Bust size matters

The bust size matters … a lot when it comes to a good fit! We take fitting issues seriously and that is way MySizePatterns patterns are available in different bust sizes, which is a giant step towards achieving a flattering fit compared to patterns offered only for standard proportions of a silhouette.

Before we jump into details, let us quickly show why simply taking a larger clothing size is NOT a quick fix for a full bust.

Generally speaking, women whose bust is larger than a “B” cup, may consider themselves “full-busted”. Shocking, isn’t is? Patterns and off-the-rack garments are almost exclusively made for the average B-cup size, in all (circumference) sizes. So if you have larger bust and try a garment in your “normal” size,  it is likely to fit in general pretty well apart from the upper and lower bust parts. There is just not enough room there, as simple as that. However, taking a larger garment size to fit the full bust level will result in a garment that it too large everywhere else. Sounds familiar? Lots of areas need alternations: the neck, shoulder area, the armholes as even the sleeves. Not easy to do and definitely time consuming. For women with an A-cup the same situation exists, but in a reverse. Why is that?


Have a look at two ladies that have standard silhouette proportions but different circumference sizes. They both look great as they wear garments that fit their body curves all over the place.


But what happens if a woman has breasts larger than the standard? There are actually two options: either she still tries wearing her standard garment size (which is too small at the bust) or she chooses for a larger standard garment size to fit the bust area. The choice between bad and worse really. In the first case the bodice pulls over the bust, flattening the bust  – simply because there is not enough room in the bust part. In some/most cases it would be not possible so squeeze into the standard smaller size, especially of the garment is made from woven fabrics (which are not stretch). So the most likely scenario would be wearing a larger size, but this would result in the clothing being overall too big and even worse –  there could still not be enough room for the bust. Why is that you may ask again? Because of the distribution of the circumference. The drawings below make an attempt to present this mysterious thing.


Even if the two ladies have the same full bust circumference (see the red circle) they have different fitting needs in the bust area. Generally speaking, in the full bust silhouette you need extra room in the front, not all over your body and especially not in the back. So the extra circumference is required to be allocated to the front part of the garment.  The bodice of a full bust woman has more depth and is narrower as opposed to the shape of a standard-proportioned body with the same circumference but with a smaller bust. Compare the shapes of the full bust area when looked at from above.


Therefore, if a woman with larger breasts wears a standard garment which corresponds to her full bust measurement only, she gets the wanted circumference of the bust but she gets is allocated at wrong places! She gets extra room at the back and at the side of the bodice and she gets only a fraction of it at her front –  and this fraction may not be enough to fit her bust.  Not a dream scenario at all, especially as she is already compromising the fit at the neckline (gaping), shoulder (too wide which makes her look larger) and sleeves (not comfortable and definitely not flattering).

Modifying bust area yourself is not easy, especially if the pattern has some specific design cuts. We have developed a pattern-making system that addresses this issue and are happy to offer out patterns in 4 bust sizes.


We have labelled our bust sizes as follows:

The Standard size/table bust is labeled as an “S” – easy to remember.

The “S+1” size is one size higher than the Standard.

The “S+2” size goes one step further (2 extra sizes from the Standard).

The size smaller than the Standard is called “S-1”.

NOTE: MySizePatterns bust sizing (S-1, S, S+1, S+2) makes no direct links to common cup sizes (A, B, C, D ….) to prevent you from drawing wrong conclusions as cup sizes are also not 100% standard across the world. You will get much better results if you simply measure your circumference below the bust (rib cage) and at the fullest part of the bust. The term ” one size” more or less is a kind of shortcut to make it easier to remember. The actual difference in MySizePatterns bust sizes is always 4cm/1.6″, which up to the size EU46/UK18/US16 is indeed one circumference size. However, above these sizes the skip in full bust circumference is larger, 6cm/2.4″ , which is a bit less than “one size”. Therefore, always check the exact measurements given in a table.

These sizes or labels for different busts are not a common pattern making practice, as already mentioned. This is truly original works of MySizePatterns design to define a different amount of space in the breast area corresponding with the need for different bust cups, including garment construction requirements for the widths and the lengths.

In the table below you see details of all bust size options that are available for MySizePatterns patterns. Armed with all these options, you are on a good way to achieve a flattering fit for your non-standard silhouette.


Check an example of how to choose the correct bust size. Choosing the bust size

As our bodies are a complicated combination of various curves, it is strongly recommended to make a trial garment to see if any additional adjustments are still required. If it is OK, you can proceed with the final garment.

If more than slight adjustments would be still needed to get a good fit, try another combination of the size-bust options. Go for a relatively simple dress design, which makes it easier to see fitting differences and track the changes. Once you determine the size combination that works best for you silhouette – stick to it. This may be your sewing life-changing experience.

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