The Full Bust Adjustment can be a pretty tricky thing to wrap your head around, but it affects everything: even knit tops.
A quick Google search for t-shirt and sweater sewing patterns can yield some amazing projects, but for some reason it escapes a lot of minds that a full bust adjustment is just as important on a wool knit garment as on a woven. For this project, I chose an elegant Indigo Wool Knit from Britex Fabrics.
Things to consider when deciding if you need a full bust for a knit garment are the following:
- Is there a pull/drag line between the armscythe of the garment and the bust point?
- Is the seamline adjacent to the bust point wavy/pulling because of the bust size?
- Is there stretching between the two bust points?
- Is the fabric itself pulled extremely tight and taut over the chest?
You can see in my example image above, that a full bust adjustment was absolutely dire!
Right off the bat you can observe a giant folded pull from the armscythe to just above the bust point, as well as drag lines from the back bodice to the side seam.
To get started tackling your adjustment, follow along with the directions in the video, or check out the written instructions on my website, which guide you along the process.
In my example pattern, Seamwork Magazine’s Astoria Sweater, I added roughly 2” for a full bust adjustment, which allowed me to keep a small shoulder width and still add fullness overall. The shape of the pattern was maintained by pivoting out the darts and taking the time to true off and walk all my seams
Additional things to take into account when tackling knit full bust adjustments include:
- What percentage of stretch your knit fabric has. In my case, I worked with a 90% wool, 10% Lycra blend which had approximately 25% stretch. This made my fabric more stable and behave a little bit closer to a woven.
- The wearing ease you want your knit garment to have across your chest. If you’re working with a high stretch knit, you’ll be able to achieve a tighter fit and that has to be accommodated for in the fitting process.
- The armscythe and sleeve may need to be slightly adjusted to allow for a larger range of movement, as it was originally drafted for a smaller size chest.