Across Chest and Back vs. the Bust Circumference

We recently revised all of our tops and dresses including our sloper. The information below explains why.


When I developed Fitography I first developed ways of measuring 3 dimensional bodies from 2 dimensional photos. I then found ways for measuring what is unable to be measured using a tape measure, like dart intakes for example. Lastly I needed to develop new drafting formulas to be able to plot these newly found measurements, and because the standard drafting procedures don’t work unless you are a standard, well-proportioned fit model.


One of the standard methods of drafting that I did keep was that once you plot the bust circumference, and then plot the across front chest measurement and the across back measurement, whatever is left over is the armhole width.


Thanks to my recently receiving some great customer feedback, I found out that this common pattern drafting practice does not work. It especially doesn’t work if you have a prominent upper back that overhangs your waist by a lot.


Using the standard method for this figure type results in a very tight, sometimes non-existent underarm!


What actually needs to be used for your back pattern width measurements is your across back plus half your armhole width.

On a sampling of various figure types I found that the across back plus armhole width was usually wider than or equal to the back circumference at the bust level. I didn’t find any figures that were larger at the back bust level (although that doesn’t mean they don’t exist).


In addition, the same holds true for the front; using the across front measurement without an additional armhole width measurement resulted in too large of a bust dart and too small of an armhole on figures with prominent busts.


The fact that the across front and especially the across back measurements are important for fit imparts credibility to the advice to use your above bust measurement when choosing your size for commercial patterns and then doing an FBA, SBA or swayback adjustment as necessary. The problem is that this is a difficult area to measure precisely since your arm is in the way.


Of course you don’t have to worry about this when using a Fitography pattern since this is all measured for you and applied to your pattern.


We have since updated all of our drafts to correct for this oversight. If you tried Fitography earlier and felt that it didn’t work for you, I urge you to try it again with the newly updated patterns. Since you already have your body outline and own the patterns, you have nothing to lose but a little muslin and a little time, and everything to gain since you finally can have great fit. You will need to re-download the revised patterns, if you need your download allowance reset, or if you can't find the download link, please contact us at


We always welcome customer feedback at Fitography! Our goal is for our patterns to fit everyone, so if it doesn’t fit you we want to figure out why and correct it.

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  • Teresa on

    I don’t have a printer and am trying to find out which printers will work with sew fitography. I am eager to try out your updated fitting patterns.
    I also need to buy a computer. Does windows home work?
    I would get the sew fitography software as soon as I get the hardware to put it on and print it.


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