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Forum > Fitting Woes > When to do that FBA ( Moderated by CarolynGM, Deepika)

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When to do that FBA
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RedRockin
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Date: 4/6/14 10:20 AM

Hi, when I purchase patterns, all the current wisdom says that I purchase based on above-bust size rather than full bust, so that the bust, waist, and hip measurements on the pattern are always waaaaayyyy less than my true measurements. Then my first step with the pattern to to mark the length markings -- bust apex, waistline, etc. Then I measure width of the pattern and add the increase to the seams, to fit my circumference. And then I do an FBA, because I still must do that, right? Even though at this point the circumference may match mine, my DDD girls will not fit into the B-cup (generally) of the bodice. Am I correct? It just always seems strange to have the pattern measure out to my actual bust size, but still have to do an FBA.

Maybe if I actually sewed something than thought about sewing something, this would be clear to me. I have been away from sewing for some time and then menopause struck. Back in the day, I did not have to worry about FBAs!

Have you ever bought a pattern to fit your full bust and then made a narrow shoulder adjustment? Just seems like a lot less work. Thanks!

MrsCharisma
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In reply to RedRockin <<
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Date: 4/6/14 12:57 PM

If you're sewing with Big 4 patterns, you'll find that those numbers are on the chart aren't extra helpful and that it's better to start with finished garment measurements to choose a size.

As a DD cup, an FBA is part of my sewing life tooI've tried everything EXCEPT making an FBA (with wovens) and the thing is, you end up making a whole slew of other adjustments when you could've just made an FBA! :)

Narrow shoulder, perhaps change the armhole, remove length from shoulder to bust, change the dart...meh. The FBA is quick and easy.

Many of the FBA tutorials add width so you should probably start there and then see if you need to adjust for your waist still...

I have a 39" full bust measurement with 34" waist. Usually a 14 with FBA works great. With patterns that have cup sizing I choose a 14D-cup and then grade to a 16 for the waist.

I'm rambling now...lol!

------
Nakisha
www.sewcraftychemist.blogspot.com
Singer Talent 3321 | Brother 1034D

My Big 4 Sizing: Medium | Tops 14/16 | Pants 18 | Skirts 16/18.

My Measurements: 36 HB | 38.5 FB | 34 W | 44 Hip

MrsCharisma
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Date: 4/6/14 12:57 PM

Oh and you should totally make something up (in less than loved fabric) and see how it fits...then you can go from there!

------
Nakisha
www.sewcraftychemist.blogspot.com
Singer Talent 3321 | Brother 1034D

My Big 4 Sizing: Medium | Tops 14/16 | Pants 18 | Skirts 16/18.

My Measurements: 36 HB | 38.5 FB | 34 W | 44 Hip

michellep74
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Date: 4/6/14 1:27 PM

Usually, when I make my FBA, it adds the width I need to my waist and hips, so I'd use the FBA as your starting point, then check the fit and see if you still need to add anything.

------
--Michelle

***
Blog: http://happilycaffeinated.blogspot.com/

2014 Fabric IN: 153.13 yards
2014 Fabric OUT: 88 yards
2014 Fabric Sewn: 38 yards
2014 Fabric Donated: 50 yards
pre-2014 Stash patterns used in 2014: 7

lindawantstosew
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lindawantstosew
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Date: 4/6/14 1:43 PM

Yikes, now I'm in a dilemma, too! I chose a fitting shell pattern based on my bust and waist and hip measurements. Now I'm righ where you talked about, MrsCharisma! I think there's a real market in helping us more mature sewists who are returning after last sewing for "girlish" silhouettes! I DID sew up a very simple top. (New Look 6217, view B). I used the pattern's "Garment measurements" which said the Size 12 would make up a 38" bust. I just checked my seam allowances, they are right on. When I bought a new copy of Vogue 1004, I chose a size 14, but now I think I should have taken a smaller size pattern, because I find that the shoulder is waaaay too wide for my frame.

I know that once I get a better feel for the pattern sizing thing, I'll feel more confident about choosing sizes, but for now I must say it's great that patterns are multi-sized today!! (They were only beginning to do this when I quit sewing).

Linda

------
Garment sewing fan sewing on a Viking 1100

RedRockin
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Date: 4/7/14 0:26 AM

Thanks for the advice, sewistas! I think I will do the fba before any other width adj and see how that works.

marymary86
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Date: 4/7/14 10:31 AM

I'd like to add to read the reviews here first for any pattern you are considering. I look for photos of anyone with a full bust and pay special attention to anything they have to say.

I've picked up great tips that have helped before choosing the size and making alterations.

Sewing has changed a lot and thankfully it's gotten a lot better!

------
Mary


Laurasews
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Date: 4/7/14 10:35 AM

Get the back and shoulders to fit first. If you do a broad back adjustment (the kind that goes all the way down the pattern), for example, it will add to the circumference of the pattern and reduce the amount that you need to add for the FBA. And, the garment is suppose to hang from the shoulders, so get these to fit right first, then do the FBA.

Nancy K
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In reply to RedRockin <<


Date: 4/7/14 5:11 PM

I do not add to the front side seams until after I have done my fba. Most fba's add significantly to the width of the front so I just trace the same size all the way down on the front. Generally I cut my upper bust measurement at the shoulder and armhole increasing one size at the side seam at the underarm and on down in the front and back. Then in the back I blend to the largest size I need in the waist and hip.
I make my fba in the front which is about 1 3/4 to 2 " and it adds that much all the way down which is usually enough room for me, but if not then I would blend from the underarm to the additional room I need in the hip. I make sure that the front is only 1/2" larger than the back in the hip and waist area or my side seams pull to the back.

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www.nancyksews.blogspot.com

KathySews
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Date: 4/8/14 7:49 AM

Oh menopause - how we love the body changes from that. I also find the FBA easier than trying to adjust neck and shoulders. My adjustments now - high rounded back and forward shoulders from years working in computers, sloping shoulders, FBA and don't forget lowering the bust apex. This actually gets easier than it sounds because I do it a lot.

A great book to look into is Palmer/Pletsch Fit for Real People. I learned a ton from that.

Many patterns now include pattern fronts designed for different bust sizes. That helps a lot.

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