Colette Hazel FBA Tutorial

Hi All!

So I thought I’d post a brief description of how I did the FBA on the Colette Hazel dress, in case anyone is interested in trying it out for themselves.

If you have done an FBA on a regular bodice, or kind of get the idea how it’s done, it’s essentially the same for the Hazel, only the pattern piece looks a bit different, and you have to adjust the adjoining pieces to match.

If not, there are some great FBA tutorials online, or in books such as The Perfect Fit, and Colette Sewing Handbook.

I always trace my pattern pieces and do the adjustment on the traced piece instead of the original, in case it doesn’t work or I wish to use the original again at some point.

First, you start with the Bodice Front piece, (the one that looks kind of like a triangle), and do the slash and spread as shown below:

Then, you must fill in the gaps of course, using scrap paper, and re-draw the bust dart. The sides and top must be straight and the grainline straight, so adjust as necessary if needed. Then match up the bodice side piece with the bodice front piece at the notches, and add length as shown on the bodice side diagram above.

I also had to add length to the bottom of my bodice back and bodice back side pieces as well, which I noticed when I did the muslin, so check those pieces where they join up to each other before you cut your fabric, and adjust as necessary.

Make sure you check the facing pieces as well, and make adjustments if necessary, so that they match.

I HIGHLY recommend doing a muslin for the bodice on this one, as it’s an unusual adjustment and many pieces mean many areas it may not quite work.

Also, as mentioned in my previous post, if you’re large busted you may want to consider making the straps a bit wider, as I found they were too narrow on me and didn’t quite look right. I made mine about 1/2″ wider than recommended, by just serging a smaller seam allowance, but you can do this without a serger, by sewing the smaller seam allowance and grading the bulk. Keep in mind if you do this, you may have to adjust the placement on the bodice a tad, so it might not match up to the markings exactly.

If you have any questions or anything is unclear please don’t hesitate to drop me a line! I’m happy to help in any way I can! 🙂

About symondezyn

graphic designer, illustrator, and artist of many skills... always striving towards new challenges and goals, and always with more projects than time to do them in!! View all posts by symondezyn

12 responses to “Colette Hazel FBA Tutorial

  • Lakaribane

    I don’t need an FBA (just that pattern, LOL!) but I wanted to thank you for posting this. I’m sure it will be usefull to several people.

  • Sara

    Many thanks for this – I’ve been scratching my head wondering how to do it properly!

  • Nathalie

    I have a problem with the darts I want to reduce it because I have a small breast and with the smallest size it is not still good: do you know how I can reduce a little bit the darts? Thanks a lot!!

  • Belle

    OH MY WORD. Thank-you.

    I’ve been attempting this, and as it’s my first FBA anyway, I couldn’t figure out if I was doing it properly or not!! I finally was brave enough to sew my muslin up last night and I don’t think it fits at all – baggy around my apex with way too much fabric there and I added the extra fabric to the middle of the side bust pieces, not the bottom like you suggested, so that would explain why my pieces didn’t line up properly!!

    I’m going to retrace my original pattern and try the FBA again according to your instructions and we’ll see how I go. I guess this is all practice, huh? It’s a bit disheartening, though!

    • symondezyn

      It’s confusing (and a bit overwhelming) at first, for sure, but after a couple times you’ll be a pro! 🙂 You should see how many muslins I did on my first fitted dress!! lol Believe me, it’s all worth it! 🙂

      I hope this helps you; if you run into any troubles feel free to message me & I’ll be happy to clarify anything 🙂

      Good luck! Let me know how it goes! 🙂

  • didyoumakethat

    Thank you for this. To clarify: I use the pattern piece that corresponds with my high chest measurement, and then I slash and spread the front bodice piece to match my mid-chest measurement? My blog readers have encouraged me to attempt an FBA on the Hazel dress! This will be my first FBA – and on the Hazel, it looks relatively simple? (Famous last words…)

    • symondezyn

      Yes, essentially that’s the gist of it! 🙂 You should definitely muslin the bodice, as I noted a few tweaks I needed to make when doing mine.

      To determine what amount to do the spread, you can take your full bust measurement, subtract the high bust measurement, and divide by 2 🙂

      If you think this is easy, a regular bodice piece will be a cinch! ^__^

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