Colette Macaron: FBA Part 1

Armed with my new found knowledge of Full Bust Adjustments, today I embarked on altering my Colette Macaron pattern. I’d already made a couple of attempts on my own but after watching the Palmer/Pletsch DVD reviewed yesterday I took a slightly different approach. There were still many steps to it, hence this being a two-parter but it seemed to come together pretty well. Here goes:

  1. Step one is always to chose the right starting size. For full busts this means measuring your upper-bust, around your under-arms, (indicated in green above). The general standard is to match this to the bust size on the pattern body measurements. I measure just under 42 inches, which on the Colette Size Chart would make me a 14, however, from reading many reviews I know that Colette patterns are cut with much less wearing ease than regular commercial patterns so I chose to start at a 16, instead.
  2. Trace the pattern pieces for the Top Front Yoke (E), Top Back Yoke (F), Bodice Front (A) and Bodice Back (B). Include all markings then add in the stitching line 5/8″ from the edge (blue dashed line above). I choose to trace the pieces that need adjusting so I don’t make a mistake on the original but if you’re confident, you can skip this step, just mark the stitching line on the pattern pieces.
  3. Because we need to see how the arm-hole will fit, tape along the inside of the stitching line (in blue), this will act in the same way stay-stitching does in fabric.
  4. Now the seam allowance can be slashed down to the stitching line and the tape prevents it from tearing further.
  5. Pin the Bodice Front to the Top Front Yoke and the Bodice Back to the Top Back Yoke matching the seam lines. Then pin front to back at shoulder and side seams.
  6. Slip it on, insuring the side seam is vertical and the shoulder seam is true. Check the back first, to see if it aligns to your centre back. For me, it fit well at the neck but I need to grade out to size 18 in the Bodice Back. You can see in the photo how slashing the arm hole helps it contour when tissue fitting (you can also see how much trickier this job is without someone to help you with these things ;)).
  7. Now on the front, measure the difference between the pattern edge and your centre front. This tells you the size of the FBA needed. For me it was 2 inches. Slip off the tissue and remove the pins from the shoulder and side seams. You can  put the back pieces aside for now as in Part 2, we’ll just be working with the front.

Hope this is helpful. Tomorrow I’ll post part 2 where the magic really happens.


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