Community Blog | Vintage Style Tailoring with Carly

Vintage isn’t for everyone. I know this. But somehow or other I have fallen in love with the fashions of the 1930s-1950s, and it makes me really happy to wear these kinds of styles. For those of you who aren’t into my style of vintage, don’t worry – this blog post is really just about making a princess seam tailored suit jacket.

I volunteer at Bletchley Park, which, in case you don’t know, was the base from which the Allied code breakers worked in World War Two. When I’m there, I really like to wear my 1940s style clothes and imagine working there in 1941. I think this is where my desire for a 1940s style suit came from, and since I have long given up looking for true vintage pieces that fit me, I knew I was going to need to design, draft and make it myself. 

For me, that starts with a little biro drawing in my notebook. Nothing fancy, just enough to show the seams and style lines. I knew I wanted princess seams, because I’m not a huge fan of darts on my bust (37” high bust, 41” full bust and very short torso), and also earlier this year I made a cropped version of the Princess Coat from Charm Patterns and I quite liked it. I knew I could use the princess seams from this pattern as a basis, but wanted to change the collar, the length of the jacket overall and the back would need vents to accommodate my butt.


I pulled out my traced pieces from the Princess Coat and laid over my tracing paper, and started tracing the bits I’d keep and changing everything else. I didn’t change the armscye any so I also used the same 2-piece tailored sleeve. I also referred to other patterns I had already drafted to help me with the collar.

Then I made a mock-up/toile/muslin – test version, whatever you call it. The collar was way too big for my liking, so I went and re-drafted it and made a second test garment, which is pictured above. Still having doubts about the collar size, I popped a blouse on with it and suddenly it all seemed to make sense. Now I was happy with it, I finalised all my pattern pieces and drafted the facings. Time to cut into my project fabric! 

I started by making the bound buttonholes on my jacket front. I learned how to do these when I made the Princess Coat earlier in the year and they give a really nice finish to a tailored garment.

Buttonholes complete, it was on to the princess seams. Now I’m sure we all, anyone who sews for people with a large high bust/full bust difference, know exactly what I’m talking about – your side front panel has a huge bulge in it and the centre front is, at best, straight, and at worse, curved in the opposite direction. So when we put these right sides together to sew, it can get tricky, right?? 

This is my side front and centre front for this jacket. I struggled and struggled last year trying to perfect sewing princess seams with this kind of curve. I Googled and Googled and tried and tried and nothing worked. I would get puckers, the raw edges wouldn’t line up, one piece would end up shorter than the other. If you have experienced any (or all!) of these problems, the good news is I finally found a way to do it! Yes, even on that curve.

Now, I can’t really take any credit here because the method I use is the one recommended by Charm Patterns for the Princess Coat. The silly thing is, I figured that if I couldn’t sew a princess seam, I had no business getting the Princess Coat pattern or watching the “how to” video on YouTube. Oh, how wrong I was. I don’t remember how or why but I ended up watching said “sew a retro cropped jacket” video on YouTube. But the technique for princess seams which is explained in this video, in detail, is the answer to your large bust curve princess seam sewing prayers! I mean, go check out that video if you fancy it.

Here’s how: stay stitch your centre front at 1/8” shy of your full seam allowance (so ½” on a garment with a 5/8” seam allowance like this), then clip into that stay stitched seam allowance at ½” intervals, being careful not to snip your stitching. Then lay your side front right side up on the table in front of you, and lay the stay-stitched and clipped centre front down on top of it, right sides together. Match and pin the notches first, and then you will, like magic, be able to match the raw edges of the two pieces with the opposing curves by spreading the clips on the centre front to match the side front. Use as many pins as you need! Then you can just sew the seam like normal at your required seam allowance.

Then you need to notch the seam allowance on the side front piece. Cut out small triangles at ½” intervals, making sure the points of these triangles are between the clips on the other side. You don’t really want your clips and triangles meeting at the seam! Then you can press the seam open, using a tailor’s ham. 

Ta da! Obviously this is going to leave lots of flappy bits of seam allowance, which I think is why people prefer darts, since really princess seamed garments are going to need a lining to cover all this.

With my front and back princess seams sewn, I moved on with the rest of the construction. Shoulder seams, side seams. Collar, facings. It was starting to look like a jacket at this point, and I was excited to sew and set in the sleeves. I used a bias strip of my fabric to ease the sleeve cap (another Charm Patterns trick) and I love how easy it is and how it gives just the right finish for tailored garments.

I could really see the project starting to take shape at this point. Although I will say, it does not look great on the hanger. It took me a while to realise that this is because I’ve just spent all this time sewing a garment with a lot of room in the bust and sadly my coat hangers are less well endowed! Anyway, on to hand catch-stitching the jacket hems. I know not everyone is a fan of hand stitching, but it does have its place in projects like this. 

Time to start over! What?? Well that’s how I feel when I have to start making the lining. I can’t be the only one. I repeated the necessary steps to construct the lining, using the same princess seam sewing technique as on the outer. On the home straight now, I attached the lining to the jacket, and then hand finished the lining hems, the bound buttonhole openings in the front facing, and finally sewed on the buttons. Finished jacket!

I mentioned at the start that I wanted a suit, so here I am wearing the jacket with the matching pencil skirt I made. I love my suit, and am very pleased with how the jacket compares to my original biro drawing. 

Carly is self-taught and has been sewing since 2018. Her favourite thing about sewing is making whatever you want to fit however you want. Carly wears vintage style daily and this has helped to push her to design and sew her own as it is difficult to find true vintage garments for busty bodies.

Community Blog | Your Sewing Level and Why It Doesn’t Matter with Trudy

Spoiler Alert! You start wherever you are and learn what you need to as you develop your practice. Your current skill is irrelevant because no matter what your proficiency, there is always something new to learn or improve on.

I was recently asked during a job interview for a customer service position at an independent pattern company “What is your sewing skill level?” The interview was going quite well up to this point, I had nailed some fairly tough questions about leadership, teamwork and problem solving and I had a good rapport with the panel. This question, however, threw me off partly because I find it irrelevant without sufficient context. The answer I gave was something like … it depends on the scale my skills are being evaluated on. If this scale is dependent on what I’ve learned since I first started sewing 5 years ago compared to now, then I’m pretty advanced, but on the other hand if it evaluates my ability to apply couture techniques, then I probably am not even on the scale. Suffice to say, I didn’t kill the answer, and as interviews often go, it left me feeling like I could have flushed out the idea a bit more thoroughly. 

