Tag Archive | FBA on dartless bodice

Pauline Alice Tello Jacket: DIY Utility Military Khaki Jacket with Patches


Pauline Alice Tello Utility Jacket with patches

Hello again Friends,

Today I wanted to share a jacket I made using one of Pauline Alice’s latest patterns: the Tello jacket. I tested this pattern for Pauline, under no obligation, and liked it enough to make a final version up. Pauline did send me a final copy of the pattern, together with a copy of the new Botanic trousers (BTW, love the look of those!) but all my opinions are my own.

Pauline describes the Tello jacket as “a classic utility jacket, unlined and with many pockets. It features a topstitched collar, one-piece sleeves with dart, one vertical zipped chest pocket with lined interior and one patch pocket, large hip pockets and six button closures”.


Pauline Alice Tello Utility Jacket with patches


Pauline Alice Tello Utility Jacket with patches

As you can see from my version, I omitted the chest pockets, did a FBA which brought in a bust dart, and added iron-on military inspired patches to add a bit of interest (please don’t anyone comment on the authenticity of my patch selection! I just went for ones that would look good, lol). My fabric is a lightly brushed cotton twill trousering from Croft Mill fabrics. It is rather heavy weight but it’s softening down with wear. I could see this jacket made up in so many different fabrics which would all give unique looks: denim, cord, linen or even a printed fabric.


Pauline Alice Tello Utility Jacket with patches


Pauline Alice Tello Utility Jacket with patches

As ever with Pauline’s patterns she really thinks of interesting details which elevate even her basic patterns to something special. Here I have included a close up of the topstitched elbow dart, and the angled patch pocket at the hips which extend back over the side seam.


Pauline Alice Tello Utility Jacket with patches – topstitched elbow dart detail


Pauline Alice Tello Utility Jacket with patches – hip patch pocket detail

For the inside finish I chose to use a combination of a bound finish (around the facings/ yoke and centre back seam), and an overlocked finish. This is something I see a lot in RTW and I am happy enough with the finish on this style of jacket.


Pauline Alice Tello Utility Jacket with patches – inner jacket front view


Pauline Alice Tello Utility Jacket with patches – inner jacket back view

Here is a list of modifications I made:

  • Omitted breast pockets
  • 1 inch FBA which brought in a bust dart
  • Graded out at hips at front and back side seams and also added a little to the lower part of the centre back seam. (Pauline tells me the final pattern has had the hip circumference increased slightly. Note, I do fall slightly outside Pauline’s hip measurements)
  • Widened hip patch pockets by 1.5 inches
  • 1 inch sway back adjustment with removed length added back to hem
  • 1 inch full arm adjustment
  • Shortened sleeve by 1 inch
  • Lowered armholes by 1 inch (Pauline tells me armhole depth has been increased in the final pattern)
  • Lengthened jacket by 1.5 inches


Things I love about this jacket

  • I don’t have a style like this in my wardrobe
  • I think it is very on-trend, especially in the khaki colour, and I feel cool wearing it
  • It is only 27 pages long and has only 9 pieces – not too many for a jacket
  • I see so many PDF patterns now retailing for 12 euros/ USD plus: I think the price is so reasonable! (BTW, this jacket is also available in paper format)


Things you should watch out for

  • Depending on your fabric it might be worth considering added at least a half lining. I do find it a little hard to get this jacket on and off easily. But it’s totally not going to stop me wearing it!
  • Also, the pattern does not call for interfacing at all (intentional). I chose to interface my facings, yoke and collar.

At least over this past weekend and today it has been beautiful blue skies and warmer. I don’t know if that is set to last, but I have already been wearing this jacket and I just love it. Check out Pauline’s shop for some offers on her newest range of 3 patterns, which include this one.

See you all soon and thanks so much to everyone who has voted for me so far in the Dressmaker of the year contest.


Pauline Alice Tello Utility Jacket with patches



Grainline Studio Archer Button Up Shirt: DIY Plaid Shirt with Pearl Snaps – now with FBA!


Grainline Studio Archer Shirt

Hi Friends,

I think this is my 7th time of making this pattern. Quite a record for me. This is my third plaid version. I have also made versions in denim, linen and cotton shirting and voile. BUT this version is an new and (mainly) improved version.


