Very versatile patterns, for those of us with funky chest sizes!

During my many years of sewing, I've come across several patterns with three or more different "bodice front" pieces--one for A cups, one for B cups, one for C/D...
As someone with frustratingly small boobs but also a larger-than-average ribcage, normal patterns usually fit me and I can usually pick the middle-of-the-road cup size pattern piece.
But oftentimes, patterns don't fit right out of the envelope and you have to figure out yourself how to alter patterns and tweak them for your body type.  I've listed a few (cute!) patterns here that are adjustable right from the package, letting you mix and match the pieces to make a specific size.

Any McCall's pattern with the "MADE-FOR-YOU" slogan on the package includes multiple cup sizes, I'm pretty sure.
And Simplicity, my personal fave, has quite a few cute ones with multiple cup sizes:
Seems to me about half of these have little banners on the pattern front that say "Separate Patterns Included for B, C, D Cup Sizes"--but not all of them do.  You have to read the fine print on the back and this can be pretty confusing.
It also seems pretty random which patterns do and don't include multiple options for bust.  You'd think the fitted, structured, figure-hugging dresses and tops would do this and the baggier, cross-over, or more forgiving looks wouldn't, but this isn't the case.  Who knows what the logic behind this is.

And as a warning, here's a pattern that DOES NOT fit any cup size.  I've made this three times and I always hope that it'll fit, but it's always snug and unflattering across the bust.  There are no bust darts, just gathers at the waist, and there is not enough room at the bust.  I need to draft a new pattern piece or make a note or something on the paper, because I really like the style, but it is not flattering!
 Hope my thoughts help!!
Have any of you had particularly good or bad luck fitting/altering bust sizes in modern patterns?

10 comments

  1. Phew, I've been wanting to buy that Cynthia Rowley pattern for a while now....but something's always stopped me....damn good thing, because there's no way my D cup would get into it!

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  2. Anonymous2/21/2010

    SO TIMELY, THANKX FOR THAT TIP RE CYNTHIA ROWLEY DRESS. I AM JUST ABOUT TO MAKE IT BUT HAVENT SEEN THAT TIP ON PATTERN REVIEW

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  3. thanks for the tip. I didn't even know the multiple cup options existed! I too have a relatively large rib cage.
    Too bad they didn't make the pattern right for the CR dress. Its very pretty in the picture.
    Kathy

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  4. I just bought that CR pattern, thank goodness it was only $1! I haven't tried it yet, as I a pregnant, but if you come up with a solution let us know because it is such a cute pattern.

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  5. I am so sad. I have that Cynthia Rowley pattern (and have yet to make it) but with my DD's I am wondering if I should even try?

    A while ago Sew, Mama, Sew had a tutorial on a 'full bust adjustment' that might be something you would find helpful.

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  6. I didn't realize this - thank you for the heads-up! I haven't mastered the full bust alteration yet so this might be a good alternative until I do.

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  7. I'm with you! I also have a small bust but a fat old rib cage. I have a couple of the patterns you mentioned, so I'll bring them up to the top of the to-do pile!

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  8. Uhoh. I bought the CR pattern for $1 also at JoAnns and was hoping to make it to wear for an event I'm going to in two weeks. I think I'm going to try and make it anyways since I've already bought my fabric and started prepping things. I'll post an update if I have any luck with this one. Thanks for the tips!

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  9. Do you know of any patterns that fit (and look decent on) larger busted women? I'm a G cup and it's super hard to fit things.

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