The better question to ask oneself is not “what am I capable of making with my current skillset”, but instead, “what exactly do I want to make and what skills do I need to learn to be able to make that thing?”

Now, your level of experience obviously matters if a sewing company is going to hire you, but the question was too broad, and a broad answer such as “beginner”, “advanced beginner”, “intermediate” or “advanced” does not provide much insight, and it left me thinking that these labels on sewing patterns similarly do not mean very much without context. I would rather see the breakdown of what skills are used in a particular pattern, what makes it beginner/advanced, is it a set in sleeve, inseam pocket, bias binding finish, sewing with knits, button placket, sleeve placket, darts, hem, invisible zipper, exposed zipper, fly? Or possibly a better categorization would be whether the garment is simple or complex in design describing the amount of details included.

For me however, the better question to ask oneself is not “what am I capable of making with my current skillset?”, but instead “what exactly do I want to make and what skills do I need to learn to be able to make that thing?” I can then refine my swing practice to include those specific skills. Like many things in life, your skill level in sewing depends on your experience level; knowledge comes first and proficiency follows.

My favourite things to sew are the things I can not buy. We all know the struggle is real for the busty bunch with certain categories of clothing; for me this includes bras and button down shirts.  Finding a nice button down that fits the chest AND shoulders  or a well fitting comfortable bra has proven impossible. So I’ve learned to make them. There has always been a learning curve for sure. I’ve made several shirt dresses and they range from having nice crisp collars, like the one to the left on the Closet Core Kalle Shirtdress, to this yellow Deer and Doe Myositosis with a sort of wonky collar, but a nice fitting  bodice.

My bra making journey has only started about 7 months ago, but it has been by far my favourite skill that I’ve developed. I’ve spent a lot of time, energy and money fitting myself, and I don’t regret any of it. The difference between sewing your own clothes and buying off the rack is that you have power over the process, it doesn’t feel like a hopeless search which ends in settling for a fit that is just good enough. When I sew for  myself  I know it’s within my control to define exactly what my expectations are and to continuously improve and refine my skills to execute my personal vision.

Here is the second bra I ever made, its the Pin up Girls Classic.

And here is my best bra to date, the Porcylenne Eve.

I’m eternally grateful for the modern sewing movement which has made the pursuit of and sharing of knowledge readily available. Long story short, your skill level is always in development, just try new things because actually doing things is the only way to learn how to make the things you want to be making. Also, if you’re wondering, I didn’t get the job, my rejection letter said I was a top contender, but they went with someone who had more experience sewing their patterns. Go figure.

Trudy is a retired military pilot now pursuing creativity and garment making while enjoying motherhood.

Amelie Sew Along Week F | Finishing, Buttons & Hem

For August and September at Sew Busty, we’re doing a button challenge! Post a make that features buttons on instagram with #sewbustychallenge by September 30 for a chance to win a prize!

As part of that challenge, we’re doing a sew along for the Untitled Thoughts Amelie Dress – a cute little number that features buttons down the back of the skirt, as well as an open (but bra-friendly!) back. (Check out the picture of the dress on today’s post, as I accidentally earlier shared a picture of the non-bra friendly! For the full sew along, including bonus content, click here!

I love this dress.

Let’s get this done, shall we?

Your dress should be nearly done! All we need to do this week is sew buttonholes, add buttons, and hem this baby.

Buttonholes

For the buttonholes, I would absolutely highly recommend you use a piece of scrap fabric to sew a tester buttonhole. Here’s my tester:

Make sure to test your tester buttonhole to make sure your chosen button goes through it with relative ease!

Different machines do buttonholes differently, so it’s tough to show a sew-along of how to do buttonholes. On my machine, I have a one-step buttonhole foot. I load the button into the foot, lower a lever, set my stitch to the buttonhole stitch, and voila! A perfect buttonhole.

Here’s my buttonhole foot, loaded with one of the vintage buttons I selected for my Amelie:

One thing I noticed while sewing the buttonholes: While the buttonhole markings on the Amelie pattern are horizontal, the buttons along the skirt should be vertical. If you put your buttonholes on horizontally, you’ll have your buttons pulling more.

At the bodice, though, a horizontal buttonhole is probably okay, as there’s more ease at the bust. Here’s my bodice buttonhole:

And my buttonholes along my skirt. I did the two waistband buttonholes horizontal, which is okay because of how close they are together. But then I switched to vertical buttonholes.

To open up your buttonholes, I like to use my seam ripper. I stick it in at one end and gently tear through the fabric to the other end of the buttonhole.

Buttons

If you’re a lucky duck and chose flat buttons and have a machine that will sew on buttons, you can do this step on your machine!

I, unfortunately, chose shank buttons, which means I had to hand-sew them.

Get your buttons lined up with your buttonholes by laying your buttonhole placket on top of your button placket and poking a marking tool through the middle of each buttonhole. This will show you where to sew your buttons!

Hem

Hang your dress for at least 24 hours before trying to hem!!!

If you recall, we let our dresses hang for 24 hours with the Roseclair sew along, and we’re doing the same here. This pivotal step prevents wobbly hems because it allows your skirt to stretch with gravity before you hem it instead of after.

Once you’ve hung your dress for at least a day, use a measuring tape to ensure it’s even all the way around:

Once you’ve done this, you’ll fold your hem up by about 1/4″ (0.6 cm) once, press, then fold up by another 1/2″ (1.3 cm) and press again. Sew, ensuring you capture both layers of folds under your stitch.

That’s it! Let’s talk fit and bra coverage.

This is my wearable muslin. I’m not a huge muslin-er when it comes to making clothing, so this dress does not fit 100% perfectly the first time, and that’s okay! My philosophy on making clothing is that, even without making a muslin, it’s going to fit better than ready-to-wear clothing would, so I’m alright with slight imperfections.

Things I need to change for next time include:

I need to shorten the back bodice. While the front bodice lays magnificently on me, the back bodice is a bit long, which you can see in how it wrinkles. (It might look tight, but I promise it’s not tight at the bust at all. The wrinkles disappear if I give a tug downward, which tells me it’s too long.)

I need to move where the back overlap is. I’m wearing a tank top in these pictures, so you can’t see it, but my bra does unfortunately show underneath the bra-friendly back. I wasn’t surprised by this, as bra bands land in different places on different people. Thankfully, Brittani from Untitled Thoughts has a brilliant tutorial on fixing this issue, and I’ll be sure to follow her instructions for next time.

