I am so glad you liked my FBA tutorial for the Anna dress 🙂 (And I am glad you realised how much effort it was; I took photos as I went along, but it wasn’t until I was editting them that I realised how many steps there were!)
I have sewn my bodice muslin (well in a cheap fabric that I will use for first wearable test version) and realised the gathers I have are a bit too big to be flattering. Do you remember my Cambie dresses? I had the same problem there; with a full bust, the size of darts/gathers is big, so the darts begin to make a pointy corner. And how did I solve that problem? I changed the darts from one to three, so each dart was slightly smaller and less pointy!
Here is a quick diagram to show the extremely scientific method I used to adjust the gathers on my Anna (after unpicking the first set). Following my FBA tutorial, work your way to step 20, and stop there.
Changing gathers is easier than changing darts, as you don’t have to worry about the pointy dart ends. For my measurements I narrowed each pleat by about an inch (technically it was a thumbnail length). I then created a new pleat in between (green lines), making sure it was the same size as the amount I removed (2 red lines below). This gave me 3 approximately equal pleats, but you could measure them and do some maths (if you haven’t spent all day teaching 4 year olds how to sit quietly! this method is good enough for me!)
And here is how the pleats now look in real life:
Dodgy camera-phone shots in the mirror, but I think you can see the effect. I have pinned and re-sewn the pleats more than my fabric could cope with, so I need to cut out a new bodice before I can carry on with the sewalong. Who else is sewing along? How is it going?
This is so helpful! I’m not currently sewing the Anna, but when I do, I will use this tip. This exact problem is what foiled my first attempt at sewing a dress almost 2 years ago. I was using Simplicity 2660, which has two pleats under the bust, and it ended up giving my bust a very unflattering silhouette. I thought it was just my muslin fabric being too stiff, so I sewed it up in my fashion fabric, and nope, still horrible. It never occurred to me turn the two large pleats into several smaller pleats – I just thought the pattern was no good. Thank you for posting this!
Good post. Thanks!
I’m sewing along and nearly done! Zip is in and just need to sew lining to tape, sew back seam in lining and hem . May hand stitch hem as I think it will look better
You have just convinced me that rotating my bust dart out can work! You’ve done some amazing work in these two posts!
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