The joys of a multi cup sized pattern

I started sewing a year ago and fell in love with it utterly and completely.

One of the reasons for starting sewing was down to how hard it was becoming to find nice clothes that fitted my busty, somewhat larger than I wanted (I’m getting that in hand, slowly!) hourglass shape properly.

It quickly transpired that getting a good fit when sewing a pattern would involve doing an FBA – a full bust adjustment. I have gradually been getting better at these, with the fit of each garment improving as I progress. I’ve worked out that my particular body anomaly (one of them, anyway…) is whilst I sometimes match the bust, waist and hip measurements all for the same size, it still won’t actually fit at the bust. I am narrow across my back and carry a disproportionate amount of the measurement across the bust itself. At a 34J this probably shouldn’t have been a surprise!

Hence I am much better off choosing the pattern size based on my high bust (which is 5.5″ less than my full bust) and then doing an FBA as well as adjusting the waist and hips. And then doing my now standard sway back adjustment.

I have read and watched countless tutorials, blogs, you tube videos and books on bust adjustments and feel I am slowly getting better with each one I do.

But of course all this means it takes quite a while to prep the pattern before I can even start cutting out. No wonder I like making patterns up multiple times, as they are a real time investment for me, not to mention the process of tweaking and improving the fit each time I make the pattern.

All this is a rather rambly preamble about my recent make, the Recital shirt from Liesl and Co. Which comes with that holy grail of things, multi cup sizes.

There are a few companies that do these, for example Cashmerette, the Simplicity Amazing Fit patterns, a few Vogue patterns, Charmed Patterns which is Gertie’s own pattern company but only has two patterns so far (I have made the Rita blouse, which is lovely), and Itch to Stitch and Scroop Patterns do some of their pattern this way, but not all. I’m sure there are more out there, please do let me know of any others!

Whilst I am resigned to doing FBAs on most patterns, it is just so lovely when I don’t have to! Or at least when I only need to do a small FBA from starting with the biggest cup size included.

So when I decided I wanted to make a fitted classic white shirt, one of the things I looked out for was patterns that included bigger cup sizes. I narrowed it down to the Harrison shirt from Cashmerette and the Recital shirt from Liesl. They both have princess seams but it was the unusual ruffle collar on the Recital pattern that swung it for me. I loved that this looks a bit like a woman’s version of a dress shirt / tuxedo shirt. The other pattern option is the full tuxedo collar and pin tuck front.

The fabric I used is quite a thick cotton, comparatively speaking. It has worked well for this shirt but with the current, glorious heatwave in the UK, I won’t be wearing this shirt any time soon! At least it is waiting patiently in my wardrobe for when Autumn appears.

I’m pleased with the buttons I chose for this, with just a little bit of a detail to compliment the style of the shirt but not too over the top.

The instructions for this pattern were very good on the whole and it all came together nicely. I did find one bit confusing though, the instructions for sewing part of the cuff. I am almost certain that there is an error in these instructions (or I’m an idiot), as if you follow them you simply can’t turn the cuff out properly. I unpicked it all and resewed it the way that made sense to me, which seemed to do the trick. Annoyingly, I realised the error after I’d already trimmed and graded the seams, so had to do a bit of fudging when re-sewing it at the corners to deal with what otherwise would have been frayed edges.

Here is my note to myself for the next time I make this:

Basically don’t do the bit I’ve put in square brackets!

I took one inch of length off the sleeves before cutting out the fabric and then the other change I made, fitting as I went along, was to take more in underneath the bust. As drafted the pattern is more straight fitting down the torso, but with the princess seams it is fairly easy to scoop more out if you want a fitted shirt that goes in under the bust. The back shaping from the darts is really lovely too.

I’m now really happy with the fit of this shirt and have marked my changes onto the pattern pieces, all ready for the next one. I’m thinking a nice blue and white stripe…

6 thoughts on “The joys of a multi cup sized pattern

    1. Thanks Janine! It’s a great pattern and maybe I was being a numpty about the cuff instructions, but following my amended version of the instructions worked for me. Let me know how you get on with it if you end up making this shirt.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Josephine

    Hi, I have just stumbled onto your blog. This shirt is amazing, you look fab in it. What a good job, well done. I also noted your Nina Lee Mayfair dress blog and again, you look fab in it. Think I may try this pattern first as I was torn between the Seamwork Erica or the Mayfair. Thank you


    1. Hi Josephine, thank you very much for your lovely comment. The Mayfair is an awesome pattern, you’ve reminded me I should really make another one! I’ve also made the Seamwork Erica and whilst I love the end result I did find it hard to get the fit right and had to make lots of adjustments to get it right. Mind you, it was a bit earlier in my sewing experience and I did a full bust adjustment in it, which was my first time doing one on a wrap front and I more or less guessed how to do it. So that may have been entirely my fault and nothing to do with the pattern! As I say, I love the Erica dress as it turned out, but nearly binned the whole thing part way through making it. I love the shape of the skirt portion though so it’s worth persevering for. I’d love to hear how you get on with whatever you choose.


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