I’d like maybe an inch more ease at the waist. This is probably because I drank too much wine on vacation, after I had cut and started sewing this dress 😂 Note to self: don’t start a garment before vacation … or if you do, add a bit of extra ease.

Overall, I’m super happy with this dress! I love the center front darts. They feel almost regal and very retro, and I’m here for it.

Community Blog | Star Struck Dress for Bust Support with Nicole

Anyone who has connected with me on my sewing journey knows that I absolutely love unique pieces and that my most used patterns come from George + Ginger. The first time I ever browsed their collections, I was blown away. It was a mix of excitement over how each piece was so different, overwhelm at how intricate all the little details were, and sheer terror at the idea of trying to jam my top half into these risque pieces. Would I be able to manage it? Would there be enough support? Or would I end up with way more chest exposed than planned?

The Star Struck was no exception. Stunning, unique, and with enough straps that I had hope for rigging it up to be supportive. I dove in and made my first one. It turned out to be ALMOST everything I had ever dreamed… Except for the supportive bit. Even after taking it in quite a bit, I was still left feeling like my bust was trying to meet my knees. Not quite what I had envisioned.

When I was given the opportunity to work with a beautiful Halloween panel I just knew it was destined to be another Star Struck. Do you ever get those prints that are just screaming at you? This panel was so loud and so perfect that I just knew I needed to give this pattern another go, and this time I was going to hack it to be everything I wanted.

I started out by taking the front bodice piece and the front waistband piece and lining up the center edge. I overlapped them by ⅜” and traced the pieces this way onto another sheet of paper, blending the right edge from bodice corner to waistband corner. I cut this out, traced it to create a second piece, and then overlapped both pieces to create one solid bodice.

Check it out:

This left me with two options. You can cut your fabric exactly as this piece looks, or you can omit the notch in the center, cutting straight across to make one solid bodice piece. Since I was using a panel I chose to cut straight across. Doing things this way also gives an opportunity to play with different fabric bases. My panel was bamboo spandex. My lining was cotton spandex, to give the bodice a bit more structure and support. You can also add power mesh or power net between the lining and the main to give even more support!

From there, it’s just a matter of lining up your straps. Instead of binding on the inside edge, the center straps meet at the center of the bodice and they end up a bit shorter. 

All in all, I will definitely be making myself more of these using this hack! It’s been the most requested sew I’ve made so far!

Nicole got back into sewing after her young daughter couldn’t find clothes that paired her unique style with her off-beat interests. In the process, she realized she could finally make clothes that fit her own body shape and started hacking every pattern in sight!

Amelie Sew Along Week E | Attaching the Skirt & Button Stand

For August and September at Sew Busty, we’re doing a button challenge! Post a make that features buttons on instagram with #sewbustychallenge by September 30 for a chance to win a prize!

As part of that challenge, we’re doing a sew along for the Untitled Thoughts Amelie Dress – a cute little number that features buttons down the back of the skirt, as well as an open (but bra-friendly!) back. (Check out the picture of the dress on today’s post, as I accidentally earlier shared a picture of the non-bra friendly! For the full sew along, including bonus content, click here!

We’re going to sew the skirt to the bodice and almost have a dress today, folks!

gathering the skirt

I’m not going to lie, I always find gathering tricky, and this was almost doubly true for this dress. So let’s take it step by step.

You’re going to lengthen your straight stitch to the longest it will go. For me, that’s 5 mm. Stitch 1/4″ (0.6 cm) from the edge of the waistline of the skirt. Repeat, stitching 1/2″ (1.3 cm) from the waistline of the skirt (1/4″ (0.6 cm) from the first stitch line).

Make sure to leave a long tail of thread at the end of both stitch lines.

When you have finished stitching, gently pull the bobbin thread of one of the stitch lines to gather. (If this thread snaps, despite you pulling gently, you have the second stitch line as a backup!)

This is where the tricky part comes: You want to gather so that the skirt will be equal to the length of the bodice, minus the length of the button placket. This can be kind of tough to measure. I held my skirt up to the bodice to get an idea.

Sewing the Placket

Now that you have the waist of the skirt gathered an appropriate amount, it’s time to sew on the button placket!

With right sides together, pin a non-interfaced placket to the center front of one side of your skirt. Sew this using a 0.5″ (1.3 cm) seam allowance.

Press the seam allowance of the placket toward the placket.

Again with right sides together, pin the interfaced placket onto the non-interfaced placket (which has been sewn onto your skirt). Sew this with a 0.5″ (1.3 cm) seam allowance.

Fold down 0.5″ (1.3 cm) of the edge of the interfaced side of the placket and press.

With right sides together again and being careful to catch the seam allowance and 0.5″ (1.3 cm) part that is folded inward, sew horizontally a 1″ seam allowance along the bottom of the placket.

Trim the corner that results at the bottom of your placket and turn your placket right side out. Press your placket.

Time to topstitch! You probably already know this, but I topstitch by aligning the middle of my foot with the seam and setting my needle 2.5 mm or so to the right or left (whichever side I want the topstitching to appear).

You’ll topstitch all the way around your placket, taking care to catch the under layer as well as the outer layer.

Repeat these steps on the other side to attach the second button placket.

Attaching the skirt to the bodice

To attach the skirt to the bodice, we’re first going to attach the skirt to the main waistband (not the waistband lining).

With right sides together, pin the skirt to the waistband main. Sew this at a 0.5″ (1.3 cm) seam allowance. You’ll have to avoid the very ends, but we’ll clean this up when we do finishings next week.

Once that’s sewn, flip that inner waistband over the skirt, fold the raw edge of the waistband in by 0.5″ (1.3 cm) and pin!

Topstitch, baby!

Your Homework

This week, you should:

  • Gather your skirt
  • Sew on your button plackets
  • Attach your skirt to your bodice

Next week, September 27, we’ll do finishing touches — buttons and buttonholes, clean up, and hem!

Amelie Sew Along Week D | Sewing the Waist Band and Skirt

For August and September at Sew Busty, we’re doing a button challenge! Post a make that features buttons on instagram with #sewbustychallenge by September 30 for a chance to win a prize!

As part of that challenge, we’re doing a sew along for the Untitled Thoughts Amelie Dress – a cute little number that features buttons down the back of the skirt, as well as an open (but bra-friendly!) back. (Check out the picture of the dress on today’s post, as I accidentally earlier shared a picture of the non-bra friendly! For the full sew along, including bonus content, click here!

I’m back!

Alright, y’all … I’ve been gone for a hot second, and we’re a bit off-schedule on the Amelie sew along. I’ll be honest: I was on the verge of burning out, and a week of vacation plus a week to catch up were just the ticket to put me back on track.

