Monday, February 22, 2021


How to Lower the Bust on a Pattern

Michigan has beautiful winters as long as you don’t have to go outside.  However, it is difficult to stay in the house all winter.  I just don’t like the cold.  I was really looking forward to going to St. Simons Island, Georgia to get away from the extreme cold, but we had to cancel our vacation.  We just didn’t feel safe traveling during the Covid-19 pandemic.  So, I am stuck with Michigan snow!  I do realize how lucky I am to have heat, electricity, water, and plenty of food.  Lots of people in this nation are experiencing a shortage of all of those. 

I am entertaining myself by sewing, blogging, and even purging our basement.  I am beginning to realize just how large my fabric stash is.  I put the overflow from my sewing room in large plastic bins in the basement.  I never realized just how many bins I have.  The truth is I can’t possibly use all this fabric.  There are not enough years left on my “earthly agenda” to make something from all this fabric.  We are preparing for a large garage sale in the spring, so I will add some of my stash to the sale.

My last four posts have been discussions about fitting a pattern for a blouse or top.  I decided to use this post to talk about lowering the bust.  There is more than one way to accomplish this, but this is the method I use.  If I am doing a full bust adjustment on a pattern, I will do that first before I lower the bust.  The reason is when you do a full bust adjustment, it will automatically lower the bust some.  I always check after the full bust adjustment is done to see if I still need to lower the bust.

The pattern usually has an apex already marked on it.   The dart should point to the bust but stop about 1” from the apex (point of the bust).  Mark on the pattern where your apex should be.  You can do that by holding the pattern in place against your body or if you have already made a mockup of the pattern, you should have marked the apex on your mockup and then you can transfer it to your pattern.  Next, I drew a box around the dart as shown in the picture below.


Then, I cut out the box and moved it down the amount I needed to lower the dart.  It is important to keep the two horizonal lines parallel when you move the box.  The dart now should point to the apex. 

 Add paper to fill the space you created when moving the box and true the lines of the pattern.

Are you currently sewing a garment for yourself or someone else?  Sewing a garment is a great way to keep your mind active and sharp.  You use your problem-solving skills as well as your creative and engineering skills.  Now don’t tell me you don’t have those skills.  You do!  They may just be lying dormant waiting for you to call them to action.  Use them soon.  Plan to sew a garment for yourself.

Have fun,



  1. No Judy. I love reading all your posts, especially these last few about fitting. I have a short shoulder to apex measurement. Do I raise the bust in this same manner?

    Thanks, Carrie Kittle

  2. Yes, Carrie. You just raise the box up instead of down. I should have mentioned in my post that the procedure is the same for raising the bust; you just raise the box instead of lowering it.