Why the Front Pattern is Wider than the Back

quick tips Mar 01, 2018

For my more advanced sewing enthusiasts, this weeks video may be a little on the obvious side but I find that I get this question a lot so I thought I would cover it for those of you who are new to pattern making and fitting. 

Watch the video now and then come back here to continue reading because there's more to the story...

If you are a bit of a pattern making and fitting veteran the fact that the front pattern is wider than the back isn't new, so to keep you engaged, I've got a puzzle for you to solve instead.

Virtually all pattern drafting systems assume a B cup size which results in a front pattern that is wider than the back by 1/2" on each side. As you increase the bust cup size, the front pattern width increases accordingly so for a D cup you may find that your front pattern is wider by 1" on each side.

So here's something for you to consider. Bust circumference and bust cup size do not necessarily correlate, meaning two people with the same bust circumference may have two different cup sizes.

Let's use this example:

Maureen has a bust circumference of 36" and a B cup.
Sally has a bust circumference of 36" and a D cup.
Let's assume Maureen and Sally's other body measurements are virtually identical.

Maureen will probably find very few bust fitting issues with any pattern as long as she chooses her size according to her bust circumference (assuming the pattern is developed for a B cup).

Sally who would likely choose the same size pattern will have fitting issues because her bust cup size does not match the pattern. If she makes a full bust adjustment for a D cup, she will get better bust fitting but end up adding 2" total to the bust girth of the pattern which will make the circumference of her pattern 2" larger than she needs.

What should Sally do next to get a better fit on her garment?

Post your answer in the comments below!


If you would like to learn how to make a bust adjustment to your pattern check out this playlist on my YouTube Channel.