A lot of life happened for me in the last couple months. I’ve been busy at work (as a nonprofit lawyer!) and also dealing with some personal things, many of which I’m just not quite ready to talk about. I also hadn’t seen my family members in 2 years, so I really needed to slow down and take the week to enjoy my family. Thank you for your support and understanding while I took a pause!

Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming (though some info on changes coming soon!):

Let’s do this thing!

Here’s the new schedule for the sew along:

September 13: Sewing the skirt
September 20: Attaching the skirt and button stand
September 27: Finishing touches, including BUTTONS

This week is going to be the simplest and shortest week of the sew along, because skirts are easy-peasy!

Assembling the waistband

Your first step today is going to be to sew your main waistband and lining waistband together. I was exhausted (pre-vacation!) and forgot to take a picture of how these go together, but here, you’ll see with the pattern pieces how I laid the pieces together to sew:

The curves of your pieces should be going opposite one another.

Sew the waistband as shown with the pattern piece for your main and your interfaced lining.

Now, we need to attach your waistband (main and lining) to your bodice. For this step, with the right side of your waistband main facing the right side of your bodice main and the right side of your waistband lining facing the inside of your bodice lining (the part that faces your body), you’re going to create a sandwich. The bottom of your bodice (main and lining) should be the “filling,” lining up with the “bread” of your two waistband pieces.

Sew this with a 0.5″ (1.3 cm) seam allowance. When finished, it should look like this:

Now, we need to topstitch! So many people hate topstitching, but I honestly love it. I just align the seam I’m topstitching with the center of my foot, move my needle to the right by about 2 mm or so, and go!

Now for the skirt!

It’s time to conquer the skirt! We’ll start by sewing the center front seam. Lay the front skirt pieces together, right sides together, and sewing with a 0.5″ (1.3 cm) seam allowance.

Finish this seam the way you prefer. (I like to use a zigzag stitch over the edge, as seen below.)

Triangle skirt extensions

Now, we must attach the “skirt extension” (godet-ish) pieces. Right sides together and matching the darts as seen below, pin these triangles onto the skirt front and back pieces:

Sew with a 0.5″ (1.3 cm) seam allowance. Don’t worry if the godet-ish piece is a bit too long – this will work out when we sew the skirt seams. Finish this seam with your preferred method.

Sewing the side seam

The last step for the skirt is to sew the side seams. With right sides together, place back skirt pieces onto the front skirt piece along long seams. Pin and sew with a 0.5″ (1.3 cm) seam allowance.

Finish this seam with your preferred method, and get ready to make magic happen next week!

Your Homework

This week, you should:

  • Sew and attach your waistband
  • Sew your center front seam
  • Attach your “skirt extensions”
  • Sew your side seams

Next week, September 20, we’ll add the button stand and combine the skirt and bodice!

Amelie Sew Along Week C | Sewing the Bodice

For August and September at Sew Busty, we’re doing a button challenge! Post a make that features buttons on instagram with #sewbustychallenge by September 30 for a chance to win a prize!

As part of that challenge, we’re doing a sew along for the Untitled Thoughts Amelie Dress – a cute little number that features buttons down the back of the skirt, as well as an open (but bra-friendly!) back. (Check out the picture of the dress on today’s post, as I accidentally earlier shared a picture of the non-bra friendly! For the full sew along, including bonus content, click here!

Per last week’s posts (single underarm dart option here) (double underarm dart option here), you should have performed any necessary full bust adjustment for your Amelie dress. I did mine! And now, we’re ready to get sewing!

Applying the interfacing

The first step in sewing the bodice of the Amelie is to apply interfacing. I chose iron-on interfacing, but you can choose any type of interfacing you wish. Apply it to the pieces indicated on the pattern, including 2″ strips along the center back edge.

For quick iron-on interfacing, I like to use my Goddess Sheet. It’s basically a thin teflon sheet that makes things much quicker by avoiding any mess with damp towels or pressing cloths.

Stay stitching

Next, you need to stay stitch the neckline, the armholes, and the center back. This prevents stretching as we sew. I like to use a standard straight stitch, but only 1/4″ (0.6 cm) from the edge of the fabric.

Do this step on both your main fabric and your lining. Below, I’m showing you my lining (cotton muslin, because it’s cheap!), because my stitching shows better on the lining.

Sewing the darts

Your next step is to sew all of the darts. You will either have four darts – an underarm dart and a waist dart on each side – or you will have six darts – two underarm darts and a waist dart on each side.

I like to curve my darts inward a bit at the ends to prevent pointy boobies.

Repeat this step on both your main fabric and your lining. Press your darts using a tailor’s ham or a balled up t-shirt.

Sewing the side seam

Next, we’re going to match the front bodice with the two back bodice pieces along the side seams with right sides together. Pin and sew at a 1/2″ (1.3 cm) seam allowance.

Your finished side seam should look like this:

Combining the main and lining

With right sides together, line your main fabric and lining together. Pin along the center back, arm holes, and neck hole. You will leave your shoulders and waist unsewn. Sew with a 1/2″ (1.3 cm) seam allowance.

Your stitching should look something like this:

Clipping and turning

Now, with insides still facing out, you must clip all curved seams almost to but not through the stitching. Your center back points must also be clipped, as shown:

You may now turn your bodice right side out. It will look almost done! Yay!

Understitching

But now we need to understitch. Understitching is where you stitch your seam allowance to your lining, which discourages your lining from sneaking out from behind your main fabric.

I want to be clear here: You will not be able to understitch all the way through on most of the seams.

Instead, your goal is to understitch as far as you can.

I like to understitch by setting my needle to 2 mm to the left or right of center. I then line the center of my foot up with the seam, so that the needle is 2 mm over the lining side. I stitch carefully, ensuring to catch the seam allowance in my stitching. I continually lift my fabric to double check that my seam allowance has been caught by the stitching.

Sewing the Shoulders

The shoulders are tricky! With the bodice right side out, you must reach into one side of the shoulder with your hand, grab the other side of the shoulder, then – while kind of flipping the first side of the shoulder inside out – line the two up right sides together.

This is even harder to explain in words than it is to actually do, so hopefully the below pictures will demonstrate what I mean! (This is a slideshow, so be sure to click through for all 6 images!)

Pin the shoulder together, being careful to match the seams where your lining and main meet on each shoulder. Sew this with a 1/2″ (0.6 cm) seam allowance.

Once it is sewn, flip it right side out and press. You should have a nice shoulder seam now, with all seam allowances enclosed.

