The Sun Dress – FBA

The measurements you need to create The Sun Dress include, the bust (fullest part of your bust – over the nipple usually), waist and hip measurement. 

To create a Full Bust Adjustment (FBA) you’ll need to measure your High Bust, this will help you work out how much you need to adjust your pattern.

Measure around your High Bust by placing the tape measure under your arms, around your back and over the upper part of your bust.

If your bust measurement is 94cm but your high bust measurement is 86cm, the difference is 8cm which means you’ll have to adjust your pattern by 4cm as we are working with half the measurement on this pattern as it is in two pieces! We only need to work with half the measurement required.

Ok so now we have figured out how much to alter the pattern, open up line number 1 by 4cm – IMPORTANT make sure you keep both edges parallel to each other, this will naturally open up the current dart further. 

Once you’re happy the line at number 1 is open by your bust adjustment amount and is parallel, tape this down to another sheet of paper, this will form your new pattern piece.

The hem of the bodice is now uneven. Cut along line number 4, the whole way across. Line the hem up so the bottom of cut line number 1 is even.

We now need to even up the dart which has been opened up. Using the original dart legs, finish the new dart 5cm from the bust point, even up the dart legs, you might find the lower leg is longer than the top leg. Measure the top leg reduce the lower leg as necessary so they become the same length.

You may also notice that there is now extra width on the waist from opening up the line number one. Remember the measurement we took before chopping into the pattern? We are going to need it now, starting from the folded back Centre Front edge, measure to the side seam and mark this point. From the bottom leg of the dart, draw in a new side seam, the amount you reduce the side seam by is up to you, you might want to keep this fullness in or you could even create a dart with it for added shaping at the waist.

And there we have it, a new pattern piece adjusted to your bust measurement. It’s a good idea now to create a toile of the bodice, even if it’s just this top part of the Sun Dress to make sure your adjustments fit you well and you’re happy with the placement of your new dart. Creating a wearable toile is a great way of practicing this technique and gaining an extra garment! Win win!

You may find you need to adjust the skirt pattern pieces as your bodice is now bigger than your skirt, this can be done one of two ways, either make your pleats slightly smaller so the fabric of the skirt goes further towards the side seams by the same amount your bodice has increased. Or you could cut your skirt pattern to be bigger on the side seam by the same amount your bodice has increased.

This will also apply to your bodice Front Band and Facing, add extra fullness onto your side seam to accommodate your fuller bust as necessary.

If you need any help along the way, don’t hesitate to contact us at

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