I love the way the Sewaholic Cambie looks. It’s beautiful, and I haven’t seen a single make of it that I didn’t like-slash-envy. I was super excited when I got it, and that carried all the way over into making first the muslin, then my first dress. I love the dress I have; I made it in a Size 16, and it’s a beautiful blue, with yellow gingham pockets.

The only problem I have is that I made it to fit my bust, and like most RTW, it therefore doesn’t fit my waist. I belt it, but that makes it have more of a “pinched in” sort of look, rather than “fitted”, like I’d like.

After countless google searches, I basically haven’t seen anything that really details doing an FBA on a Cambie. Since I’m pretty much winging it anyway, I figured I’d document my process/progress.


So, I started off with a Cambie Bodice front, Size 14.


I pivoted the dart around to the side of the bodice, in order to do the FBA. (I haven’t found many resources that are very helpful for doing an FBA with a bodice that only has a waist dart.)


Aaaaand I guessed at the bust apex. Spoiler alert:I was totally wrong, but I couldn’t really “tissue fit”, so I had to actually have the muslin before I could figure out where my apex was in relation to the pattern.


I drew the lines for the FBA, according to my The Complete Photo Guide to Perfect Fitting : a vertical line from the bottom to the apex, a line from the apex to (but not completely THROUGH) the armscye (which was also sort of guessed at, since the cambie doesn’t actually have armscyes), and a line through the (now side) dart to (but not through) the apex.


Then I spread it out so that the 2 vertical lines were 1” apart (for a total of a 2” FBA, hopefully).


I had to cut and spread a horizontal line on the left half of my bodice piece, in order to make the bottom edges the same length.


Then I taped paper in the gaps, holding everything where it should be.

09 10 12

Since the dart is a waist dart, not a side dart, I just cut it out of the side and sliced & inserted on the bottom (waist), and then taped that all up. (This thing has more tape than an entire kindergarten hallway in an elementary school, no joke).


I weighted my pattern pieces down and cut them. I use pretty much whatever is at hand, obviously.

14 I pinned the (MASSIVE) darts…

15 …and stitched them up.


You guys. This is seriously as good as a zipper EVER gets for me if I do it by machine. Since this is a muslin, I don’t actually care that much. I’ve actually used this zipper in a bunch of muslins; it’s pretty handy.


My first attempt at the FBA’ed bodice is BLEGH. Look at all that excess fabric! WTF? Where did that come from? (Jay Kay, it was pretty obvious, when I went back and looked at what I’d done to the pattern.)


You can see in this picture that, in addition to the waist looking as wide as the bust, the sleeves (size 14) are also too big for me.


Yeah. Tent.


So, about wondering where that excess came from… See that extra INCH that was added to the bust AND the waist? Yeah, should’ve taken that out.


So I extended my already-massive dart to take out that excess, too.


Then I unpicked the darts and retraced onto my muslin.

24 Pinned out my new SuperDarts (red sharpie)

25 Do these even qualify as “darts” anymore…?

26So, bodice Take 2! It’s a little better, with SuperDarts and Size 12 sleeves.



Still a bunch of excess under the boobage, though. No, really, look:


If I twist at all, it bunches up awesomely, making me look like a yellow Hutt.


Obviously, I shouldn’t have just guessed at my bust apex, so I drew all over my chesticular region, if you will.

30  31

When I did, it became pretty obvious that SuperDart was quite a bit moved over from the original waist dart. So I sliced that sucker outta there, and moved him over!


By this point, my pattern had so much tape on it that more tape wouldn’t even stick to the other tape, so it was time to redraw. Since I also marked where my underbust was on the muslin, I marked that on my new pattern piece, and added in another waist dart, in addition to SuperDart, to help take up the slack. I’m pretty much terrified that SuperDart is going to take over my entire bodice, soon, but I don’t really know how to take it out of one and add it to the other…


I had to true the sides on my new pattern piece, because it just did not come anywhere CLOSE to the same length as the bodice back haha.


I also changed my sleeve notches on the bodice front, to coincide with the sleeve notches of the Size 12 sleeves, instead of the Size 14.


So, after all of that, I have nothing to show for it, basically, but a new pattern piece to try again. If this doesn’t work, I might just wing it for divvying up the dart taking-outtage between the 2 darts, or I might just try going down a size and seeing what kinda FBA I’d have to do for that.

Wish me luck, y’all, and if you have any helpful hints or hand-holding, feel free to tell me! I obviously need it haha!


About Kristi

My theme song is *crickets*.
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8 Responses to FBAlmost?

  1. That is epic! I know you’ll be thrilled once you get it right though, and it will be worth all the work and frustration now to have a beautifully fitting bodice. Good luck!

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  5. Pingback: A Grownup Cambie | KristiCraft

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