Your Homework

This week, you should:

  • Staystitch and sew your darts
  • Sew your side seams
  • Combine main and lining
  • Sew your shoulders

Next week, on August 30, we’ll get into sewing the skirt!

Community Blog | Sewing for Augmented Breasts with Hazel

I’d like to start off by giving a little history on my personal story, mostly because breast augmentation is pretty stigmatized (unless for post mastectomy reconstruction) and I want to give some background on why I made the decision to have breast augmentation, and how it has affected my relationship with my breasts, my body, and my sewing practice.

I remember laying on the grass in the back yard when I was 15, daydreaming, my hands cradling the back of my head, while my parents chatted with a visiting neighbour. Someone shocked me out of my daydream by saying “Hazel, are your boobs two different sizes?” I was, quite understandably, mortified, and ran into the house. You see, I already knew that my breasts didn’t match, but I didn’t know that it was noticeable to other people. Later that same summer, I was on the bus and two older boys behind me were loudly discussing what kind of boobs I had. One said he thought they’d be small and perky. The other said he thought they were round and full. They were both correct. I felt violated.

Fast forward 15+ years, and two breastfed babies later; the asymmetry was even worse. My left breast was quite comfortably a DD cup or maybe an E, while the right was swimming in an A cup. Obviously I couldn’t find a bra that fit. If I wore a bra that fit the larger breast, when I leaned over you could see all of my smaller breast clear as day. If I wore a bra that fit the smaller breast, the larger one was spilling out of the too-small cup making all kinds of bulges. Underwires hurt. It was literally impossible to find a bra that fit, and even sports bras didn’t fit correctly. I tried making a frankenbra out of two bras that did fit. I bought two different sizes, cut them down the middle and stitched them together. While technically it did fit, it didn’t fit well and it fell apart after a few wears.

All of this led me to trying to figure out how to resolve the problem. If I were in this position now, in 2021, I’d have learned how to make my own bras, because there’s a large online bra making community and supplies are relatively easy to find(more on that later). In 2007, however, that was not the case. I tried supplements and creams that promised to grow breast tissue (it didn’t). Exercises (they don’t work). Different types of bras (they don’t make commercial bras for bodies like mine). Nothing worked. Finally, I spoke with my doctor to ask about having a reduction on the larger side, who said that this degree of asymmetry is actually not “normal” but unfortunately corrective surgery would not be covered by insurance. He sent me home with a diagnosis of anisomastia, but no solutions. I met with a plastic surgeon at the urging of a friend of mine, and was told that the larger breast was too small for a reduction, but I would be a good candidate for augmentation.

This opened up a whole different set of thoughts for me. I was so used to small cup sizes and clothing that didn’t fit because the smaller breast didn’t fill it out. I was an experienced sewist, but had very little experience with fitting, so didn’t consider doing full bust and small bust adjustments as options for a better fit. I also had two small children, and didn’t have time to sew for myself. It seemed that augmentation was the only option I had, since having children had made the asymmetry worse (the larger breast grew and stayed that size, while the smaller one shrank back to its “gumdrop under a tarp” proportions after I was done nursing).

I got my augmentation surgery in 2008, with the implants placed under the pectoral muscle. I had almost immediate regrets. I still couldn’t find bras that fit, and my breasts were larger than I had expected. The surgeon explained that he would have to put implants in both breasts, or they’d look and feel obviously different. There was no way they could make them 100% symmetrical, but the result after surgery was beasts that were closer to the same size, however they didn’t behave like natural breasts do. Newly augmented breasts look WEIRD. They stick out at weird angles, and feel tight and swollen for weeks (they eventually soften and settle down). Every mammogram I will have is a diagnostic mammogram, because of the implants. Thanks to my larger breasts, I didn’t fit into ready-to-wear sizing, so I was living in tshirts and ribbed tank tops. Yes, my boobs looked glorious, but I was still difficult to fit. They got in the way when doing yoga, and men (including my spouse) stopped talking to my face. I had no upper body strength due to cutting the pectoral muscles to place the implants. They were numb for a year, and I have 4” long scars in the inframammary fold where the implants were inserted.

And yet, while the results of my surgery were not quite what I expected, after the initial buyer’s remorse, I was happier with my new breasts than I had been with my severe asymmetry. 

Breasts are complicated organs. No two are exactly alike. They come in all shapes and sizes, sometimes on the same body, like in my case. I’ve recently learned that breast tissue that is significantly uneven has been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer, and I have a first degree relative who had to have a mastectomy a few years ago (which also puts me at higher risk for breast cancer). I’ve had four mammograms in the past three years, in part to establish a baseline and also because the scar tissue that is created by the insertion of implants can look concerning on a mammogram. I’ve had two ultrasounds on my breasts. There haven’t been any changes since my first mammogram, fortunately. 

All that having been said, this is about sewing! Learning to sew for my new body has been a journey. I was used to everything pretty much fitting ok out of the envelope, but not anymore! Now my breasts were a good two to three sizes larger than the rest of me, and grading between sizes just wasn’t going to work. Darts were in the wrong place, and they were too long and too shallow. Shirts were too short at the front, and dress waistlines pulled up. I had to learn to do full bust adjustments when I wasn’t used to having to do any fitting adjustments at all. Of course, the first project I did an FBA on was my wedding dress for my second marriage (he appreciates my boobs but talks to my face).

That first FBA made me want to quit sewing. I’d never done one before, and chose a bodice with an asymmetrical neckline because we wanted a retro vibe for the wedding (Butterick 6582 with a full gathered skirt with added pockets, of course). I must have done a dozen muslins to get the bodice right. I relied heavily on the Adjust the Bust class on Craftsy, as well as the Curvy Sewing Collective blog for tutorials. It was a journey involving pointy darts, darts that pointed the wrong angle, darts that were too long, darts that were too short. I learned to love and hate darts. I had nobody to hold my hand through the process. There was a lot of swearing, plenty of wasted fabric, more than a few tears, several glasses of wine, and finally a bodice that fit. And it fit perfectly. No gaping armholes. No shoulders that fall off. No drag lines. No pulling up at the waist. 

After that, the FBA and I became good friends. I learned to take my upper bust measurement to determine what size I should be cutting, and accepted that patterns were not drafted for the cup volume I needed, and went into each project with the expectation that I would be doing an FBA. I got good at it, and taught a friend how to adjust for her own larger bust, when she lamented about sewing patterns that just don’t fit.

