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.
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.