Today we’ll see how to make a Full Bust Adjustment on the princess seam of the Alameda dress pattern. But first, you might be wondering: How do I know if I need a FBA?
Well, it’s not that difficult. The first clue is that you have more than a B bra cup (sorry to all the ladies with bosom, as the patterns are drafted by a small chested girl – me! – this fitted design will need a FBA to get fit on you). You also want to make a FBA if:
- compared to all your measurements, your bust measurements is one (or more) size bigger.
- when you made your muslin, you went for a bigger size for the bust but have now some extra fabric at the armscye.
- the waistline is pulling up at the front.
Let’s take an example: Maria’s measurements are bust 92 cm (36″), waist 70 cm (27 1/2″) and hips 95 cm (37 1/4″). For the waist and hips, she should cut a size 38 but her bust belongs to size 40. The problem if she cuts size 40 for the bust and 38 for the waist and hips is that the armscye and shoulder lines will also belong to size 40, which will be too big for her and most likely there will be some extra fabric where the princess seam starts and at the shoulder seams. The solution is to cut the pattern pieces in 38 and add extra volume only in the bust area.
And of course make a muslin before to check the fit and correct the adjustments!
Let’s see how to make the Full Bust Adjustment:
Let’s take Maria’s measurements again: her bust measurement is 92 cm (36″) when the one corresponding to her size 38 is 88 cm (34 1/2″), there is a 4 cm (1 1/2″) difference. She’ll cut the pattern in size 38 and add 2 cm (3/4″) at each bust seam to make the full bust adjustment, without increasing the waistline or the neckline.
1. Take your pattern bodice front and bodice side front pieces. Draw the seam allowances and all the marks (notches, grainline…).On the bodice side front, we’re going to draw 3 lines:
- 1: from the waistline to the fullest part of the bust.
- 2: from 1/3 of the armhole (remember that the armhole is made of the the front and side front bodice pieces) to the fullest part of the bust.
- 3: from the fullest part of the bust, draw a diagonal line toward the side seam allowance, like a dart.
2. Cut lines 1 and 2 and stop when you reach the seam allowance.
3. Cut the seam allowance but make sure it’s still attached.
4. Cut line 3 and stop just before you reach the fullest part of the bust.
5. Tape the princess seam to a piece of paper and pivot the pattern along lines 1, 2 and 3 so that the opening at line 1 measures the 2 cm (3/4″) increase we need. Make sure the 2 cm (3/4″) increase is even all the way down line 1. Tape the pattern in place on the paper.
6. As you can see, the waistline is not even. Draw a line parallel to the waistline on the princess seam part.
7. Cut along the line and place the small piece on the continuity of the waistline, 2 cm (3/4″) from line 1. Tape.
8. Cut roughly around the new pattern piece.
9. Draw a line extending line 3 to the princess seam.
10. Cut along line 3 until you reach the first pivot. Close the “dart” and tape.
11. Cut the line 3 from the princess seam to the pivot. Place a piece of paper under the spread “dart” and tape.
12. We need to take 2 cm (3/4″) in at the side seam to keep the waistline the original width (this is the measurement we added at the bust). Draw a new side seam starting from line 3 and ending 2 cm (3/4″) from the waistline edge.
13. Now we need to add the increases we made to the side front piece to the front. Trace 2 lines at the same level you made the increases.
14. Measure how much you added to the side front piece and report that on the front piece. For the bust, measure the seam allowance line, not the cutting line.
15. Here you go: your new pattern pieces! We have increased the bust area without touching to the waistline, armhole or neckline.
If you have any questions, let me know in the comments.
Are you going to make a FBA?