Learning how to adjust sewing patterns to fit my bust led to realizing that I could fit other areas that weren’t quite fitting right as well. I learned about drag lines, smile lines, and pooling fabric. Previously the only adjustment I’d done was to grade between sizes, but it never worked out because it wasn’t the appropriate approach to the fitting issue I was having. I always get a pile of fabric at my back waist, so I learned how to do a swayback adjustment. I have big biceps and calves, so I learned to adjust for those too. I’m not talking about grading between sizes here, there are specific adjustments needed that will address a muscular calf better than grading sizes (if you just grade sizes, the front calf of your pant leg will be too big). My post-baby (and too much chocolate) tummy? There’s an adjustment for that too, and it’s not difficult to do.

While I was able to resolve my bust fitting issues with garment sewing patterns, I still didn’t have a bra that fit quite right, because as I said before, augmented breasts don’t behave the same way as natural breasts. They have a tendency to be somewhat self-supporting (depending on how much breast tissue you had to begin with and how your implants are placed). Most underwired bras didn’t tack at the centre because my breasts, which used to be set a bit far apart, are now closer together. Since I couldn’t find commercial bras that fit well, I dipped my toe into the world of bramaking in 2019. Let me tell you, my world has been changed! I don’t sew a lot of bras, and I haven’t quite perfected the fit yet, but they fit a whole lot better than what I can get at the store. At my size (32H or I in ready to wear) bras aren’t cheap, and there’s not a lot available. Obviously shopping online is problematic. 

Through my bramaking journey, I’ve discovered that yes, I’m still asymmetrical, but it’s not enough that it is visible. It is enough that I need to adjust my cup volume however. My most-made pattern is the Black Beauty bra by Emerald Erin, with a split lower cup, narrowed bridge, and reduced bottom band (the elastic flips when worn otherwise, thanks to my ribcage shape). I’m currently working on perfecting the Ruby bra by Pinup Girls, because I don’t always want to wear the same style of bra. I try to only order supplies from Canadian shops, since shipping from the US or elsewhere is slow and expensive, so my options are a bit limited, but I can still sew up a bra that is prettier than what I can buy for less money than it would cost if I could find one that fits me right.

These days, I don’t buy clothes aside from cardigans and graphic tees. I know I don’t have to settle for tops that fit at the bust but are too big everywhere else, or live in jersey knits 365 days a year. Sewing my own clothes means I have control over the fit, fabric, and style. The options available in shops leave a lot to be desired. I can’t recall the last time I bought clothes. I can, however, tell you that the last time I bought fabric was about two weeks ago! I don’t just make tops, either. I sew all ofmy clothes. I make my own jeans, and they fit better than anything that I could find in a store. I sew underwear out of scraps, and no, they don’t match my bras because I don’t care. I have an office job and need to dress for my role, and wear all me-mades to work. 

I’m glad to see the indie pattern design community coming together to make fitting easier for those of us with larger breasts, but it still isn’t perfect. Most designers only offer a D cup option for size 12 and up (I currently wear a 12 or 14). Most don’t offer additional cup sizes. Even with D cup sizing, I sometimes still need a little bit of an FBA. I’d love to see more designers offer cup sizes for their entire size range, and even better if they offered multiple cup size options. I have the power to adjust patterns, however, and can do so fairly quickly now that I’m comfortable with the adjustments I need to get a good fit.

At the end of the day, I’m glad I got my surgery, but it wasn’t the solution to the “problem” I was having. It actually created a whole new set of “problems”. In reality, those “problems” come down to society’s perception of what is “normal”, but really, whose body fits that perception of “normal”? I don’t know anyone who fits off the rack clothing perfectly. I’m a little taller than average. I’ve got big hips and a smaller waist. Big calves, big feet, and Mother Nature blessed me with boobs that don’t match. It’s been a long journey, but now that I’m in my 40’s, I’ve finally made peace with my body. My body isn’t a problem to be fixed. Sometimes the clothes aren’t designed to fit MY body, and I have the power to adjust the clothes to fit ME. And, thanks to a great plastic surgeon, I’ve got awesome boobs.

Hazel is a sewist and knitter based I. Vancouver, Canada. Sewing is in her blood, and she can’t sit still without some kind of project in her hands. See all of Hazel’s makes on instagram @see.hazel.sew!

FBA Guide + Amelie Dress Sew Along Week B | Full Bust Adjustment on Non-Traditional Darts (Double Underarm Dart Version)

For August and September at Sew Busty, we’re doing a button challenge! Post a make that features buttons on instagram with #sewbustychallenge by September 30 for a chance to win a prize!

As part of that challenge, we’re doing a sew along for the Untitled Thoughts Amelie Dress – a cute little number that features buttons down the back of the skirt, as well as an open (but bra-friendly!) back. (Check out the picture of the dress on today’s post, as I accidentally earlier shared a picture of the non-bra friendly! For the full sew along, including bonus content, click here!

This week, I’m pleased to welcome Brittani of Untitled Thoughts back to the blog to talk us through doing a full-bust adjustment on the Amelie! Without further ado, here’s Brittani:

Hello Sew Busty Community! Brittani here from Untitled Thoughts. I am so excited to be writing up this guest blog post for the Sew Busty blog, especially seeing as I have been meaning to whip up a tutorial on this very subject: Performing an FBA on the Amelie!

Performing a Full Bust Adjustment (FBA) on a garment can already feel intimidating. Throw a Center Front waist dart into the mix and it can feel downright paralyzing! 

Have no fear! Adjusting your Center Front Darted pattern to fit your unique and beautiful shape is relatively simple and utilizes many of the same techniques as working on a normal FBA.This post will be fully dedicated to the act of making your alterations on a Center Front Dart specific pattern, in this case, the Amelie Dress. 

Let’s Get Started!

You will want to begin this process by first tracing off your front bodice pattern along with any important markings on your pattern such as:

  • Grainline
  • Darts
  • Apex Point
  • Notches
  • Lengthen/Shorten Lines
  • Size + View

I will be dividing this tutorial up into two groups: Single Dart and  Double Dart. Depending on what size you are making of the Amelie + which Cup option you have chosen, you will notice that there is either a single under arm dart or a double underarm dart. Each of these needs to be worked on slightly differently, which is why I have divided this tutorial into two parts! If you’re looking for the double underarm dart version, click here!

