The sun is out and I am so tempted to push another Sewaholic Cambie to the top of my to-sew list. It is a really great pattern but gave me a few fitting headaches so, at the request of someone at the big blog meet-up (I can’t match names to all the faces), here is how I did a Full Bust Adjustment (FBA) on the bodice.
This method is based on Fit For Real People Y adjustment (for adding more than 1.5″) but needed some thought due to the lack of side-darts and shoulder-seams. Before you start you need to know how much to add to your pattern. I hold up the pattern on my body with the side-seam aligned, and measure the gap at the front. Or you could compare your high bust and full bust measurements (remembering to halve this number to get the amount to add to each side). For easy maths I’m going to say I need to add 2″ to the pattern at the bust (there is 4″ difference between my full and high bust) which is why I am using this Y method.
- Trace your pattern onto tissue paper or tracing paper (or greaseproof paper if you are desperate). Transfer all the markings clearly.
- Imagine where the shoulder straps will be. With a ruler draw 3 lines from the point of the bust dart: one to the centre of the “shoulder”, one to the underarm (just past the point where the straps meet the bodice), and one to divide the dart in half.
- Mark the stitching lines on the pattern. This is very important, so you don’t distort the final shape.
- Cut along the line through the dart to the shoulder, stopping at the stitch-line you just drew. Spread the pattern half the amount needed at the bust point (in my example, I need to add 2″ in total, so here I am spreading the pattern by 1″). Lightly tape this in place.
- Cut along the line from the dart point to the stitching line of the underarm. Spread this part by the same amount (another 1″ here).
- Carefully secure the pattern onto another sheet of tissue paper (I use coloured tissue saved from presents). Make sure the pattern is smooth and flat before you tape it down.
- Draw a line at the bottom of the bodice at right angles with the fold line. Cut this line.
- Lengthen the centre of the bodice until the bottom is level with the side piece. Tape this in place, making sure that the fold/grain line is straight.
- Hold the pattern on your body to measure your bust point/apex and mark this on the pattern.
- Draw a circle around the bust apex to mark where the dart will end. If you are full chested this should be further away than most patterns suggest; I always have to do trial-and-error but on me it looks best being approx 1″. Redraw the dart legs, making sure the centre of the dart is on the grainline.
So now you have a dart that is big enough to fit your body. However on this pattern there isn’t a side dart to share the fullness. My first dress needed a lot of careful pressing to avoid looking like an 80s Madonna pointy bra.I divided the fullness into a few darts so that they would all be smaller and less pointy. The picture below shows how I did it, however after wearing my Cambie I think I’d lower the central dart a bit more.It has taken me a lot of tweaking to get this dress to fit how I wanted so I hope this helps you with your fitting; if anything isn’t clear or you have any questions please ask and I’ll try my best to answer them.