These are my observations from the fitting, sewing, and modeling of two dresses made from very similar materials and worn by the same person, Sheree. The only difference between these dresses (besides sleeve treatment) is that one was fitted with a curved front closure and the other with a straight front closure. I have also included Sheree’s thoughts on how the dresses felt while worn.
Curved-front seam method
Straight-front seam method
Final torso pattern
Pros of the technique
Cons of the technique
- If you lose weight, this method will cause a pouching effect along the center-front curve of the bust. Also, altering gowns made in this style after weight loss can be problematic if you must also alter the center-front seam. It could mean redoing all of the eyelets again.
- Can be more challenging for a woman with a large bust than for a woman with a small bust, as there is more flesh to re-arrange by the force of the fabric and seams alone. This technique moves the bust further out of its natural position than the curved-front-seam method does, and therefore has gravity working against it all the more.
- If the side seams are not shaped just right, a large bosom can appear to be compressed on the outside-bottoms of each breast, such that the breasts appear to push inward against each other. Another easy mistake to make is the dreaded “quadro-boob”, in which horizontal tightness across the center of the bosom creates an unfortunate bulging above and below the line of tightness.
How does it feel on the body?
“Range of arm movement is much better. No extreme pulling at armhole seams when arms are lifted above the head. Am able to take normal breath without constriction of the diaphragm or lower rib cage.
“Bust feels like it’s in a more normal position. Not press together in the middle or pushed up towards the throat. The bust feels secure in the gown no feelings that one will pop out. No feeling that I didn’t have enough support. No Jello-jiggling of the boobs.
“I can easily see how a women having to wear a gown like this every day could have worked about the home
with limited restriction of movement. Yes, she could have picked up a basket and hung laundry on a line.
My own thought is that for anyone that is large busted, C-cup or bigger, the curved front seam would be the more comfortable of the two styles. Little risk of quadro-boob.”
“Taking a deep breath is similar to when I’ve worn a corset. It is flattering to the waist line with the tight fit.
“Maybe possible that additional support could come into play if the should seam is wider, but then you would loose the period look of that gown.
“Biggest problem is lifting arms above the head. Because the arm holes have to be cut high into the armpit and support is coming from that armhole seam arms have limited range of movement.
“Bust does visually appear as if the breasts will pop out, but they are quite secure in the gown. Even with pushing and prodding, the bust wants to gravitate to the center for the mono-boob effect.
“For someone with a smaller bust the straight front seam might work well. It would give them more cleavage but fitting does appear to be very tricky. The armhole has to be well up into the armpit to avoid pressing the bust into quadro-boob. “