Wednesday, December 04, 2013

How to do a SBA on a Wrap Dress or Wrap Top with a Shawl Collar

Looking at those unusual pieces for the front panel pieces of Vogue 8827 left me scratching my head... How... will I do... a Small Bust Adjustment... on that?

Thankfully, it's not too difficult. Today, I'll be sharing a way to adjust pattern Vogue 8827 for us ladies of modest chestal proportions. :-)

It goes without saying that this method can be applied to any wrap dress or wrap top with a shawl collar, cowl neck, or any other collar variation directly connected to the front pattern pieces (you'll see what I mean in a minute).

First things first: How do you know you need a SBA on your wrap dress or top? You'll know because the front piece will be too long. Make a side dart as shown, and measure how much you need to take away. In my case, I needed to take away a good one inch of extra fabric. Make sure you write this down.
Before we dive into the minutia of the procedure, let's pause for a minute to think about what this piece IS exactly. We're looking at many pieces all connected into one, namely, the bodice front piece, the collar (pink), the collar facing (orange), the bodice front facing (purple), the skirt (yellow) and the skirt facing (blue). Phew. Many pieces.
Now that we know what we're looking at and where everything is, the first step of our pattern adjustment will be to separate the collar piece from the bodice front piece and the skirt front piece, in order to be able to adjust the bust. We'll do that by cutting along the lines, as shown in the picture bellow, and cutting ALMOST all the way at the shoulder, leaving the patterns connected a bit there for pivoting.
Don't cut all the way up
Note: This is what I did and it worked well for me, but I realize as I'm writing this tutorial that, strictly from theory, I could have cut along the point where the bodice front meets the collar, instead of cutting between the collar and the collar facing as shown above and bellow. I don't know how overlapping the pieces would have worked out in this case, but if anyone tries it, let me know.
Same idea for View A and C.
Just remember that you'll have to adjust the collar facing piece separately for these views,
since the collar facing comes as a separate piece
Pinch out the excess fabric at the bust according to what you measured earlier on your muslin, and "smoosh out" the dart -- meaning, press flat (either with your hand or your iron) the bubble created by the dart. Now, you'll see that the front collar and the collar facing will be too long, so it needs to be overlapped with with skirt and skirt facing.

Tape everything in place and ignore the gap in your pattern when you're cutting.

There you go! It's not more complicated than that!

Happy sewing everyone!

The method is a combination of the "Smooshing Out Small Darts" section of Fit for Real People (see page 147) and Lorraine Henry's presentation on performing a SBA on a princess seam as seen at the Creativ festival in the spring of 2013.

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