June 7, 2021

How to Fit the Bodice of the Roseclair Dress


The Roseclair Dress is here! We hope it’s the floaty woven wrap dress of your dreams, and that it fits straight out of the envelope (the dream!) but if you need some additional tips on fitting the bodice, no problemo, we’re here to help.

The Roseclair Dress: How to fit the Roseclair Bodice

As with all Cashmerette patterns, we designed the Roseclair specifically for a full bust with cup sizes C-H. Our fit models and pattern testers got a fantastic fit, but of course boobs come in all shapes, sizes, heights and widths, which means that sometimes you’ll need to tweak a woven wrap bodice to fit your unique body just right.

But no fear! There are a few simple adjustments you can make to perfect the bodice fit of your Roseclair. Let’s get to it!

Start with the right size

The Roseclair Dress is designed with bust and waist darts and multiple cup sizes for beautiful shaping around a full bust. To get the best fit right out the gate, you’ll want to start by taking your measurements and selecting your size using our handy size calculator.

If you’re between sizes, you can grade between sizes. Here’s a tutorial on how to do that on a dress like the Roseclair. Since the Roseclair is a full wrap, remember to grade on both sides of the front bodice!

Sewing a muslin

When making a new-to-you pattern, a muslin (toile) is essential! You don’t want to spend a lot of money and time only to discover the fit isn’t quite right. It may seem like a bit of a hassle, but the time spent making a muslin is indeed well spent if it results in a garment you’ll wear for years.

For your muslin, use a fabric that’s the same weight and drape as the fabric you’re going to be using for your final version. We’ve found that the Roseclair’s bodice can fit very differently between very drapey and less drapey fabrics (for instance, you could have gaping in one fabric and not in another, using exactly the same size pattern pieces!), so for your muslin, do your best to match the drape of the fabric you’ve chosen for your final garment.

If you’d like to use less fabric, you can use just the top tier of View A to make a peplum top as your muslin—you’ll get a great sense of the bodice fit that way without using up a lot of fabric or spending a ton of time on the ruffles or hems.

Important note: make sure you don’t skip the neckline staystitching step! Staystitching the neckline before constructing your Roseclair will keep the neckline from stretching out while you’re sewing up your Roseclair. If you don’t do this, it may be gaping because the fabric stretched out on the bias, not because it doesn’t fit.

You can also use a trick Jenny recently shared on Instagram: first, trace your pattern piece onto your fabric using chalk or a marker. Staystitch just inside the neckline, and only then cut the piece out. That way the neckline never has the opportunity to stretch out!

Reviewing Your muslin

Once you’ve sewn up your Roseclair Dress muslin in your size(s) and cup size, try it on. Be sure to wear the undergarments that you would normally wear with this dress, because different bras can impact how your bust sits. If you’re happy with how the Roseclair bust fits around your bust—fantastic! You can cruise on through to your final dress.

Is the bust not fitting quite like you want it? Click to see our recommendations based on the fit issue you’re noticing:

If the overall garment feels too small or too big, you may need a different size–check your measurements in the sizing calculator if you haven’t already.

The Neckline Is Gaping

If the neckline of your Roseclair is gaping, you can remove the excess length in the neckline. To do so, pinch out and pin a small dart on either side of the neckline like so:

Measure the dart, and then transfer it to the pattern piece, and rotate it into the bust dart – we have a step-by-step tutorial on how to do that here.

The Shoulders Aren’t Sitting Right

With your muslin on, check the fit of the shoulders. The shoulder seam should sit at the top of your shoulder, and should end at your natural shoulder.

Cashmerette patterns are designed for curves, and curvy folks often have a slight forward shoulder, so we’ve built in a small forward shoulder adjustment into our patterns. If you find that you need a more pronounced forward shoulder adjustment, here is a tutorial for how to do that.

If you need to move the shoulder seam back, you’ll need to do a back shoulder adjustment. This is a less common adjustment, but is essentially the reverse of a forward shoulder adjustment. Here is a tutorial for how to do that (scroll down to “posterior arm joint adjustment”).

If the shoulders are not long enough or are extending too far measure how how much you want to extend or bring in the shoulder. If you need to bring in your Roseclair’s shoulder, you’ll want to do a narrow shoulder adjustment—here is a tutorial for how to do that. If you want to extend your Roseclair’s shoulder, you’ll want to do a broad shoulder adjustment—here is a tutorial for how to do that.

The Bust Darts Aren’t in the Right Place

Turn to the side to check the positioning of the bust darts. The bust dart seam should sit at the fullest part of your bust, and the dart tip should be between 1 – 2″ (2.5 – 5cm) from your bust apex depending on your pattern size and cup size.

If you need to move the bust darts up or down, here is a tutorial for how to do that.

If you need to lengthen or shorten the bust dart, measure how much you would need to adjust the length of the dart, then mark your new dart point on your pattern piece and re-draw the dart legs to end at that point.

We hope this tutorial helps you find your ideal bodice fit in the Roseclair Dress! We all deserve fabulously swishy wrap dresses, and we can’t wait to see you strutting your stuff in a beautiful new Roseclair.

10 thoughts on “How to Fit the Bodice of the Roseclair Dress

  1. MARGARET says:

    I love this dress! The neckline is a little low for me, though. How do I raise it?

    1. Brooke says:

      I’d love to know that too! I have it in my cart but am a little hesitant to buy it until I know how to raise it. There are a few pics that show it with a high neckline but I don’t see anywhere that says how to do it. Other than the low neckline I love this dress. It would be great for the hot weather we are having. The only other change I’d make is to add side pockets and one at the side back waist seam for my phone.

    2. xglsc says:

      make the toile, use basting stitches on your machine. Try it on and make any length changes you need. If it fits great in the shoulders, the side seam is in the right place, not to far forward or back, then you may just want to use the next cup size available on the pattern. Use the larger cup size to cut and stitch a new front for your toile and try on. Make any adjustments to the length of the new front seam you need and evaluate the coverage. If using the larger size causes other fit issues or it fits great but you still want more coverage its time to add to that front bodice seam. Slide a piece of sturdy tracing paper under the front seam, pivot the tissue from the neckline raising it till you get the coverage you want. Pin tissue paper in place along the front. Remove your toile, lay it on tissue paper and trace it extending the line the length of the seam…
      Caveat, I am not a “pro” I am just a home sewist used to having to muddle about with any pattern to get ANY kind of fit. Even when I was young and thin I was curvy thin and every pattern then was made for Twiggy stick figures =D Also I have not made this dress yet, but have made my share of wrap dresses over the last 55 years or so… Thankfully we no longer have to go through all that because Jenny and Co have taken 90% of the stress out of sewing for curves!

      1. Margaret says:

        That is so helpful, XGLSC. Thanks for taking the time and trouble to answer in such a detailed way.

    3. Mallory Donohue says:

      Hi Margaret,
      We recommend making a muslin of the top and then re-drawing the neckline curve if it seems low on you. While it might look low on some, everyone’s breast tissue is so different, that it might not actually look that low on you. Make sure to stay stitch the neckline- even on a muslin!

      1. Margaret says:

        Thanks, Mallory.

  2. xglsc says:

    I would like to know how the Roseclair differs from the other wrap dress that Cashmerette offers other than the tiered skirt?

    1. Suellen DiMassimo says:

      The Roseclair is made for woven fabrics and the Appleton is for knits.

      1. Linda says:

        Thanks, the very second I hit the send button I figured it out ☺️.

    2. Mallory Donohue says:

      Hi there! The Roseclair is meant for mid-lightweight woven fabrics, while our other wrap dresses are meant for knits.

Let me know what you think!