October 28, 2022
by Cynthia Anderson
In this blog I will demonstrate how to make a bust adjustment for View C of 222 Vintage Vests pattern. While the Folkwear 222 Vintage Vests pattern offers three different style versions, View C has a double-breasted front closure and four darts that create a snug fit at the bust. The focus of this blog is to show how to create a custom fit by adjusting the position of the front bust darts, using a test muslin. There are instructions in the pattern on how to do this, but I also thought it would be helpful to see someone else do it and show you how .
To get started, determine your approximate vest size using the Sizing Chart included in the 222 Vintage Vests pattern. Find the bust measurement on the sizing chart that corresponds with your bust measurement. I made a size medium, which is for measurements 36"(91cm) to 38"(97cm) at the bust.
Make a Test Muslin
I made a test muslin of the vest pattern (view C) according to the pattern instructions, but I only used the pattern pieces needed to determine fit and for making the bust adjustments. I cut out the Front, Side Back, and Back. The collar and lining are not needed for this exercise.
Make the vest muslin for your size according to the instructions. Fold darts along the Fold Lines, with right sides together, and baste along the dart stitching lines. Using a basting stitch makes it easier to remove the stitching when adjusting. Press the darts lightly.
Note: Wear the muslin wrong side out and make the dart adjustment markings on the wrong side, and to make it easier to make adjustments.
Ensure a Good Fit
Try on the muslin (inside out) and match and pin the center front of the vest to hold it closed. The vest will fit more accurately if you include any undergarments and garments you intend to wear under the vest. For instance, don't make adjustments over a t-shirt, if you plan on wearing a peasant shirt underneath the vest. For the purposes of this demonstration I have not used undergarments or a shirt on my dress form.
Ideally, you want to make the adjustments while wearing the muslin yourself with the help of a sewing buddy to do the pinning. For this demonstration, I used a dress form made to my size.
Determine the Bust Point
For the most flattering fit, darts should end about 1/2" (13mm) below your bust point. With the vest on, determine the widest, or fullest, part of your bust. This is the Bust Point or Bust Apex. Often nipple position is mistaken for the bust point, but this does not always ensure the best fit. Wear a bra to help finding the bust point easier.
Stand up straight and view your profile while looking in a mirror. Stretch a length of ribbon or string horizontally across the fullest part of the bust and secure with a pin to hold.
I have used a blue dot sticker to mark the bust point on the ribbon, to make it easier to see.
I inserted a pin into the center of the dot and transferred this point using a pen/pencil on the vest muslin.
Adjust the Dart Placement
The original darts may fall to the left or to the right of your newly marked bust point. To adjust the darts to align with your bust points, take off the vest and remove the original dart stitching and press the muslin flat. Redraw (on the wrong side) the new Dart Fold Lines so that the new dart points fall 1/2" (13mm) on either side of and below the bust point.
Follow the series of illustrations and instructions below for a step by step explanation.
Use the illustrations below as a guide to make the bust adjustment on the wrong side of your test muslin. The illustration below shows the new bust point, the original flat darts, and center front line. The circle around the bust point shows the 1/2" (13mm) space needed below the bust point.
Mark the center between the original darts at the bottom edge of the vest. Draw a line (dashed here) connecting the line 1/2" (13mm) below the bust point and the center between the two darts.
Draw a small horizontal line 1/2" (13mm) below the bust point, and measure 1/2" (13mm) on either side of the new vertical bust point line. Mark where these lines intersect to create the new dart points.
Draw in the new Dart Fold Lines. The new Dart Fold Lines should begin at the same point on the bottom edge of the vest as the original dart fold line markings. They will connected to the new dart points. Re-draw in the new Dart Stitching Lines with chalk or erasable marker. The Dart Stitching Lines should also start at the same place as the original lines. Keep the darts equally spaced on either side of the bust point center line.
Connect the the original bottom dart edges to the new dart points to create the new dart stitching lines.
Baste the new darts and try the vest muslin on, right side out and evaluate the fit. The darts should not extend beyond the 1/2' (13mm) line under the bust point.
Once you are satisfied with the bust adjustment fit transfer the re-drawn darts to your pattern for future reference. Also re-draw in the new darts on both sides of the front and on the lining pieces. You may also need to even off the bottom edge of the front pieces.
Look closely below to compare original darts lines and the new stitched darts.
Even a slight adjustment can make a noticeable difference in the look and feel of how a garment fits. My bust adjustment changed only slightly, but the result is obvious both visually and in the way the fit feels when worn. Making a muslin is a great way to try out new skills, and test for fit, enabling you to make your final project with confidence.
Making a bust adjustment for View C of the Folkwear 222 Vintage Vests is not hard and it is a skill you can apply to other projects with darts. You only have to learn a few easy steps to create a custom bust fit for this charming vest.
Check-out the blogs Vintage Vests Inspiration, Add a Folkwear 222 Vintage Vest to Your Wardrobe, and Make a 222 Vintage Vest for Fall to see how fun and easy it is to make a vest. Fall is here and the 222 Vintage Vests Paper Pattern is a great pattern for layering! Find the PDF pattern here. Make one or all the styles offered in the pattern to add new life to your fall and winter wardrobe.
January 17, 2023