Tag Archives: full bust adjustment

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 🙂

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! 🙂

(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!

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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)

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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:

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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.

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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:

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

As you can see, mine worked out great!

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


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! 🙂