I get a lot of questions regarding what cup size I draft for. That is a tricky question for me. The XSmall is my base size for the XXS-L set of patterns which is made for a B cup size. 1X is my base size for the XL-3X size range and is drafted for a DD. When I grade the patterns I incrementally create additional shaping for the chest and increase dart depths to accommodate larger chests. This means each size will be different. For me to use a B cup for all sizes is not part of my game plan.
Is this the right way? Not necessarily because there is no prescribed drafting method for cup sizes. However, at this point it is the closest I can get to cover a wide enough range of cup sizes. This is based on my own theory that as women become larger so do their chests. Of course the opposite could prove true, but that is when the scenario gets a little foggy.
Q: Why can't you make all cup sizes available for your patterns?:
Let me step behind the bar and demonstrate the complexities with a tasty visual- Margaritas!:
Let’s say I am planning a party where I will be serving margaritas. I have invited 10 friends. My bar is always well stocked and I like to have options for my guests so I decide on five different flavors (aka- sizes).
The practical side of me would say to only buy enough ingredients for 10 margaritas (assuming my friends are light drinkers). However, I cannot guarantee that my friends will evenly divide the margarita flavors (sizes) amongst themselves. Perhaps more will go for the strawberry flavor vs the traditional. To make sure I accommodate everyone I will need to make 10 (cup sizes) of each flavor (size) which equals out to 50 margaritas total! This means I will be spending some serious time behind the bar.
Ok, maybe that was abstract, but my point is that for each pattern size at least 5 additional patterns would be needed for different cup sizes. Multiply that by 9 sizes (assuming SML and not numeric sizing) and that equals out to 45 patterns. Wowza, that is a lot of grading and then there are the logistics for ordering and setting up my website to process such request (which, quite frankly, becomes abstract for me- as I reach for a margarita). It is not a matter of ignoring certain sizes, but rather a consideration in practicality and what I can realistically achieve at this time.
Ok, round 2: Can I guarantee that a certain size is drafted for a specific cup size? No, as I mentioned before there is no prescribed drafting methods for cup sizes that I am aware of. The amount I choose to grade each dart has no fancy theory behind it. It is only based on my experience and knowledge with the compression required for these different sizes. I don’t follow formulas and complex charts (drafting formulas give me the heebie jeebies and I lose interest by step #2). I draft by Rock-of-Eye so intuition works best for me. That said I still have my own formulas and have been working on some ideas to get a closer idea of each cup size for each style so perhaps it is something to work for in the future.
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