Double Dart FBA

To start, you will draw the following lines on your front bodice pattern piece:

  1. Directly through the center of your Center Front Dart to your Apex
  2. Perpendicularly from the Apex down through the Waist
  3. From your apex to your armhole (You will want to draw your line roughly ⅓ of the way from the under arm seam to prevent distortion in the armscye)
  4. From your Apex horizontally through the Center Front
  5. Directly through the center of your Upper Underarm Dart to your Apex
  6. Directly through the center of your Lower Underarm Dart to your Apex

Now that all your lines are in place, let’s get to cutting and hinging our pattern out! There are a few places we will be cutting. It’s important NOT to cut through our entire pattern piece. We want to leave a smidgen of the pattern intact so that we can hinge the pieces around and not accidentally distort the outer pattern edges too much!

The first set of lines you will want to cut through are lines 1 + 3. 

I forgot to mention, we need to mark out our seam allowance right at our armscye where line 3 passes through. This is the point where we will stop cutting to create a hinge!

To create a little hinge in your pattern (which allows you to shift your pattern open), snip from your armscye to — not through — the seam allowance mark you just made.

Next, cut line 2, starting from the center of your dart and ending right at the apex point. Be sure you don’t cut your piece completely off – you need to leave the tiniest bit of paper so that you are able to hinge your pattern, rather than having it come apart in puzzle-like pieces.  

Finally, cut through Line 5 + 6 ending right at the Apex. 

See how I am able to lightly pull my pattern piece and it opens up, yet all the pieces are still intact? This is what we are going for! Don’t worry if you accidentally cut through your pieces (as I have done many times!) Simply tape your pieces back together at the “hinge” point, and try cutting it again. It gets easier with practice!

For this next part, you will need some tape, scrap paper, a pen, and the measurement you plan to increase your pattern piece by. I am going to be doing an imaginary FBA of ½” (1,3 cm) for my sample. 

With your supplies in hand (and possibly a large cup of tea at the ready!), it’s time to adjust!

Gently pull the bottom edge of your pattern pieces until they start to spread apart. I like to place my ruler right at my apex point so that when I am sliding my pattern out, I can stop as soon as it reaches the measurement I am aiming for. In this case, ½”  (1,3 cm).

You may have noticed that I didn’t open up my CF dart and instead hinged it near the apex. The reason for this is because when performing an FBA, it is common to wind up with a new dart that becomes too wide compared to its length. When a dart is too wide for its respective length, this drastic change can cause the bust points to be rather… pointy. For some, this is a non-issue, but for many, avoiding a point at the end of our darts is paramount. This is actually why there are two underarm darts in this pattern – they were added to help redistribute the excess fabric after my testers informed me that the bust points were just too pointy. 

But what is the right width to length ratio for your dart?

Honestly, the answer to this question depends. It depends on your cup size, the location of the dart, the fabric you are using, and your own personal preferences. I wish that I had a sure fire answer that would work 100% for everyone, but I don’t. (If you know of a general guideline, feel free to share! A quick internet search yields next to nothing regarding the proper ratio to maintain.)

For myself, I go based on gut instinct for the most part. I’ve made a fair share of garments with darts that were too wide (as was the case with the Amelie at first!) and wound up with a dart point that was quite pointy. As my own personal rule, I try to keep all my bust darts less than 4” (10 cm) wide by 6” (15 cm) long.   

When in doubt about your bust width to length ratio, the easiest solution is to simply transfer the excess width of your dart into a second dart which you can easily do with the under arm darts if you’d like. 

All of that to say, I didn’t widen the CF dart because I know that it is already around 4” (10 cm) wide by 6” (15 cm) long and I don’t want to push those limits further. 

But now there is some excess right at the waist seam that we don’t want there. It’s time to transfer it! To start, make sure that you have taped the bottom of line 1 shut so that it doesn’t try to move on you. Then, gently close line 2 and tape it shut as well. 

Now all that excess from line 1 + 2 has been transferred into your underarm darts – yay! This is where the fun begins! You can now play around with altering your darts to see what works best for you. You can try eliminating a dart or even transferring one of those darts to a new location – the possibilities are endless!

For this tutorial, I am going to stick with simply dispersing the excess evenly between the two darts. 

Place a piece of scrap paper under your altered underarm darts and go ahead and tape everything you currently see in front of you down to prevent anything from shifting out of place!

I know that was a LOT of work! You are nearly there, but now would probably be a great time to take a mini break. Feel free to stretch, take a quick walk around your neighborhood, or drink a cool glass of water! When you come back, we will finish this tutorial by truing up your pattern!

Feeling refreshed? Then let’s dive back in and finish this alteration up!

Usually, it is at this point that you would typically be cutting through line 4 and shifting that piece down to match your altered bodice. However, since we have relocated all of the added space normally added to the CF dart into the existing under arm darts, you won’t need to adjust that pattern piece. 

To start, you need to draw out your new underarm darts. To do this, first mark your new Apex point. It will be exactly ½ way between where you split your apex in half. 

Now, measure out a point approximately  2” (5,1 cm) from your apex point along the centerline of your underarm darts. These are your new dart points. 

Next, connect your new dart point to the dart legs i.e. where you slashed and spread your paper on your side seam.

Repeat these same steps with your CF dart, but this time, mark 1” (2,5 cm) from your apex point before connecting your dart legs. 

Finally, one-by-one, close your darts temporarily. Cut off the excess paper under your side seam and then open your darts back up. 

Hooray! You now have a fully completed Center Front Dart bodice with an FBA perfectly suited to your body! It was a long process but I hope that you found it enjoyable and are excited to have a pattern that more closely fits you!

FBA Guide + Amelie Sew Along Week B | Full Bust Adjustment on Non-Traditional Darts (Single Underarm Dart Version)

For August and September at Sew Busty, we’re doing a button challenge! Post a make that features buttons on instagram with #sewbustychallenge by September 30 for a chance to win a prize!

As part of that challenge, we’re doing a sew along for the Untitled Thoughts Amelie Dress – a cute little number that features buttons down the back of the skirt, as well as an open (but bra-friendly!) back. (Check out the picture of the dress on today’s post, as I accidentally earlier shared a picture of the non-bra friendly! For the full sew along, including bonus content, click here!

This week, I’m pleased to welcome Brittani of Untitled Thoughts back to the blog to talk us through doing a full-bust adjustment on the Amelie! Without further ado, here’s Brittani:

Hello Sew Busty Community! Brittani here from Untitled Thoughts. I am so excited to be writing up this guest blog post for the Sew Busty blog, especially seeing as I have been meaning to whip up a tutorial on this very subject: Performing an FBA on the Amelie!

Performing a Full Bust Adjustment (FBA) on a garment can already feel intimidating. Throw a Center Front waist dart into the mix and it can feel downright paralyzing! 

