Saturday, November 08, 2008

My cups runneth over

You know how I've had problems with patterns being too big in center front and center back, at least at my current weight, and so I thought that my shoulders were too narrow? I think I finally understand what's going on, and it isn't that my shoulders are narrow - it's that my bust is big.

There are two bust area measurements that can be taken: the bust itself, where the tape measure goes over the fullest part of the bust and stays parallel to the floor all around; and the high bust, where the tape measure is in the same place as the bust in the back but is raised in front to go above the bust fullness. A bust measurement no more than 3" larger than the high bust indicates a B cup while a bust measurement more than 3" larger than the high bust indicates a C or larger cup.

Most people can use the bust as a guide in choosing the pattern size because most people will be about a B cup. If someone has a C or larger cup and chooses a top or dress pattern according to the bust size, the bust will fit properly but the shoulders and armholes will be way too big. So the solution for those with a C or larger cup is to choose the top or dress pattern size based on the high bust measurement and then make a Full Bust Adjustment (FBA) for the bust. This means that the shoulders, chest, and bust will all fit properly. I should mention here that making an FBA is way easier than grading the shoulder area down :).

Note: I suspect, although I'm not sure, that if the bust and high bust measurements differ by less than about 1" this indicates an A or smaller cup. Those with an A or smaller cup could use either measurement to choose the top or dress pattern and then make a Small Bust Adjustment (SBA) to fit the pattern to them.

Anyways..... it turns out that right now, my high bust measurement is about 4" smaller than my bust measurement. I guess I'm not the B cup I thought I was :) I've been choosing my pattern size by my bust measurement when I should be using the high bust measurement! No wonder I was having fit issues through the shoulder and armscye.

I'm pretty sure that I knew about all of this - I definitely remember reading about how to select a different pattern size based on the high bust measurement and all that - but I never thought that it applied to me. I guess the difference between my bust and high bust is more pronounced right now because I'm carrying some extra pounds.

Speaking of extra weight, the other day I told my oncologist that I wanted to lose some of it. She said, "Why? What's wrong with your weight now?" I could have kissed her - who doesn't want a license to be chubby? :)

5 comments:

The Hyperlexian Aspie said...

Teeheeheehee the title makes me giggle. But seriously, were you actually not aware that you have gloriously ample bosoms?

I tried the measurement and sure enough, I'm a B Cup. Great. Do you know how hard it is to find bras in 44B (or 46B when I was chubbier)?

There is an assumption that big chubbies = big boobs, but if a person is an A or AA cup at 110 lbs, their boobs don't balloon to a D cup at 220 lbs! Sheesh.

Love your Dr.'s answer to your weight concerns. You look great.. and you're stable, cancer-wise, so why fret?

Love,
Vicki

Robin said...

I like your tittle, er, title too :)

I did the measurements and found I am a D cup, but I knew that already. Strangely, I do gain & lose weight there. At my chubbiest I am a DD and my tiniest I was a B. Was that TMI? Sorry.


Love,
Robin

Chantelle said...

Vicki, ummm, I think you're confusing me with the sister that DOES have gloriously ample bosoms :)

I've always thought I was a B cup - I didn't think that I gained much weight there. I guess I do - at my tiniest I've been barely a B and now, well, I'm something else. :)

Hugs and love,
Chantelle

Anonymous said...

I remember Baba trying to always stuff her ample boobs into a 38B! When a 44DD would have fit much better :)

In our city, we now have a bra place that will custom fit a bra for anyone (for a price of course). They have a seamstress on site and will 'build your bra' while you wait.

Definitely worth considering for those who have trouble getting a good fit off the shelf.
Love, Mom

The Hyperlexian Aspie said...

Ooops sorry they always looked biggish to me. But please forgive me - my perspective is coloured by my AA experiences. Anything bigger than molehills just looks gloriously ample to me I guess!
Love,
Vicki