A Tale of Two FBAs

Jalie Dolman Sleeve Top with cheater FBA

Even though I am a certified Palmer/Pletch Fit instructor, I am also a certified shortcut-taker. I know the correct way to alter a pattern to fit, but I my brain automatically tries to find a faster way. And, owning a shop and setting up a website keep me busy, so I’m always doing everything at the last minute.

As I prepared to teach a Sewing with Knits class, using the Jalie Dolman Top pattern, I felt too rushed to do a proper full-bust adjustment. I also wanted to give my students an easy alternative to an involved full-bust adjustment.

Noticing that the center front of the shirt is on the fold, and the Jalie pattern drafters moved the center front farther and farther out as the size increased, I decided to cut out the size based on my high bust measurement, but add fabric at the center front by cutting the center front on the size that fit my full bust. I then cut out the top in our lovely rayon/poly stripe knit in black and cobalt.

I hemmed the neckline, instead of binding it, and added sleeves. I love it. The back fits well, and the deeper, wider neckline formed by cutting a larger size at the center front is cute and flattering.

I like a wide neckline…

Then I taught the class again. Only two students signed up, and I knew they would both benefit from a full-bust adjustment. I was curious how a true FBA would compare to my cheater FBA, so before the class, I altered the pattern using the Palmer/Pletsch Knit for Real People book, and here is the result. I used Riley Blake’s Four Corners Knit in Black. I bound the neck, which raised the neckline a little, but as you can see, the two methods created two very different looks.

The high neckline is maintained with a traditional Full Bust Adjustment

So, if you love the neckline on a pattern, do a traditional full-bust-adjustment, as described in Fit for Real People and Knits for Real People, but if you want a wider neckline, just add fabric to the center front. That’s why we love sewing. Everything is custom, just for us!

Watch my Full Bust Adjustment video to learn more about this technique!

6 thoughts on “A Tale of Two FBAs

  1. Jeanne Rothenbuecher says:

    Where can I find a list of your classes? I don’t see them under “Events”. I would have loved to take the knit top class.

    • Kate McIvor says:

      We’re still working on the events calendar. We hope to have some classes listed by next week. Keep checking back. Thanks!

  2. Francis says:

    Do you mean you put the top of the pattern on the fold and then swung it out to put the larger bust pattern on the fold at bust level?

    • Kate McIvor says:

      Hi Francis! No, I cut it parallel to the original “Cut on Fold” line at the center front. The pattern marks the “Cut on Fold” line for the center front wider and wider for larger sizes. I cut the shoulders to fit my shoulders, and then laid the center front pattern piece on the line that fit my bust.
      🙂 Kate

    • Sarah T says:

      Any chance of a quick diagram? I can’t quite follow how you placed the pattern for your lovely striped top.

      • kate says:

        Hi Sarah! Check out my FBA video to get a closer look at the technique. I’m currently out of town but will draw a diagram for you once I’m back in the office!

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