Have no fear! Adjusting your Center Front Darted pattern to fit your unique and beautiful shape is relatively simple and utilizes many of the same techniques as working on a normal FBA.This post will be fully dedicated to the act of making your alterations on a Center Front Dart specific pattern, in this case, the Amelie Dress. 

Let’s Get Started!

You will want to begin this process by first tracing off your front bodice pattern along with any important markings on your pattern such as:

  • Grainline
  • Darts
  • Apex Point
  • Notches
  • Lengthen/Shorten Lines
  • Size + View

I will be dividing this tutorial up into two groups: Single Dart and  Double Dart. Depending on what size you are making of the Amelie + which Cup option you have chosen, you will notice that there is either a single under arm dart or a double underarm dart. Each of these needs to be worked on slightly differently, which is why I have divided this tutorial into two parts! If you’re looking for the double underarm dart version, click here!

Single Dart FBA

To start, you will draw the following lines on your front bodice pattern piece:

  1. Directly through the center of your Center Front Dart to your Apex
  2. Directly through the center of your Under Arm Dart to your Apex
  3. From your apex to your armhole (You will want to draw your line roughly ⅓ of the way from the under arm seam to prevent distortion in the armsyce)
  4. From your Apex horizontally through the Center Front

I know that generally when you are doing an FBA on a bodice pattern, you have a line that is drawn from the Apex perpendicularly down through the waist seam. For this particular bodice, though, I found that the line was too close to the CF dart, plus the same outcome is possible by working with only the CF waist dart. So that’s what we will be doing here!

Now that all your lines are in place, let’s get to cutting and hinging our pattern out! There are a few places we will be cutting. It’s important NOT to cut through our entire pattern piece. We want to leave a smidgen of the pattern intact so that we can hinge the pieces around and not accidentally distort the outer pattern edges too much!

The first set of lines you will want to cut through are lines 1 + 3. 

I forgot to mention, we need to mark out our seam allowance right at our armscye where line 3 passes through. This is the point where we will stop cutting to create a hinge!

To create a little hinge in your pattern (which allows you to shift your pattern open), snip from your armscye to — not through — the seam allowance mark you just made.

Next, cut line 2, starting from the center of your dart and ending right at the apex point. Be sure you don’t cut your piece completely off – you need to leave the tiniest bit of paper so that you are able to hinge your pattern, rather than having it come apart in puzzle-like pieces.  

See how I am able to lightly pull my pattern piece and it opens up, yet all the pieces are still intact? This is what we are going for! Don’t worry if you accidentally cut through your pieces (as I have done many times!) Simply tape your pieces back together at the “hinge” point, and try cutting it again. It gets easier with practice!

For this next part, you will need some tape, scrap paper, a pen, and the measurement you plan to increase your pattern piece by. I am going to be doing an imaginary FBA of ½” (1,3 cm) for my sample. 

With your supplies in hand (and possibly a large cup of tea at the ready!), it’s time to adjust!

Gently pull the bottom edge of your pattern pieces until they start to spread apart. I like to place my ruler right at my apex point so that when I am sliding my pattern out, I can stop as soon as it reaches the measurement I am aiming for. In this case, ½”  (1,3 cm).

Slide a scrap piece of paper under your pattern and tape the apex side of your garment to your scrap piece of paper to help keep it from sliding all over the place. Don’t tape the dart side down just yet as we might need to take a look at some things first!

When performing an FBA, it is common to wind up with a new dart that becomes too wide compared to its length. When a dart is too wide for its respective length, this drastic change can cause the bust points to be rather… pointy. For some, this is a non-issue, but for many, avoiding a point at the end of our darts is paramount. This is actually why the certain sizes of the Amelie DD-Cup option has two additional side darts! They were added to help redistribute the excess fabric after my testers informed me that the bust points were just too pointy. 

But what is the right width to length ratio for your dart?

Honestly, the answer to this question depends. It depends on your cup size, the location of the dart, the fabric you are using, and your own personal preferences. I wish that I had a sure fire answer that would work 100% for everyone, but I don’t. (If you know of a general guideline, feel free to share! A quick internet search yields next to nothing regarding the proper ratio to maintain.)

For myself, I go based on gut instinct for the most part. I’ve made a fair share of garments with darts that were too wide (as was the case with the Amelie at first!) and wound up with a dart point that was quite pointy. As my own personal rule, I try to keep all my bust darts less than 4” (10 cm) wide by 6” (15 cm) long.   

When in doubt about your bust width to length ratio, the easiest solution is to simply transfer the excess width of your dart into a second dart which you can easily do with the under arm dart if you so choose. For my particular FBA, it looks like the CF dart is exactly  4” (10 cm) wide by 6” (15 cm) long, so I won’t need to adjust the underarm dart at all!

I also went ahead and checked my under arm dart width and length and they both looked good to me! If anything, I bet I could get away with making the dart a bit shorter in length. 

Once your two darts are looking good to you, tape them down to the scrap paper underneath and give yourself a high five!

I know that was a LOT of work! You are nearly there, but now would probably be a great time to take a mini break. Feel free to stretch, take a quick walk around your neighborhood, or drink a cool glass of water! When you come back, we will finish this tutorial by making some final adjustments and truing up your pattern!

Feeling refreshed? Then let’s dive back in and finish this alteration up!

The final step before truing your pattern is to shift the right bottom bit of your bodice down so that your waist lines line up again. This will also give ample room for your garment bodice to fall over your bust without riding up in the waist area.

To do this, cut completely through line 4.

Then shift your pattern piece down until the waist line is about even. Make sure that you keep your grainline in the same place as you move your pattern piece down (you want it to remain a straight line). Tape your pattern piece in place. 

Now come the finishing touches! To start, you need to draw out your new underarm dart. To do this, first mark your new Apex point. It will be exactly ½ way between where you split your apex in half. 

Now, measure out a point approximately 1” (2,5 cm) from your apex point along the centerline of your CF dart. This is your new dart point. 

Next, connect your new dart point to the dart legs i.e. where you slashed and spread your paper on your side seam.

Repeat these same steps with your underarm dart, but this time, mark 2” (5,1 cm) from your apex point before connecting your dart legs. 

Finally, one-by-one, close your darts temporarily. Cut off the excess paper under your side seam and then open your darts back up. 

Hooray! You now have a fully completed Center Front Dart bodice with an FBA perfectly suited to your body! It was a long process but I hope that you found it enjoyable and are excited to have a pattern that more closely fits you!