Sewaholic Minoru Muslin/Sweater-dress + FBA

I find myself with a bit of a problem. Whilst my brain knows that making a muslin is not a waste of fabric I seem to be physically incapable of disposing of one once it’s made.

Which goes a little way to explaining this odd sweater/dress hybrid.

I want to make an all-weather version of Sewaholic’s latest pretty and practical pattern – the Minoru Jacket. Tasia’s sew-a-long begins in earnest in January but I thought I’d get a head start on the muslin being that it usually causes much feet dragging. I had some double-knit which would work and really I just wanted to check that the full-bust adjustment would work okay on the dartless bodice.

Here’s how it went:

(click to enlarge)

ETA: On regular version add the length created at Line 3 to the front placket and zip, too.

 It worked just fine and I now know when it comes to making the real version I’ll need a 34in separating zipper not a 32in due to the additional length from the FBA.

Still I didn’t want to waste a zipper I can’t really afford on a muslin so I thought to myself… what would happen if I cut the front on a fold (adding in the width of the button placket)? Answer is… a Sweater-Dress. It’s very comfortable despite being unlined and the fact I messed the collar up royally. I didn’t notice the front placket went up to the top of the collar so I forgot to add the additional length and then I went and sewed it on backwards. Oh well, good thing it’s just a knock-around for home.

 The pattern itself is so lovely to sew, and now I have my alterations all done I can’t wait for January.

Rooibos Sew-along: Muslin Two


Today is just a brief one as I’m off to Edinburgh for a couple of days, but I’ve adjusted and re-cut the bodice of my Rooibos muslin so I think I’m ready to roll on the full version, hurray!

Going back to the first muslin here is the photo showing the length issue in the bodice.

The pins indicate where the midriff line should fall.

To make the adjustment I measured the additional length needed (1.75in at the full bust + 1in at the  centre front).

Then I cut a line from beneath the underarm bust dart to the full bust point then vertically down (avoiding the under-bust darts). I left a hinge at the side seam stitching line so the side seam length remained unchanged, then pivoted the bottom piece down 1.75in.

Then I drew a line from the full but point to the centre front (perpendicular to the CF) and slide that piece down 1in before filling the gaps with paper and truing up the line.

This seems to have added the right amount although I had to play with the dart position and length a fair bit in the muslin form because the angle had pivoted down. I think now though, the problem is solved.

Here is the first muslin:

And here is the second:

It certainly feels like a better fit even if the process was somewhat of a guess :)

Colette Rooibos Sew-along: First Muslin

More muslining today. This time I’m catching up on Colette Pattern’s Rooibos Sew-along. For the first go around I made a 2in full bust adjustment following the CP tutorial here. Then I graded to an 18 at the midriff and 18 +2in at the skirt.

The pattern itself was surprisingly quick to construct – less than 90 minutes – although being a muslin there’s no facing, zip or hem.

As for the fit, the FBA worked well in terms of width but as usual there’s not quite enough length.

Here I’ve used pins to mark where the bottom of the bust should be.

I’m hoping that bringing the bust down and the midriff properly flat under the bust should fix the slight boxy feeling from the side.

The back’s okay but I’ll add a little more length. Where it finishes now is probably the length I should hem it at so I need to add the allowance to the bottom.

All in all it’s not too bad and I’m loving the little details like the pockets and the neckline at the back. Very excited to get started on the proper one this week.


English Summer Sorbetto

Fabric: Polyester print from Spotlight $8. Scraps from Pendrell Blouse for the collar.
Pattern: Colette Sorbetto, $Free, baby! Self-drafted collar.
Notions: Nada.
Time to complete: 5 hours (including pattern alterations)
First worn: July 7 2011 – birthday lunch with little sis.
Wear again? For sure.

Total Cost: ~$8

Okay, so it hasn’t rained all the time since arriving in London but it seemed like the perfect cliched photo op.

It took me two days to leave the house in the wake of flipping time on it’s head (a 12 hour time difference means midnight is now lunchtime and vice-versa) but Thursday was my 29th birthday and my little sister enticed me out of the house with promise of Wagagmama for lunch and I’m not one to turn down free noodles.

The pattern is a popular new freebie from Colette Patterns – the Sorbetto Tank. It’s an uber simple design with bust darts, and a centre box pleat but it has plenty of draw-cards besides the ‘price’. Most of all it’s ease (only two pattern pieces) and versatility – I decided to make the most of the nautical fabric and try my hand at a self drafted peter pan collar. This was pretty straight forward and mostly successful for a first attempt.

To create the collar, I traced the neck line from the front and back then drew a second line about 2 and 1/2 in width from there. At the centre front I grabbed a jar I had handy and used it to curve off the edges. After that I just built in seam allowances and that was it. For fabric I used the scraps at hand, namely the matte stain from my Pendrell Blouse as it was just the right off-white shade. I underlined this with a thick white cotton which I also used as lining to keep it stiff without having to locate interfacing from one of my packed boxes. I used patter~scissors~cloth’s technique of cutting the lining about 3mm smaller than the main piece so it would turn under nicely then stitched the two together.

