Anna Dress FBA

Hi All!

Just wanted to do a quick post on how I did the FBA on my Anna dress, in hopes it may help someone out there šŸ™‚

Luckily I took photos of my process for my own records (which i actually forgot i did lol) so I can share them with you now! šŸ™‚

(caveat: this assumes you already know how to do a standard FBA)

As per a regular FBA, use your HIGH BUST measurement to choose your size & trace. My personal method to determine how much of an adjustment I need is to hold the bodice tissue up to my body, aligning the side seam, and determine approximately how far away from my centre the centre fold is, at my bust point. Make sure to mark your bust apex on the tissue & draw in seam allowances.

So first, as you can see, our Anna bodice doesn’t have a side bust dart but waist tucks instead. First we cut off the raglan sleeve; we’ll add it back on later so keep that piece!


What we want to do is add room at the bust without changing the style of the bodice. To do that we have to add the side dart and then rotate it into the existing tucks. Let me show you.

Slash & spread the same way you would for a regular bodice:
(I have a kitty pattern weight lol)


Next, fill in all the gaps with scrap paper EXCEPT the bust dart you created. You have added space between the tucks so now just cut out the left tuck & slide it over where it used to be:


Now take the bottom left corner & rotate it up to close the gap created by the bust dart. Fill in the gap at the waist with scrap tissue.


Now here, if your waist measurement matches the pattern, you could maybe add another tuck to remove the extra width you added, or if it’s a small amount, just add a little to each of the existing tucks. I have a big ol’ waist so I can just leave mine as is & adjust my skirt pieces to match instead.

Now just tape the sleeve back on & you’re done!

Your bodice piece is a bit messy at this point so it’s nice to trace a new copy:


Then be sure to muslin your bodice & test it out before cutting into your precious fabric! šŸ™‚

As you can see, mine worked out great!

Feel free to comment below & ask questions if you need clarification on anything. Happy sewing! šŸ™‚

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

16 responses to “Anna Dress FBA

  • aliesje

    Great Tutorial! I wonder how things would look if you just left in the side dart? I know it’d change the style lines a little, but not too much, no? (I find side dart lines barely noticeable).
    I really like how in your FBA, you have a slash to the armscye & one to the shoulder. I’ve only done the one to the armscye. Do you find that the two slashes ‘up top’ help to better redistribute the fullness?

    • symondezyn

      I think a bust dart would be noticeable on this style, because of the way the upper part of the bodice drapes, with the sleeve/bodice being all one piece šŸ™‚ That said, if you were ok with that it’s certainly do-able – I’d defo try it on a muslin first though! ^_^

    • symondezyn

      Sorry, didn’t answer your question lol – yes, the slash up to the shoulder gives a better distribution for sure, helping create a smoother drape šŸ™‚

  • mrsmole

    Thank you, Amanda for sharing all the steps you did to get that top looking so good!!!! It looks so easy for everyone needing to move darts and still have enough ease for wearing and the bonus is the waist gets a little extra too…and thanks to Kitty for holding down the pattern paper so well without shredding it!!!!

    • symondezyn

      You’re very welcome, Mrs. M!! šŸ™‚ I love the way pattern adjustments can be so magical that way! I could never wear a dress like this off the rack but because I can manipulate paper & fabric, anything is possible! ^_^

      Yes, Lola is a really good helper! (most times lol) Sometimes though, she tries
      to eat things she shouldn’t, (she’s still quite kitten-y lol) and she’ll swat anything off the table as soon as you turn your back! lol

  • Gjeometry

    I don’t require this adjustment, but just wanted to pop in and say ‘cute pattern weight in your second pic!

  • Maddie

    Interesting to see the way someone would do an FBA to an Anna pattern. Thanks!

    • symondezyn

      Thanks Maddie! šŸ™‚ I’m still learning about pattern drafting/adjustments (your expertise is always so helpful in that regard!), so I’m not always sure if I’m “technically” correct, but if I can make it work, I’m always pretty happy! ^_^

  • Calico Stretch

    I second Gjeometry’s kitty cuteness comment! I don’t think I’ll ever have to do an FBA. I’m an SBA girl.

  • C.

    Thank you for the detailed photos- took me a while, but I added a third dart (looks fine) since I have big Mongo breasts after 4 kids…. It turned out great!! First well fired top I’ve had since babe #3, and couldn’t have done it without your post!

  • C.

    Thank you for the detailed photos- took me a while, but I added a third dart (looks fine) since I have big Mongo breasts after 4 kids…. It turned out great!! First well fitted top I’ve had since babe #3, and couldn’t have done it without your post!

Thank you for taking the time to comment - I truly appreciate each and every one! :)

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