Grainline Studio Archer Shirt

Why start messing around with a pattern on the 7th time of making you ask? Well, it started when I was featured in one of the “Same Pattern, Different Bodies” posts, about the Archer Shirt, on the Curvy Sewing Collective. (If you read through the comments section on that post, you will see that I did get rather irritated. Oh dear!) Anyway, moving on, one of the commentators said that she felt that all the shirts that were featured basically needed an FBA. I have never felt like I needed to do an FBA on the Archer shirt, but here’s the thing, when you sew a shirt in plaid then the checks can be very telling when it comes to the fit. Here are the first two versions of this shirt, sewn in plaid, without the FBA:


Jalie Eleonore Pull on Jeans: DIY Mustard Jeggings worn with Grainline Archer Shirt


Plaid Flannel Archer Button Up Shirt

I don’t think the checks look too bad over the bust, but I decided that maybe I could do with just a small 0.5 inch FBA. So that is what I did, using the method described by Paprika Patterns (how to do a FBA on a dartless shirt). I eliminated the dart, and redrafted the side seam as I decided I did not want a bust dart interfering with any futher plaid versions of this pattern I might make.


Grainline Studio Archer Shirt

Yes, I think the checks now lie just that tiny bit more horizontal. So FBA successfully completed.

Other changes I also made:

  • I finally got round to adding 0.25 inches to the armholes, sleeves and side seams to facilitate flat fell finishing all those seams.
  • I don’t mind using the continous lapped placket method for some shirts – in fact for light weight fabrics I probably prefer that method – but for more weightier fabrics I think a tower placket is more appropriate. So that’s what I did on this shirt, using this tutorial from Off The Cuff – excellent tutorial and surprisingly easy to do.



Grainline Studio Archer Shirt – tower placket detail

Now let’s talk about what is not so good: the comically large cuffs. Readers, I am completely baffled as to why the cuffs are as large as they are. I didn’t add anything to the cuff seam allowances, I did the pleats as usual, and the only thing I can think of is that either the plackets have somehow made them bigger, or that this fabric has just somehow grown?! I am stumped. Another version will probably have to be made to investigate. Sigh.


Grainline Studio Archer Shirt

This is my first time using pearl snaps, and I basically followed exactly what VeryKerryBerry says to do in this tutorial, including buying the pliers and a set of Prym jersey snaps so that I would have the plastic attachments. Conclusion: using the Prym snaps gave the best results (rather than the generic snaps), and using the pliers with the plastic attachments gave pretty much fool proof results.

I love how cosy this version of this shirt is, and let’s face it, spring, at least in this corner of the world, is still a way off. If I can resolve the cuff issue this will continue to be a firm favourite.

Happy sewing!


Grainline Studio Archer Shirt

Sew Over It Doris Dress: DIY Fit and Flare Tropical Print Dress


Sew Over It Doris Dress

Hi Everyone,

Today I want to share a dress I actually made a little while back: the new Doris dress by Sew Over It. This dress was made to appear in Issue 6 of Sewing Made Simple and I was compensated for the time spent making this dress, as well as very kindly being provided with the fabric (from Minerva Crafts) and the pattern from Sew Over It.

The fabric is a wonderfully lightweight viscose with a gorgeous tropical print on it. It has a great drape and it didn’t require lining. Perfect fabric for this pattern, with it’s cut on sleeves and panelled skirt. Unfortunately I think this fabric has since sold out, but there are tons of other viscose fabrics to choose from on the Minerva site.


Sew Over It Doris Dress – Side Invisible Zip

The Doris dress itself is a very feminine shape, with a scoop-necked bodice, grown-on sleeves and a 7 panelled fluted skirt. This dress is perfect for summer wear with its body skimming shape, and attached ties (in the version I sewed), means you can get the perfect flattering fit.


Sew Over It Doris Dress

There is a sewalong already up on the Sew Over It website, but I am not sure if they covered alteration of the bodice. In my case I had to do a Full Bust Adjustment (FBA) and, as ever, referred to Fit for Real People by Palmer and Alto. Here’s a picture to show you how I essentially did the adjustment, and there are a few more details provided in the review below:


Sew Over It Doris Dress Full Bust Adjustment

Pattern Review

Pattern Description:
The Doris Dress is the perfect summer’s day dress. Feminine and romantic, throw it on and you’ll be set for that picnic in the park, day out at the beach, or hey, even a stint at the office. A truly versatile wardrobe staple, the Doris Dress will keep you looking elegant and put-together no matter what you get up to this season.


