I kind of feel like the first thing i want to say is…
Something i hear over and over from people is their trepidation about pattern alterations. Especially bust adjustments – they seem so mysterious and potentially complicated. But they’re not! Please don’t worry, it’s not beyond your ability! Honest.
So, what is a full bust adjustment (FBA) ?
Here’s the deal. Most patterns are drafted on a B cup. I know that’s probably upsetting those of you who aren’t B cups, but the unfortunate truth is that patterns need to drafted in some sort of base standard. What does this mean for people who aren’t B cups? Well, you’ll probably need to alter your pattern to get the right fit over your bust.
How do you know if you need to do an FBA on your pattern?
Easy! You know that nifty size chart you get on the back of your pattern envelope? If you find that your bust measurement falls in a larger size column than the rest of your body – then you’ll probably need to do one. If you’ve already made a muslin, you might notice you need to do an FBA because things just aren’t quite right in that area. Some symptoms may include
- the waistline being higher at the front than the back of your bodice
- the fabric pulling around your arm syce
- an inability to close the bodice of your dress around your bust, even though you can over the rest of your body
- the dart apex hitting you too high
- First extend the dart apex along the centre fold line by 1 inch. (we’ll call this line 1) This should be your centre bust. Mark this point.
- Next draw a line from this point to your armsyce, about 1/3 of the way in. (this is line 2) Conveniently, the circular markers on the armsyce are pretty much 1/3 of the way up.
- Draw a line down from your centre bust straight down – alone the grainline. This line should be parallel to the fold guide lines on your placket front (line 3)
- Draw a line perpendicular to grainline about 1/2 way down the placket (it doesn’t matter too much where you draw this line, just don’t go too high and interfere with your dart). This line (4) should hit the Line 3 and edge of the pattern
- This adjustment will change the size of the waistline (ie make it wider) so you may need to make an adjustment at the waistline to maintain your correct size
- I know what you smaller than B cup ladies are thinking right now – umm what about me?? Don’t worry, we’ll be back this afternoon to tackle Small Bust Adjustments!