Bust Adjust or Bust — Projects #4 & #5

img_2293Just a couple of weeks ago, I didn’t know if I would manage to sew anything I’d wear in public.  Now, I want to wear these tops every day.  I’ll admit — I may have lost my objectivity, but I don’t care.  I’ve got nothing else I want to wear.

My last project, my first Colette Sorbetto top, didn’t fit out of the box.  So, I altered the top and counted it as a success.

Obviously, it would be better to modify the pattern and not the garment.

So here I am, reading The Colette Sewing Handbook: inspired styles and classic techniques for the modern seamstress by Sarai Mitnick, which I borrowed from the New York Public Library’s digital collection.  I would recommend this book to any beginner, although it would probably be better in print than as an ebook.

Anyway, according to the book, it’s common to need to change a sewing pattern.  So, even though I’m inexperienced and don’t want to get overwhelmed, I decide to change the Colette Sorbetto top pattern.  It feels like an experiment.  It is an experiment.  I use the fabric that is actually called muslin, which I got from Mood Fabrics in black. It’s inexpensive.  I think — maybe I’ll feel less wasteful if it doesn’t work out.

Here are my steps:

1. Draw 4 lines: (i) armhole to the largest part of the bust (“apex”) (ii) through old dart to apex (iii) apex to waistline (iv) apex to fold line in middle of shirt.


2. Cut through the 4 lines (I know the directions say not to cut all the way through).

3. Spread the pattern apart at the dart (2 cm, based on alterations to the last top) and move the other pieces out until the pattern lays flat and the fold line and waist line look straight.


4. Tape the pattern back together, filling gaps with blank paper.   (I also cut off the box pleat.)


This approach actually turns out to work, although it’s not exactly in compliance with the book’s advice for altering patterns.

Still, there are two issues with my second Sorbetto: (1)  the darts look too long and (2) the top is too short to stay tucked into my overalls.  So, I draw shorter darts, extend the pattern by 2″, and make a third Sorbetto top.


I feel comfortable wearing both of these, warts and all.  I doubt anyone will notice their imperfections and if someone does notice — so what?  There’s no way I’ll be the weirdest-dressed person in New York.