.  The first attempt I cut the top in a size 14 and graded the skirt section down to a 12.  I sure those of you experienced in alterations know that that wasn’t going to work – it fit across my bust but nowhere else .

My second attempt I cut the pattern out as a 12 and then added a little at the bust seams.  On the test this seemed to work but for some reason on the dress proper the back still gapes.  I can’t work out what to do about it.  Do I take a little off the zip edge seam or do I cut it in a 10 and add more to the bust?  Or do I just not bother?  Give up?  Admit defeat?

I sometimes feel that I should just give up and find a new hobby.  I love sewing but I rarely seem to be able to make things fit properly.

I’m not really going to give up of course but I worry that I’m never going to be as successful as my heart wants me to be.

5 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    i hear you there i have a ass and i appear to be three sizes from head to toe!!!! i make it to fit the biggest part of me install the zip then before i add any bias tape or yoke i put it on inside out then fit it to myself no easy task and it means putting it on the right way and stabbing myself A LOT with the pins BUT the end result is generally a wearable garment.. x

  2. 2

    Curvalicious said,

    Don’t lose heart! I have the same problem with my G cups (can’t wait to get that breast reduction!) So I stick to making skirts, trousers and waistcoats for now. As a beginner seamstress I wouldn’t dare take on a dress – – – you’re very courageous! 🙂

  3. 3

    tanitisis said,

    Where is the back gaping? At the top or the waist? It looks like it has princess seams or darts in the back… you could take some of that in. The problem is probably something like your front (because of the full bust) is a bigger “size” than your back. Not sure if the dress is lined or not, but if not, it’s easier to take something in by trying it on inside out and then having someone pin in along the seams where it needs to go.

    … and that about exhausts my meagre fitting expertise. You should google “full bust adjustment” though, there’s lots of stuff out there on how to do them. Sadly I have the opposite problem 😛

  4. 4

    busyfingers101 said,

    Thanks for all your advice ladies! It seems to gape at the top of the dress – maybe I have a narrow back? The whole fitting thing seems such a minefield and I just can’t seem to get my head around it! I think you are right though – the most practical thing seems to be to put the dress on inside out and pin it to my shape. I’ll let you know how I get on.

  5. 5

    Tracy said,

    Most commercial patterns are designed to fit a B cup. As you’ve found, increasing the top size to fit the bust will mean that it will be too big around the neck, shoulders, waist and ribcage. Tanitisis is right, to make it fit a larger cup size you need to do a full bust adjustment (FBA). This sounds scary but once you have the knack your lovely hard work will not be in vain and you will have well fitted, flattering, not gappy dresses and tops. There are lots of tutorials available on the www, and the adjustment is described in several books, but a look on some of the sewing forums such as or for friendly advice will help too. Keep going you will get there 🙂

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