  • Semi-fitted shape
  • Flattering scooped neck bodice
  • Bust pleats
  • Grown-on sleeves
  • Attached ties which can be used to adjust the waist fit somewhat or fixed back belt option
  • Fluted seven panel skirt in two different length variations
  • Closes with concealed zip in side seam (has optional buttonhole closure at centre front)
  • Finished with facings inside

I made version 1 (with the ties).
Pattern Sizing:
UK sizes 8 – 20

The bodice is designed to be quite close fitting, with only 1 inch of positive ease included in the finished bodice.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes, they were. I chose not to finish the edges prior to sewing as I think you run the risk of stretching and distorting edges and I also chose the insert the side invisible zip prior to closing the seam. Both of these are my personal sewing preferences.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

I absolutely love the finished dress. The fit and flare shape is very flattering and I love the sleeves and scooped neck. I also like that lengthen/ shorten lines are included on the pattern, as are finished garment measurements. There is nothing to dislike.
Fabric Used:

Beautiful quality printed viscose supplied by Minerva Crafts. This viscose has fantastic drape and feels so light, but is not transparent at all.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

The main alteration that I made was to do a 1 inch Full Bust Adjustment (FBA) to the bodice using the method described in Fit for Real People by Palmer and Alto. I cannot recommend this book highly enough to any home sewist, regardless of size. I used the method described in their book for “fronts with cap, cut-on, or kimono sleeves”. The illustration (above) shows you how I did this alteration. It basically involves cutting the sleeve off and cutting up through the bust apex position to the seam allowance at the armhole, spreading the pattern apart by the required amount, and also lengthening the front bodice to match (in my case I lengthened the front bodice by 1.5 inches). This method also introduces a side seam bust dart.

The other alteration I made was to account for my sway back: I sliced a 1 inch wedge off the centre back of the skirt, tapering to nothing at the sides, and added this wedge back to the lower hem of the skirt.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

Yes, I believe I would sew this dress again. The fit is great for me and it’s so comfortable to wear. Yes, I highly recommend.

If you are looking for a feminine, flattering summer dress with a nostalgic retro vibe then this dress is for you. Make it in crepe or even silk for smarter occasions have a great all round dress.

Have a great week ahead!


Sew Over It Doris Dress



Pauline Alice Eliana Dress Hack: DIY Peasant Boho Tassel Top


Pauline Alice Eliana Dress Hack to Peasant/ Boho Tassel Top

Hello Friends,

Last summer I made Pauline Alice’s Eliana dress. It’s a very easy to wear dress, and the elasticated waist gives some definition in that area as well as being comfortable. But, I was not entirely happy with the fit. It basically needed an FBA.

Anyway, flicking through the Boden catalogue I came across a top that I thought I could recreate fairly easily using the Eliana dress as a starting point. Here’s my inspiration picture, as posted on my instagram feed.


Pauline Alice Eliana Dress Hack to Peasant/ Boho Tassel Top – Inspiration picture

I happened to have a border print viscose in my stash which I thought could work. It meant, like my Vlisco Simplicity 8014 shirt dress, cutting the fabric on the cross grain to take full advantage of the border print. A blog reader (hi, Curls n Skirls, Del) asked about cutting fabric on the cross grain. I would say read this article in Threads which encourages you to look at your fabric and consider cutting on the cross grain to add interest to your garments. What I wanted to say was, when I do chose to cut fabric on the cross grain, I will draw in a new grain line at 90 degrees to the original grain line and use my new grain line to maintain some level of consistency in my cutting out. I know it’s hard to see, but the vertical black biro arrow line below is the new grain line I drew in on one of the Simplicity pattern pieces.


Cutting fabric on the cross grain: drawing in a new grain line at 90 degrees to the original grain line.

Back to my blouse – the colours in real life are more vibrant than they’ve come out in these pictures. I have already worn this blouse a couple of times since I finished sewing it and it’s cool and comfortable.


Pauline Alice Eliana Dress Hack to Peasant/ Boho Tassel Top


Pauline Alice Eliana Dress Hack to Peasant/ Boho Tassel Top

Like the tassel detail? I think it’s a fun detail that takes this top up a notch and totally easy to make following this tutorial. I used one skein of Perle embroidery cotton.


Pauline Alice Eliana Dress Hack to Peasant/ Boho Tassel Top – Tassel Detail

Here’s the modifications I made to the pattern:

  • Did 1 inch FBA (which introduced a side seam bust dart. In all honesty the dart is probably a little too low and I have moved it up for future use, but it doesn’t affect the fit of this loose blouse).
  • Added 6.5 inches to the length of the dress bodice and shaped the top outwards to accomodate my hips (note to self – only took 3/8ths inch seam allowance at hips).
  • Took a 1 inch tuck out of the bodice back to account for my sway back and added the removed length back to the bottom hem.
  • Shortened the sleeves by 6 inches.
  • Used 1.25 inches for hems.
  • Used 0.25 inch elastic to finish the sleeves.

So that’s a quick and easy blouse which I will enjoy wearing in the warmer months (or could be days…however long this current warm weather spell lasts!)

How is your summer sewing going?


Pauline Alice Eliana Dress Hack to Peasant/ Boho Tassel Top


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