What a gem!
I have a few pairs of high-waisted pants/jeans in my wardrobe that I prefer to wear a more fitted tee with. And fitted tees seem to be lacking in my wardrobe at the moment! Enter StyleArc’s Gem Knit Tee, a remnant from work, and my latest dartless Full Bust Adjustment (FBA) journey was off and racing.
In very simple terms, my bust is usually a size bigger than my shoulders. I have about a 2″ (5cm) difference between my high bust and my full bust, which in sewing terms equates to a B Cup, which lots of patterns are drafted for. But… sometimes I still need to go down the FBA route.
Earlier this year I used the Gem Knit Tee as a basis for a tiered tee dress. The full blog post is here, but let’s look at the slightly out-of-focus photo below to see why I started my latest FBA journey.
Call them little folds of fabric or side boob whiskers, but the bottom line is that there isn’t enough room from the ladies in the green dress even though I added 1/4″ (6mm) to the side seams in the bust area… which is a bit of a cheats FBA.
I’ve referenced Maria Denmark for bust fitting issues before, and she’s updated her method for a dartless FBA since I last fell down this fitting rabbit hole. The updated ‘A Better FBA (Full Bust Adjustment) For A No-Dart Front’ was the method that I tried.
Determining how much extra fabric is required can be tricky. Maria writes:
“In woven fabrics, it’s so much more straightforward: You just cut the muslin at the bust and measure how much extra fabric you need. In knits, it’s not quite as simple. You could cut your muslin, but it’s hard to measure precisely because the fabric needs to stretch. So if you go by that method, you need to add less than the fabric opens up. Usually adding 1 – 2 cm (3/8 – 3/4 “) on half the front is enough.”
For this tee, I went with a 3/8″ (1cm) adjustment to the Front pattern piece, which gave me a total of 3/4″ (2cm) of extra ease in the bust.
And the results… drum roll…
I’m going with it’s an improvement, but there is still a single fold of fabric that is very dart sized!
Will it stop me wearing the tee? Heck no. Would I like to try again? Heck yes!
My initial gut feeling was that I just needed to add a bigger FBA, but now I’m not so sure. What would you do?
The other three (common) alterations I made to the pattern were:
- a forward shoulder adjustment
- narrowing of the neckband piece (personal preference)
- removing 2″ (5cm) from the length of the tee… which of course you can’t see as the tee is tucked in!
The fabric was part of the digital printed Ashby Jesery range at work. This particular print is sold out now… I nabbed the final 75cm!
Final word… I must confess I feel very me in this outfit. My style is definitely evolving and I find that exciting.
Pattern: StyleArc’s Gem Knit Tee purchased from The Cloth Shop (work)
Fabric: Digitally printed cotton/spandex jersey from The Cloth Shop. This print has sold out, but there are other options.
Alterations: Completed a 3/8” (1cm) full bust adjustment and a 3/8” (1cm) forward shoulder adjustment, narrowed the neckband and removed 2″ (5cm) from the length of the tee.
Outfit: Jeans from Manteau Noir, Antique locket from Rutherford’s (gift), antique chain from Chilton’s Antiques and sunglasses and sneakers from Luisa (not current).