Happy Boobie Day on the Rue Sewalong! This post is all about adjusting Rue for a full bust. The small bust adjustment can be found here. Remember—bust height adjustments should be made before small or full adjustments. You can learn all about adjusting bust height here.
DO I NEED A BUST ADJUSTMENT?
Most pattern companies draft patterns based on a B cup, but we draft for a C cup for sized 0-18, and a DD for sizes 20-26.
If you’re making size 0-18 and are an A or B, you will need a small bust adjustment or SBA. If you are a D or larger you will need a full bust adjustment or FBA.
For sizes 20-26, if you are a D or smaller you will need an SBA, and if you are a DDD or larger you will need an FBA.
DETERMINE ADJUSTMENT AMOUNT
Determining the amount to add or subtract from your bust is relative to the amount of ease you like to have in your garments. Below are my recommended bust ease amounts for different sizes in a semi-fitted dress in a medium-lightweight woven.
Sizes 0-8: 1 1/2″ ease
Sizes 10-26: 2 1/2″ ease
To determine how much to add to your bust, simply follow this equation.
Your Bust Measurement + Preferred Ease Amount – Finished Measurement = Adjustment Amount
Let’s take a look at Haley’s measurement chart one more time, as an example.
Haley’s bust measurement: 42.5″
The size 12 finished measurement: 43.5″
Recommended ease in size 12: 2.5″
45″-43.5″= 1.5″ FBA
We will be adding extra room for the bust in two places on a piece that is cut on the fold. Therefore, we need to divide this FBA amount into 4 to evenly distribute the fullness.
1.5″ FBA ÷ 4 = .375″ (which is 3/8″)
- Your Rue pattern
- A clear ruler (I use a 2” x 18”)
- Pattern paper
- Paper shears
Preparing Center Front Bodice Piece
1. Draw in all seam allowances on center front bodice.
2. With a ruler, extend center tuck lines to neckline.
3. On the shoulder seam, measure in 1/2″ and mark the sleeve seam line, this will be mark A. Measure in 1/2″ from the seamline on the necklines and mark, this is Mark B.
4. Draw a line from mark A to the point where the seam line and left tuck line intersect. This is line C.
Draw a line from mark B to the point where the seam line and the right tuck line intersect. This is line D.
5. Cut through the left tuck line to the intersection with line C and continue cutting through line C to the seam line at the shoulder.
6. “Hop over” the seam line and continue cutting from the edge of the paper to the seam line, creating a hinge.
Full Bust Adjustment: Center Front Bodice
1. On a separate long piece of paper, draw two parallel lines. The distance between the lines should be the amount that will be added for your FBA. In this example, I needed to add 3/8″ to each tuck in the FBA.
2. Bring the extra paper under line C, aligning an outer line on the scrap paper to one side of the slashed line C. Tape in place.
3. Swing the other slashed side of line C to meet the other edge of the scrap paper lines at the seam allowance. See photo for reference. Tape in place.
4. Repeat steps 1-3 for the right side tuck.
Truing Lines and Redrawing Tuck Marks: Center Front Bodice
1. Start by drawing a short line at the first dot, on the right, parallel to the tuck lines. Continuing up the style line, draw a set of 5 lines, all 3/4″ away from eachother, parallel to the tuck lines.
3. Fold the tucks. Redraw the seamline, blending from the original line towards the top and bottom. Cut along seam line.
4. Remove tape, keeping tucks in place. Add a long strip of paper behind the style line. Add 5/8″ seam allowance to the seam line. Next, measure 5/8″ from the cut edge up each of the tuck placements and mark with a dot. These lines and dots are now your new tuck marks.
Preparing Side Front Bodice Piece
1. Draw in all seamlines on Side Front Bodice piece. Draw an additional grainline marking towards center front.
2. Draw one line from the intersection of the side and waist seam to the lower tuck placement dot, this is line A.
Draw an additional line from the intersection of the side and waist seam to the upper tuck placement dot, this is line B.
3. Cut through line B, from the style line to the seam line, “hop” over the seam line and snip into the seam allowance.
Full Bust Adjustment: Center Front Bodice
1. On a separate long piece of paper, draw two parallel lines, the distance needed to be added in the FBA apart. In this example, I needed to add 3/8″ to each tuck mark.
2. Bring the extra paper under Line B, aligning one of the outer lines on the scrap paper to the left side of the slashed line B. Tape in place.
3. Swing the other slashed side of line B to meet the other edge of the scrap paper line at the seam allowance. See photo for reference. Tape in place.
4. Repeat Steps 1-3 for the right side tuck mark.
Truing Lines and Redrawing Tuck Marks: Side Front Bodice
1. Add a bit of paper behind the curved edge of the side front bodice. Using a french curve or curved ruler, re-draw the seam line, making sure to keep it as close to original shape. After re-drawing the seam line, add seam allowance.
- Re-draw the seam allowance at the waist and side seam intersection. You may need to add a scrap of paper here as well.
3. Re-mark the left tuck placement mark by measuring up 3/4″ from the farthest right tuck mark. See photo for reference.
Rue is a fully lined dress, which is awesome but, I ain’t got time to do all these alterations on the lining pieces! Here’s a little insider tip—the lining pieces for the center front bodice, side front bodice, and back bodice are exactly the same as the main fabric pieces except that they are 1/8″ shorter in the neckline.
To save yourself some time, trace the altered pattern pieces and reduce the neckline by 1/8″.
And you’re done! Bonus Tip: If you’re altering a tissue pattern that you wish to fold up and store to use in the future, you may want to use medical tape for your pattern alterations. This allows you to gently iron the fold lines out because medical tape doesn’t melt like other tapes.
Tune in Thursday for a tutorial on how to adjust Rue for narrow or broad shoulders! This is very useful for those of you who struggle with “falling shoulders” on wide necklines.