Oct 282013

Today we have a very special treat! The lovely Trice from Sew Tell is here to show us how an FBA changed the fit on her Sugar Plum bodice. She’ll show you how to get a much more tailored fit along the bust. I appreciate the extra tailoring but you can see that Trice gets a great fit out of both of her approaches with Sugar Plum. Read her post and see what you think. If you’re on Twitter, you can find her here, too! Thanks Trice for coming over to share what you’ve learned.


Remember this Lolita Pattern Sugar Plum? This was the Sugar Plum that I made as a pattern tester. After making it up, I realized that I wanted to make some changes to the dress. I did not think it fitted as good as it should. This was a size 14 with only an added 5/8″ to the side seams.


Fresh off the sewing table is my latest Sugar Plum. The bodice fabric is one of the items I picked up in NYC, but forgot to share on the blog. The skirt is the same fabric from the last Sugar Plum. I still have several yards left of this fabric.

Okay now down to business of this version, which has a better fit. This time I used my high bust measurements to get a size 10. I only cut out a size 10 for the front bodice, sleeves, neck ruffle, front shield, and  button loop placement. Everything else I keep a size 14, yes even the back. The back fit perfectly before, so I just trued the front and back bodice so they were balanced.

I did a tissue fitting to check the amount I would need to make the bodice adjustment. I ended up needing 3 inches. When you need more than 1.5 inches you have to do a Y-FBA. In the picture below you can see the Y-FBA that I made. Also note that I had to make adjustments to the Front Shield and Button Loop Placement pieces. If you do the flounces, you will need to add length to the Flounce Placement piece as well. The added length is to make these piece match the adjusted Front Bodice piece, because when you do FBAs, you tend to end up with a longer bodice to accompany the roundness of your bust. I also re-did the markings for the buttons starting at the fullest part of my bust.


Because of the Y-FBA, I end up having extra fabric on the sides and this did not work with the waistband piece. I ended up eyeballing adding two more pleats. I think the added pleats creates nice look around the bust area.


So you can see that this dress fits better on me by doing the FBA. There is no drag lines in my shoulders. Also and most importantly, no crazy fabric in the armhole. Even my sleeves look better because of this adjustment. These things might not bother you, so you can see if you want to do the extra work or not.

sugarplum2      IMG_5314

Another thing I did for this pattern was shorten the skirt about 5 inches. I took it off from the lengthen and shorten line but added 1.25 inches for the hem.



Some things I would change about my next Sugar Plum would be, to take out the back darts, because I like my clothes with a little less fit and I would also skip the pockets. As much as I love pockets, they are just not working for me for this dress. This version is more obvious because I used the lining for the pockets and not the knit used for the skirt.

So have you made a Sugar Plum yet? Will you do a FBA for it? Or have you?

  10 Responses to “Sugar Plum Sew-Along: Guest Post! Tailoring for the bust”

  1. […] weekend (Apparently I am always sewing dresses for my birthday, I was told). Check out my guest post at Lolita Patterns to read about all the details of making my second version with a […]

  2. Thank you Lelia. I did have to do a FBA so I appreciate your note. I am going to add a dart on the top. I will re-look at adjusting the buttons, and flounces. You look beautiful in your new dress.

  3. Ok. I have been practicing with the flounces and I do not like the results. The material frays to bad. I have tried stay tape, which of course is time consuming. I have tried doubling the material and adding a black cording, which looks great–but may take me forever. Also I think I need to enlarge the
    Flounces a little, as Lelia suggested, especially if I double the material. I don’t think I mentioned that I did try zig zagging and of course the material frayed too much.
    Any other suggestions???

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.