Full Bust Adjustment (FBA) Pivot and Slide method on Vogue 1261

Vogue 1261, the Alice + Olivia knit tunic I shared with you on my last post, is designed to be fairly close fitting at the bustline.  For me that meant I would need do an full bust adjustment (FBA) to achieve the intended look. 

On patterns that do not have a dart, like this one, I like to use the pivot and slide method to increase the bustline.

Here's how I do a pivot and slide FBA pattern alteration.

Cut the pattern out along the cut lines for the size needed. For this tunic I cut a small for the neck/shoulder and tapered to a medium from the bust to the hip.

Place a large sheet of tracing paper on a pinable surface.  I use a cardboard cutting board and tracing paper from Dick Blick.

Lay the pattern piece on top of the paper. Trace around the pattern piece. Be sure to trace the center front also and mark the waistline at the center front on the tracing paper. This will be an important mark later when you're pivoting the patter p

 At the underarm area, measure the amount you want to add.  Make a mark on the tracing paper.  In my case I added 1" to each side front.

 Place a pin at the shoulder seam where the seam lines would intersect.

Pivot the pattern so the side underarm seam aligns with the mark you place on the paper.  Pin it to the board.

Trace along the armhole of the pattern piece. This is the new armhole cutting line.

Remove the pin from the shoulder seam, but keep the pin in place at the underarm seam.

Pivot the pattern back to the original waistline.

Draw the new side seam.  My new armhole and side seam are shown below in black.

I know it sounds a bit confusing, and while you're doing the pivot and slides it looks like it won't work. But it will.

This provided just enough extra room in the bustline so as not to destroy the design line of this tunic.



  1. Thanks for posting this! I almost always need to make an FBA, and this offers up another alternative :-)

  2. I just bought this pattern and fabric. I too need this adjustment! Thanks for the info!!!! I will be using it!

  3. I'm so impressed when you show us how to do these sorts of things. I can't alter anything.

  4. These instructions are very clear! I'm curious, how much width do you think you could add this way? I notice you added 1". I usually add 2" and wonder if this would work. Thanks!

  5. I use this method when I'm too lazy to do an FBA. Love the finished top - I have this pattern but didn't make it during our winter.

  6. I've now used this technique. It's brilliant! When I post my garment (not sewn yet), I'll link back to this. :)

    Thanks for sharing! I've always been a slice and dice girl, but am glad to have this in my arsenal of techniques.

  7. Glad you found it helpful! And Shams, I'm happy you forged ahead and tried it without waiting for my response about 2" versus 1" - now we all know the answer :-)

  8. Anonymous11:08 PM

    Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave today [22 Nov 02:00am GMT]. Thanks, Maria

  9. Do you know I think you have made my life a whole lot easier. When you added an 1" is that your normal amount of FBA ? or did you add less than normal as it was a knit fabric ?

    1. Lisa, I'm glad this information will help you. I did a slightly smaller than normal FBA because of the knit.

    2. Thankyou Sharon I guess it's all trial and error with knits depending on the stretch . Thanks again.

  10. Just used this to do a FBA muslin. Amazing. Can't wait to sew the real thing tomorrow.

  11. Do you need to do any alteration on the back piece so the side seams match?


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