Somewhere there is some saying about starting at the top and working down when making fit adjustments to patterns, so I started where I always start with adjustments when making clothes for myself – with a full bust adjustment (FBA).
As always seems to happen, my high bust adjustment matches to largest size in the pattern, so patterns usually fit my neck and shoulders nicely, but I need do a FBA to have the bodice fit properly. My measurements mean I needed to add 2.5 inches to both sides of the front.
I decided to do a ‘Y cut’ FBA on this pattern for two reasons:
- So that the bust dart didn’t end up ridiculously huge – a common issue when doing ‘large’ FBAs; and
- I figured that in this style of top I some extra width across the top of the bust wouldn’t hurt – we’re all about avoiding wardrobe malfunctions in my world!
I always carry the full width I add at the bust doing a FBA down to the waistline, as I usually need extra inches at the waist too. Once I’d added the width and taped the pattern up I worked out where my bust point needed to be – that black dot in the middle of the addition – far, far away from the bust point marked on the pattern. From there I measured and marked 2 inches below, and towards the side seam (no Madonna looking cones for me, 🙅🏼 thank you very much) these formed the point of my new darts.
The original pattern didn’t have a bust dart, only a waist dart. I added the bust dart – marking from the end point of the dart out to the edges of sections that were added during the FBA, folded the dart closed (I taped it up actually) and trued up the side seam.
While the bust dart was taped closed I did a bit of tissue fitting to work out what size the waist dart needed to be – you can see it’s significantly smaller than what it would have been if I’d just closed the original waist dart.
When making muslins I don’t usually make any adjustments to the back of the bodice, most of the time the fit is fine, so I followed my usual practices and left the back bodice pattern alone.
Cutting time!! ✂️✂️✂️
I marked, pressed and stitched all of the darts closed, then pressed them again before sewing up the side and shoulder seams – time to see how well this first round of adjustments worked… 🤞🏻🤞🏻🤞🏻
And, honestly, not bad for the first round of adjustments to a pattern style I haven’t tired before… I did have a minor heart attack when I first put it on – I thought that I’d made the bust darts too low!! But on closer inspection the shoulder seams were sitting too far forward, and when I pulled them up and pinned them where they should sit – magically the bust darts were in the right place!! I’m not too worried right now about the shoulder seams sitting that far forward – this shirt still has a collar and facing to go on, and there are seam allowances involved in attaching them that may well fix that issue, so for my next muslin I’m going to make up and attach the collar and facing as well to check on that.
I did decide that there was just a little more gape in the front that I’d like – it’s not very obvious from the front, but it was from above… I pinned out about 5/8in on both sides.
I’m pretty happy with how this round of adjustments has gone – it doesn’t matter how long I’ve been doing this or how many times I’ve adjusted patterns I’m always pleasantly surprised when the adjustments turn out the way I wanted them too… 😘😌
For the next muslin the plan is:
- Fix that neckline gape issues – I found a tutorial on Craftsy which I’m going to give a whirl, it looks like it should do the trick
- Test out the collar and facing as well as the main bodice pieces – this will tell me whether I need to do something about where the should seam is – also means I have to redraft the front facing as I’ve changed the length and am planning to change the shape a little with the neckline gape fix…
- Think about whether I want to lengthen the front at all – I’m considering it, but I’m also conscious that adding the skirt (and the layers involved in the wrap and my planned lining) may add enough weight that it pulls the bodice down a bit… something to ponder… 🤔🤔
On to round two…