Thursday, February 14, 2008

Digital Sewing

This blouse from the 01/2008 issue of Burda WOF was recently the topic of an alterations query on Pattern Review. Even before that, though, it had caught my eye.

There is more than one way to do most things and thus the advice for how to make a Full Bust Alteration (FBA) was varied. Some advocated treating the seams as princess lines and doing a "FFRP* Princess FBA." Others (me!) thought it would be less tedious to do the regular ol' FFRP FBA and then rotate the horizontal dart to the shoulder with the existing dart.

I had a spare hour the other night and decided to give it a whirl. The largest size of this pattern (42) is still too small for me so I'll never actually sew this version to try it out. But pinning on Zillie and holding it up to my actual bust both pre- and post-alteration told me it would work fine.

There are 3 pieces which make up the front bodice. Each is outlined in a different color in these photos. The black outlines show my slash/spread alterations.

I gave up drawing the outlines on the photos before I had finished the one which shows rotating the dart. Whoops. I still have the pics so maybe I'll finish the "series" just to be complete.

In the meantime, today I doodled with my patternmaking software while eating lunch. I took a plain old side bust dart blouse and drew in the style lines. Then I rotated the side dart to the shoulder, which is the part missing from the pics above.

I need to reshape the bib portion a little better, but you get the idea. I'm not sure if this will actually ever be a blouse for me but I do think it will at least make it to the muslin stage before I make a final decision.

Happy Valentine's Day!

*FFRP = Fit For Real People by Palmer/Pletsch


  1. Thanks so much for this Debbie! I plan on making this top and this is wonderful info!

  2. Great info, great presentation!

  3. I am a big fan of yours, Debbie, and this was very succintly explained as usual. You are a spatial-didactic genius. Vibeke in Oslo

  4. Debbie, what program do you use to outline your work on the computer? I have such a hard time with Adobe Photoshop Elements. Just trying to draw the lines like you just did is a PITB. thanks

  5. i am a self-taught sewer... and i do fairly well, but alterations and this sort of thing are so difficult for me! thanks for the step by step instructions:-)

    i really admire your skill!

  6. An interesting solution. How much of an increase did you do? I wonder if it wouldn't make the shoulder to much on the bias in a very large adjustment. Like for my dd, who is a DD cup but who needs a 34 in bwof otherwise. But, is this an issue if there is no pattern in the fabric? what I really found interesting is your transferring the bottom length that shows up to above the underbust seam which is really a great idea. Thanks for the doodling

  7. This is just another great example of how sewing is an art-not science and that there are many ways of doing things. This is a perfectly workable solution for the alteration on this top. Thanks for the exercise - especially since you don't necessarily plan on making it.

  8. Thank you so much for this. I've been wanting to make this blouse, but had no idea how to go about the FBA. This will be very helpful

  9. Hi Debbie. So, I'm totally new to the FBA. I've managed to get my pattern to look like the second photo. But, I'm lost on where you rotated the dart. And when you say rotate the dart, do you mean the side dart? Tx!


Thank you for each and every comment. I appreciate them all, but I have to be honest and let you know that I'm usually bad about answering questions. I hope you understand that there just isn't enough time in the day to do everything I want to do.

To help keep spam comments under control, any comments to blog posts that are more than 30 days old are moderated and will not show up immediately.