Fun with FBAs
(Apologies to my Dutch readers - I haven't had time to translate this post yet...)
Didn't know that you could have fun with FBAs? Read on! My experience with FBAs (full bust adjustments) has so far not been entirely positive or successful. The resulting altered patterns have often been too large - possibly because I start with a too-large base pattern. So when I decided to make the Jalie 2005 t-shirt (a downloaded pattern), I didn't want to do an FBA until I tested the pattern as is. I traced and cut a W at the shoulders, sleeves and armscye, then widened to a Z from the bust down (although my measurements are X at waist and hips). The resulting t-shirt is wearable but there is bunching under the sleeve and still some pulling across the bust. So I thought darts would have to come into play...
Possibly influenced by a recent bout of origami, and well-known to be a mad miniaturist, I thought it would be helpful to try out the FBA on a little paper model first (I also remember reading about using a paper model to test construction on someone's blog). A day later my little paper model has turned into ten little paper models! I used exactly the same basic "pattern" (a rough copy of my Jalie t-shirt front about 5"/12cm high) and tried all the FBA methods I could lay my hands on. I didn't realise that there were so many different methods and that their results would differ so much!
|My original pattern with bust apex point and the basic adjustment lines marked|
I started with the books on my shelf - McCall's Sewing in Colour (1963) and Simplicity Sewing Book (1969), and my Marcy Tilton Where did you get that T-shirt? CD. Then I referred to Debbie's excellent website.
|Debbie's method (identical to Palmer/Pletsch); McCall's; Marcy Tilton|
I thought that maybe some new developments might have taken place since 1969 9incidentally, the year I was born), so last night I looked up Palmer and Pletsch's Fit for Real People* on Amazon. I love those "Look Inside" books! If you don't have this book, do yourself a favour and look it up on Amazon, then buy it. That's what I'm going to do.
|Simplicity; Palmer/Pletsch with bust dart; Palmer/Pletsch with dart rotated out|
The other fitting guru I know about is Sandra Betzina, so this morning I thought I'd give her method a go, also courtesy of Amazon - I used Power Sewing Step-by-Step*. Her method looked so advanced and complicated that I was convinced it would give superior results (yes, I'm like that).
|Sandra Betzina vs. Palmer/Pletsch|
After doing all of this, I feel much more confident about what doing an FBA entails, and also think I may be able to choose the method that suits me best. I don't think any of the techniques is "right" or "wrong" but that each has its advantages, and depending on your specific shape, one of them will give you the best results. If you need more space in the waist and hips, the P/P FBA might work best, while the Simplicity method would work if you only need additional bust space, but the pattern needs to fit snugly in the waist and hips.
Now back to my real pattern!
*I am an Amazon Associate member, so clicking on this link will take you directly to Amazon. If you buy the book, I will get a small amount of credit with Amazon, which I can some day redeem on a purchase from them. I only recommend books because I think they're good, not because Amazon asks me to!