FBA Class Update – Pattern #1

I finally got a full bust adjustment (fba) right!  I’m thrilled!  This post is about my process working with vintage Butterick 4125.  Once my kiddie photographers come home full-time, I will have snaps of me in the dress.

Pattern Manipulation

This was the first pattern I have worked on using the fba process I learned through taking the bust adjustment class through PatternReview.  Before working on the fba, I sized up the pattern (it was a size 18, bust 36) as needed and (I thought) added 4” to the length.

For the fba, I did the exercises for a side bust dart first.  Then I asked about my pattern choice on the class board and worked on a paper tracing of the dress (I made a horizontal cut at the natural waist of the pattern and worked on only the top half).  After working on the paper tracing for a bit, I figured out that the pattern has a modified dolman sleeve and therefore the side bust dart would not work.

Thankfully, another class participant talked about making a french dart.  A french dart, what’s that?  Thank goodness for the Internet – I googled it.  And then I tried it.  The first dart I made was HUGE!  So, I turned the 1 dart into 2 and tested my two new darts with soil separator.  Everything looked to be a go, so I drafted the pattern onto my standby – clear painter’s dropcloth.


7 hours of pattern manipulation later…I was ready to get on with sewing the fashion fabric!  (I’m a slow worker – especially when I’m falling asleep over the work!)  Sewing the dress was pretty easy.  It is just a front, back, front band/facing piece, and neckband.  I left off the sleeves for this first version.  I used some brown linen I had in my stash (Color = “Potting Soil” from Joann’s sometime in the last 2 years).  After sewing together the front and back, I found that I forgot to add 4” to the length in back…oh well.  I lopped off the added length in front.

The neckline instructions include topstitching instructions (which is shown on the tunic view only) so I blindly followed the instructions and wound up with a topstitched front band.  I just added topstitching to the cap sleeve and hem to complete the look.  I actually like it now.

(Plain Pattern Project Dress #1) The Verdict

I was so pleased with myself for finishing a wearable item, I wore the dress to work last Thursday!  The fit’s not perfect, but I thought I was super-cute – lol!  I wore the dress without a belt or sash and it looked more like an a-line shift.  MeToo (my duct tape dress form) modeled for me after work.

I do have to change the angle of dart #2.  I just have to remember that with darts, all roads point to the bust apex…though the darts do remind me of arrows that way.  I also have to remember to add the 4” in length for my next dress!

Next up, working through the princess seam fba!

3 thoughts on “FBA Class Update – Pattern #1

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