After clipping the curves, I turned it out and pressed then basted the raw neck edges together. Then I sandwiched the collar right-side up on top of the right-side of the blouse and under the self-fabric bias binding (made using this tutorial

(Sorry for the lack of pictures – I did take them but somehow they dissappeared in the move)

The back collar I just made one continuous piece.

The 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 comes.

This was one of the last projects I made before putting my machines in storage and because of the resistance of the polyester fabric I didn’t need to iron it after unceremoniously stuffing it in my suitcase. It also stood up to the bucketing rain as I played the classy tourist and took photo’s of myself with red telephone boxes and the likes.

In other exciting news – my new sewing machine arrived today and I have a few leads on where to look for fabrics in London so I see many more Sorbettos in my future.


Vlog: Sewaholic Pendrell FBA (part two)

… and here’s part two. Warning, my editing software putted out on me so this one is pretty wordy!


In case it’s needed here’s the picture of the adjustments to the front piece:

The first adjustment should match the gap filled at Line 3 on the side piece. The next is to add the amount added at the full bust point. Finally I added an inch to the centre front to make sure the princess line falls in the right place.

From the front
The Back

(you can see part one here)

Vlog: Sewaholic Pendrell FBA (part one)

Procrastination leads me to many crazy pursuits. In my desire to put off packing, I’ve been doing a fair bit of sewing and decided to try making a video of the full bust adjustment on Sewaholic’s Pendrell Blouse.

The result is somewhat awkward (god it’s awful watching yourself on film)  and involves a fair bit of fast motion to make it fit, but you get the idea. (Part two to follow).

Just in case, here’s the pictorial breakdown of choosing your size based on your high bust measurement:

FBA: Basic Bodice

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.

Full Bust Adjustment: Gathered Bodice

Back when I made the Mermaid Dress I tried googling for instructions on completing an FBA on a gathered bodice. Whilst I found awesome instructions over at Sew Mama, Sew on a princess line adjustment (used many times now – check it out) I came up empty handed and proceeded to completely improvise. It all came together in the end but it must have been blind luck because now I’ve seen a correct FBA on a gathered bodice, I have no idea how I ended up with something presentable.

So here, in the hope it helps some other desperate googler, are the step-by-step instructions on a gathered bodice full bust adjustment as adapted from Palmer/Pletsch.

  1. Select your starting size by measuring your high bust (under your arms) and using this as your bust measurement. Trace off your bodice pieces so you don’t screw up the original (ahem, looking in the mirror). Mark your stitching lines and apply small strips of tape to the wrong side of the tissue along the arm hole on the front + back bodice. Clip to the curve to the stitching line; the tape acts like stay stitching preventing the paper from tearing.
  2. Pin together the front and back bodice and try the pieces on. Measure between the center front marked on the pattern and your actual center front at the full bust point. This is going to be your FBA measurement. For pictures of these first steps check out this post.
  3. On your bodice front piece, draw a vertical line from the bottom of the tissue to the bust apex parrallel to the center front. Continue the line to the stitching line about  1/3 of the way up the armhole (often there is a notch at this point). This is Line 1.
  4. Draw a line from the side seam to the apex, approximately where a bust dart would usually fall. This is Line 2.
  5. Draw a horizontal line, 90 degrees to the center front, from line one to the center edge. This is Line 3.
  6. Using a couple of pins, secure the center front to a piece of cardboard.

  7. Using scissors, cut up Line 1 to the stitching line a spread the tissue by your FBA measurement (2 inches in my case). Pin at apex.

  8. Cut through Line 2to the apex but not through it, leaving a hinge. Swing the lower piece down so that the cut edges of Line 1 are an even, and parallel distance (your FBA measurement) apart. Secure with pins.

  9. Cut all the way through Line 3 and lower so it matches the new lower edge of the tissue being sure to keep the center front matched.

  10. Take note of the length you have added to your bodice, in this case 1 1/4 inches. This will come in handy later.

  11. Fill in all your gaps with tissue except Line 2. If you wanted to, you could fill this in and make it a horizontal dart but in this case we are all about the gathers so we need to rotate that space into the gathers at the bottom.

  12. But first let’s talk length. For most people, a simple FBA as noted so far should add sufficient length to the bodice, however, for my particular bust shape I need an additional 1 1/2 inches on top of the FBA. My biggest pet peeve with this style of RTW clothing is when the empire line sits on my bust rather than under it so I cut the pattern piece horizontally along the upper edge of Line 3 and spread it by this distance, filling the gap with tissue.
  13. If you add the additional length to the front, don’t forget to do the same to the back.
  14. Whether you added the additional length in Step 12 or not the FBA continues by cutting  up the far edge of Line 1 to the point of Line 2 but not through it, leaving a hinge.
  15. This allows you to swing the tissue up, closing the gap on Line 2 and opening space along the line just cut. Tape Line 2 together.

  16. Fill in your gap. This creates extra gathers under the bust allowing your girls the space they need and deserve. For me this FBA added 2″ of width, 3″ of length and 4″ of extra gathers and  ecause it is gathered it can be eased into whichever size you have cut for the midriff or skirt.

And that is all there is to it. If you look closely at the pictures, you will see what my next project is so until then…