Monday, November 12, 2012

Sureau Sew-along: SBA (small bust adjustment) how-to

The Sureau dress pattern was drafted for a woman with a C cup.
If you have a smaller bust and when you tried your muslin, you found that it's too big in the chest area, you will need to follow these simple steps to alter your pattern.

First off, pinch and pin the excess fabric on your muslin and measure it to determine how smaller the pattern will need to be. Now we're ready to operate on the pattern.

1. Trace the front bodice in the size you need, if you haven't already.

2. Trace a line going from the middle of the base of the dart to its point and extend it a few cm further. Measure 3 cm from the point of the dart and mark the spot. This is the center of the bust.

3. Trace a second line going from the center point you just marked to the middle of the shoulder.

4. Trace another line, joining the center of the bust and the center of the gathered area.

5. Cut along the lines you just traced, but not all the way. Leave some space at the bottom of the dart, at the shoulder and under the armhole to allow you to pivot the pieces.

6. Now you can overlap the pieces vertically to eliminate the excess you measured on your muslin. Then overlap them horizontally, using the gathered area as a reference point. Use some tape to hold the pieces together and re-draft your dart using the old point as a guide.

And you're done!
At this point, I highly suggest you re-trace your pattern, so you won't need to worry about your pieces coming undone while you're cutting your fabric.
For more photos, you can check out Eléonore's great post on the subject.

According to schedule, we should have also talked about gaping backs today, but we'll deal with it on Friday instead.
I'll see you back tomorrow for a post on FBA (full bust adjustment)!


  1. thank you for this tutorial.
    I have a small bust, I'm a B cup but still struggle to fit into Vogue pattern sometimes but most of my issues are with vintage patterns that are too large :)

  2. Maybe, i am way behind with the sew-along schedule for i want to learn it right the first time. so i am taking my time. With this, i know how to deal with bigger bust pattern to fit with my small bust size ( you know Asian bust size). Grazie! :-)

  3. Do take your time, there's no rush :)

  4. hehe, we have opposite problems...