Adventures in Full Bust Adjustments


Well, here are the pattern pieces for M6163 all adjusted for a 2″ FBA. This took a lot more adjusting than usual. Rather than two mirror image pieces, this dress has one large piece that is the front of the dress (1), and a smaller panel that is sewn under the larger piece on the left side (2).


I had to adjust both sides individually, then make a second adjustment on the opposite side of the center line of each piece to ensure everything still lined up.


Now that I have everything adjusted and theoretically ready, I’m second guessing myself. The adjusted pattern pieces look HUGE. I measured, and adjusting for seam allowance the finished dress should be about 3″ bigger than my measurement at the hips, which is about where I want it to be. But I just can’t get past how huge it looks sitting there on the table!

I’m not sure I want to cut in to my fashion fabric without sewing up a second muslin, and unfortunately I don’t have any suitable knits in my stash. I think I’ll sleep on this for tonight, and if I’m still feeling doubtful I’ll make a quick trip to Fabrix tomorrow to try to find some inexpensive knit for a muslin.

Sometimes I drive myself a little nuts with doubting my own abilities. Does anyone else struggle with that? It’s definitely one of the things I’m hoping my participation in the RTW challenge will help me with.


14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Carola
    Nov 18, 2012 @ 00:32:27

    I know exactly how you feel. Have you considered “tissue fitting” the pattern to see how close it is to accurate to decide if you should make another muslin or not?? Here’s a link to a youtube link I found: . It won’t have stretch to it, but if it fits with too much room, then you can bet your last dollar that making it from knit fashion fabric won’t work at all and that it is in fact too big. Not sure I would use this technique normally, but might work as a quick quide??


    • Redd's Threads
      Nov 18, 2012 @ 11:52:09

      I did somewhat of a tissue fitting, just holding the pattern pieces together and not pinning them. It does seem like it will fit. I think I’m going to try seeing one up in sewable tracing paper (thanks Amy!) and see how it looks.


  2. Amy
    Nov 18, 2012 @ 04:06:05

    My dad worked at a plant that made interfacing at one point so we had a huge bolt of it when I was a kid. My mom used it for everything. It could easily be used to make a form to test the sizing.


    • Redd's Threads
      Nov 18, 2012 @ 11:50:32

      You’ve just given me a great idea 🙂 I don’t have spare interfacing, but I do have a roll of sewable tracing paper which is very similar. I think I’ll pull that out and see up a test garment with that to check fit. Thank!


  3. Laura
    Nov 18, 2012 @ 13:58:31

    I struggle with doubting myself all the time! I don’t know why. I’ve been sewing for so long and I used to make really hard things (when I was a teenager). I guess not having my mom as backup changes things? I don’t know. I hope the adjustments are perfect!


    • Redd's Threads
      Nov 18, 2012 @ 14:15:24

      Thanks Laura! Yes, I think part of it is not having that second set of eyes, especially when they are more experienced/advanced than you are. My grandma was always the expert, but unfortunately I she’s not here to ask anymore.


  4. Tia Dia
    Nov 19, 2012 @ 08:07:57

    Doubting my sewing/alteration skills? haha! *sarcastic snort* Never. Nope. Not me. Seriously, though, every garment is always an adventure, regardless of past sewing experience. And I have never regretted doing the (few) muslins I’ve done. Just a thought, though. Every time I’ve done an FBA on a knit, I’ve just jumped in and been happy with the (untested on a muslin) adjustment. Knits are so forgiving that if you need an inch or half, the garment still works. Totally unlike a woven, of course. Looking forward to seeing the dress! Love the cross-over front.


    • Redd's Threads
      Nov 19, 2012 @ 15:58:45

      Thanks! I think I’m going to just forge ahead, but I think I’ll baste the side seams to test fit before running it through the serger. Sometimes I have a really hard time ignoring all the negative talk in my own head. It’s funny, because I vividly remember being totally fearless when sewing as a kid. Of course, back then I was sewing doll clothes from leftovers, so it wasn’t quite so vital to get it right! 🙂


  5. Carola
    Dec 23, 2012 @ 00:26:51

    Hey, I just noticed that this pattern is the same one that I made last week and I’m reading my earlier comment and want to change it now that I’ve actually made it up and know the pattern. The fabric I used had quite a lot of stretch (one way only though) and the pattern suggested medium stretch. Because I had a lot of stretch I didn’t have to add a side zipper (just stitched it closed using a huge machine stitch to try it on first). You may also find that, depending on the stretch, you don’t even need to worry about doing an FBA because the stretch will just… stretch to fit! 🙂

    On another note, are you in the Google Group thing Sarah set up? I am trying to find your email address but had no luck. Oh well. Merry Christmas. Looking forward to seeing more of your sewing soon.


    • Carola
      Dec 23, 2012 @ 00:32:02

      Oh, almost forgot: Because I had a lot of stretch, I found that I had to make the sleeve smaller along the shoulder seam (I made the short sleeve version) but this may be slightly different on the long sleeve version. The short sleeves are made up of two parts, front and back. Hope that helps…


      • Redd's Threads
        Dec 26, 2012 @ 14:07:26

        Thanks, Carola! This dress is sitting in my unfinished pile right now, but I just found out that my leather for the Burda vest won’t arrive by this weekend (boo!) so I think I’m going to try to finish it up this Saturday. I’ll let you know how it goes!

    • Redd's Threads
      Dec 26, 2012 @ 14:08:16

      I’m not in the Google group – is the info on Sarah’s page? I’ll go take a look and sign up. Thanks for the heads up!


  6. AJW
    Jan 04, 2013 @ 18:10:40

    I would love details on exactly how you did the FBA for this pattern. I’ve got a stack of ITY knits that would work beautifully in this pattern but I’ve been mulling just how to do the adjustment for a while now and I am not managing to get my head around just how to alter it, since it is such an odd collection of pattern pieces.


    • Redd's Threads
      Jan 05, 2013 @ 11:40:55

      Hi AJW! Well unfortunately, the FBA is not working for me on this pattern :-/ I just made up my second muslin today, and the FBA alteration makes the dress look like a potato sack on me! Argh! So it’s back to the drawing board.. I may just make it up according to my full bust measurement rather than worry about the FBA and see if that gives a better fit.


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