Thoughts on pattern alteration

To the surprise of absolutely nobody, I'm sure, I'm a member of a whole lot of Facebook sewing groups (groups with different foci).  I also, when I see a pattern that interests me, go straight to Google to see what results other people have gotten with it, and if they have any comments/complaints/advice for other seamstresses.

I'm going to say it: The world needs a lot more FBA's.

Most pattern companies still draft for a B cup, but most American women, at least, are larger than a B.  I'm a C and I would say I "read" as medium-busted, at most (this shouldn't matter because it's a proportion issue, not a size one, but I am not plus-sized.  I should not have any trouble finding patterns in sizes or cuts that work for me).  But I still need to do FBA's on a lot of patterns, even though I think most people wouldn't think I should.

I feel like when I look up patterns online, I see far too many with pull lines running from the bust to the side seam, armscye, and/or shoulder.  Ladies, if you're getting these, you need more room in the bust.  You may or may not need to go up a size--that depends on how the rest of the garment fits, but it might not actually be the problem.

The more a pattern is touted as "simple", the more it seems to have this issue.  The Wiksten Tova blouse/tunic and Simplicity 1080 Dottie Angel dress are two that come to mind.  I have not made the Tova (I have a similar 1970's pattern in my queue) but I've made several 1080's and there is no way that pattern was going to fit me well without quite a lot, actually, of alteration, including an FBA.  Being able to get into a garment is not the same as it actually fitting.

I know we all groan and roll our eyes when it becomes clear that a project is going to get bogged down in alterations and fiddling and maybe making a blankety-blank muslin to test for fit, but . . . let's just do it.  We've spent good money on fabric and so many of us sew because we're tired of wearing poorly-made clothes that don't fit well.  Let's not do this to ourselves.