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How to do a Dartless FBA

With the COVID quarantine in full effect I have been setting my sights on warmer weather and hopefully a life outside of my house! The Sorrel Romper & Dress was just the thing I needed to lift my spirits and get my summer sewing on track. If you haven’t checked out the Sorrel yet- you’re definitely going to want to! It is jam packed with enough options for a whole summer wardrobe in just one pattern!

One of my favorite features of the Sorrel is the low cut neckline. I love a good bit of cleavage now and then and genetics have left me pretty #blessed in that department. But let’s be honest- big boobs are all fun and games until you have to fit your tops around them and FBA’s can seem a daunting task but I promise you, it’s always worth it!

Why do we need to do an FBA?

Well, because boobs. Having a large chest increases your bust measurement- but this doesn’t mean your other measurements will necessarily increase. Take a look at our ladies below. Even though all ladies have different bust sizes- their shoulders, back width, and waist measurements stay the same. When we do an FBA we are adding width and length only where we need it.

How do you know if you need an FBA?

It’s all about the measurements, baby!

Petite Stitchery drafts for a sewing cup size of “B” which may not be the same as your bra cup size. A sewing cup size B is a +2″ difference between the high and full bust. To determine wether or not you need an FBA, measure your high bust and full bust as shown in the diagram below. Subtract your high bust measurement from your full bust measurement. If that number is 2″ or less you will not need an FBA. If your difference is just slightly above the 2″ you can choose to skip it as well and just rely on the stretch of your fabric- that part it up to you!

If your difference is over 3″ you’ll get your best fit by completing an FBA. Since we already draft for a 2″ difference you will take the difference between your high and full bust and subtract 2″ from that to get the size of the FBA needed. Let’s do some quick math as an example:

The model, let’s call her Carole, has a full bust measurement of 45″ and a high bust measurement of 41″. When we subtract the high bust from the full bust we are left with +4″. From this 4″ we will subtract the 2″ of difference that the pattern already accounts for are are left with a difference of 2″. This means we will need a 2″ FBA but since our pattern piece is cut on the fold, we will only need half of that giving us 1″.

Let’s get started!

After determining the size of the FBA you need, you’re ready to get started manipulating your pattern piece! You will need your pattern piece, some tracing paper, a ruler, scissors, and a pen or pencil.

Step 1: Draw a line from the armscye to the bust point and straight down to the bottom of the bodice
Step 2: Draw a line squared over from the from the bust point. Draw a second line even with the waistline of the bodice.
Step 3: Cut through the first line you made leaving a small hinge on your armscye as outlined in red.
Step 4: Cut along the second line as shown leaving your second hinge. Spread your pattern piece until there is 1″ between the bust point and the rest of the bodice.
Step 5: Cut through the waistline and even up with your bodice. This is how we will add the extra length needed for the bust.
Step 6: Closing the second hinge you made, and place a small piece of tape to form a hinge on the outside.
Step 7: Swing the hinged piece back in. There should now be an additional 1″ added to the center of your front bodice piece.
Step 8: Lay an original bodice piece on top of your adjusted pattern piece and trace. You should blend your side seam down into the original waist since we do not want to add any additional width there.

Yay, you did it!

Not too bad, right? Now you can go and make ALL THE SORRELS! I hope you enjoyed this Dartless FBA Tutorial. I can’t wait to see all your makes 💜

-Ashley R.

If you still haven’t grabbed your copy of the Sorrel yet, you can do that here 👇

https://petitestitchery.com/product-category/new/

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