FBA: Basic Bodice

2 Dec

Click to enlarge.

Here is the nice basic Full Bust Adjustment I used on the Tunic Dress.

  1. Cut out your front pattern piece.
  2. Mark the apex of the bust (if not already printed on the tissue).
  3. Draw Line 1 straight up from the hem to the apex then to the stitching line of the arm hole, about 1/3 of the way up. Most patterns have a notch marked about here.
  4. Draw Line 2 from the center of the bust dart to the apex.
  5. Draw Line 3 horizontally from Line 1 to the center front.
  6. Cut up Line 1 from the hem to the armhole but not through it, leaving a hinge. Pivot the spread the side piece to add your desired width (To find out the FBA needed, see this post).
  7. Cut through Line 2 from the side leaving a hinge at the apex. Swing the side piece down so the cut edges of Line 1 are an even distance apart (2 inches in my case).
  8. Cut all the way through Line 3 and slide the bottom piece down so it is even with the other side.
  9. Fill in all the gaps with paper. Redraw the bust dart starting at the original dart legs and ending 2 inches from the apex along Line 2.

You can see when we lie our new piece over the original how length and width has been added. The size of the dart has increased meaning that when it is constructed the length of the side seam and the arm hole remains unchanged.

5 Responses to “FBA: Basic Bodice”

  1. TracyKM July 29, 2011 at 1:52 pm #

    Very good instructions! When I’ve tried an FBA in the past, the armhole ended up a really weird shape. You can see in your bottom picture comparing your two outlines how the new armhole starts to curve up….when I tried, the armhole curved WAY up, almost like a J shape. It’s fustrating…my measurements do all fall in one column, but I’m a DD cup so cutting that size I “fit” is a laugh when it comes to the shoulders/neck, etc. I’ve just found your blog and I’m enjoying what I’m seeing so far!!

    • lazystitcher July 29, 2011 at 10:29 pm #

      Hey Tracy, lovely to hear from you. First thing I think would be to make sure you choose the size to cut by taking your high bust measurement (under your armpits) and matching it to the bust measurement of the pattern. If you choose the size that matches your shoulders should fit most of the time. The other thing that I’ve found helps if the armhole gets too distorted when doing a standard FBA is to do what’s called a Y-adjustment (a version posted here). This adjustment results in a less severe curve at the armhole and a slightly smaller bust dart at the side seam than a basic FBA.
      Hope that helps 🙂

      • TracyKM May 7, 2012 at 9:58 pm #

        I just left a similar comment on your post on doing this on an empire waist! LOL. I thought your site looked familiar but I don’t think I got back here to read your response. Checking out that link now!


  1. English Summer Sorbetto « Lazy Stitching - July 12, 2011

    […] only other adjustment I made was a 2 inch basic bodice full bust adjustment, similar to this one, which was about as simple as an fba […]

  2. Full Bust Adjustment: Gathered Bodice « Lazy Stitching - August 11, 2011

    […] Basic Bodice FBA […]

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