Despite hearing all about the fitting joy of Full Bust Adjustments I had never actually been brave enough to try one. Using mostly Indie patterns meant I could generally avoid (despite being a curvy gal with a generous bust), all the confusing measuring, cutting and taping having to do an FBA seemed to require. However when my sister decided she wanted a particular pattern made up as a gift, let’s just say something more than good intentions was needed to make B cup fit over F cup…
Enter Jenny Rushmore of Cashmerette & her new Craftsy class Full Bust Adjustment for Any Pattern. The class takes you through all the variations of an FBA you could need, on patterns with darts, princess seams and even knits. It is a thorough class, on the Craftsy site it is listed as suitable for Intermediate sewers, but I think an advanced beginner would also find it really useful.
On the Craftsy website, Full Bust Adjustment for Any Pattern has the following class description:
“Busts come in all different shapes and sizes, and your pattern should work with your body, not the other way around. Body-positive sewing expert Jenny Rushmore helps you conquer a successful full bust adjustment (FBA) — the most common fitting challenge — and confidently work with any type of pattern. Understand what types of patterns need an FBA and how to approach the FBA for styles with single bust darts, bust and waist darts, no darts, princess seams and more. Learn how to refine post-FBA dart placement and manage extra-large FBAs. With Jenny’s step-by-step guidance, you’ll master the FBA for any style and cup size to perfectly fit your natural curves.”
You can watch the trailer here:
TOPICS COVERED IN CLASS: (I’ve included things I found particularly helpful in brackets)
Lesson 1: What’s an FBA?
- About FBAs
- Taking Measurements
- Measuring Yourself (including how to take your own, and with a buddy)
- Choosing Pattern Size & Calculating FBA
Lesson 2: Styles with Darts
- Styles with One Dart
- Adjusting the Waist (I almost always make adjustments for my short waist, so this was helpful)
- Tips for Making a Muslin (yes, I should probably make one)
- Styles with Two Darts ( I would never have attempted this, but seeing the process step by step made it very approachable)
- Styles with French Darts
Lesson 3: Refining Darts
- Relocating Darts after an FBA
- Lengthening or Shortening Darts (including info on where the dart should actually sit)
- Lowering or Raising Darts
- Splitting & Rotating Darts
- Sewing & Pressing Darts (with handy tips on how to avoid the dreaded dart pucker)
- Pressing Darts
Lesson 4: Styles without Darts
- FBA on No-Dart Styles for Woven Fabrics
- Styles with Cut-On Sleeves
- No-Dart Styles for Knits
- Easing in Extra Front Length (really useful, no more “too short at the front” tops)
Lesson 5: Styles with Princess Seams
- Styles with Princess Seams
- Princess Seams to the Armhole
- Tips for Sewing Princess Seams
- Princess Seams to the Shoulder
Lesson 6: Troubleshooting & Perfecting
- Large FBSs (if you require an FBA greater than approx. 5-6 inches in total)
- Drafting the “Y” FBA
- Fixing Gaping after FBA
- Patterns with no Waist Seam
The class is $40 USD at full price, but like all Craftsy classes, it’s regularly on sale for $19.99 – $29.99. Given the amount of information included, this is great value.
- Jenny is good at clearly explaining what she is doing and why, alongside the video, which is really easy to follow. Even the more complex areas such as splitting & rotating darts, which I have previously had trouble getting my head around, were simply explained and very clear. Jenny uses plain paper pattern pieces and a black marker to demonstrate each technique, the only additional tools you would find helpful are a French curve ruler, but even that is optional.
- Rather than a one size fits all approach, Jenny suggests various options for using the techniques demonstrated, such as moving darts or using multiple darts.
- The extra tips and advice are really useful. Things such as taking proper measurements (I loved the “sitting waist & hip measurement” tip), how to sew a dart, how to press it properly, successfully sewing princess seams, there is a lot of additional information included, which I think is particularly helpful.
- I learnt a new technical term “boob bubble” (It actually makes sense, watch & see!)
Overall Rating (1-5) + Explanation: 5
As you can tell I found this a really useful course. One of the things I think a less experienced sewer such as myself found helpful is the clear explanation of the “why” of doing an FBA, as well as the “how”. Sewing is all about 3D fitting with a two dimensional pattern, so having someone clearly explain and show why we are making the adjustments we need, makes the ‘how” much easier to understand.
I like Jenny’s relaxed style of presenting, and the pace is good, including plenty of detail without feeling overwhelming. There is a lot of information included, which I think makes it good value for money, especially for the more advanced techniques such as rotating darts, and adjusting princess seams, which I know I will watch again. I have previously tried to learn some of the techniques from a book, but I found watching a demonstration makes them much easier to understand.
If you want a comprehensive guide to doing FBAs, with plenty of extra tips & tricks, I would highly recommend this course.
Disclosure: Please note I had intended to buy this class for myself (Xmas!) when Jenny asked for reviewers, I then received this class for free in exchange for an honest review!