Elsie Sewalong: Small Bust Adjustment for Princess Seams

Elsie Dress Sewalong: Small Bust Adjustment for Princess Seams

On yesterday’s Sewalong post we covered how to make a Full Bust Adjustment for the Elsie Dress. Today we wanted to cater for all you A and B cup beauties who need to make a Small Bust Adjustment (SBA) for your princess seams.

Not sure whether you need to make an SBA? You might like to have a read of our Measuring and Cutting post from earlier this week, where we discuss taking your high bust measurement. Once you’ve got your high bust measurement, if you’re answering yes to any of the below, it’s likely you’ll need to make an SBA:

  • Your bust measures less than 2″ larger than your high bust
  • Your bust measurement falls into a smaller size than your waist measurement
  • RTW clothes gape or are too loose around the bust
  • You are an A/B cup

Start by making a toile (or muslin), using the size that best corresponds with your waist measurement. It’s important to insert an invisible zip into the centre back seam so you can fasten up the toile properly (but make sure it’s long enough so that you can get it on and off!).

Making a Small Bust Adjustment for Princess Seams
This is a fairly easy adjustment to make which basically just requires you shortening the pattern across the bust, as you don’t need as much fabric to cover the length of your torso.

1. Try on your toile and mark your bust apex directly onto it (which is usually where your nipples are!) using a felt tip. The mark should straddle both front and side panels.

Small Bust Adjustment for Princess Seams | Sew Over It Elsie Dress Sewalong

To figure out how much you need to take out, simply pinch out the excess fabric horizontally across the front of your toile, keeping in line with the apex of your bust as shown in the above picture. Pin this tuck of fabric, which should taper off towards the side seam.

2. To measure how much fabric you’ll need to remove, take your toile off and mark where the pins are either side of the fold along the princess seam. Unpin and measure between the markings. If you prefer, you can also measure the fold and double this measurement, to account for the two layers of fabric. In this example we need to take out a total of 1cm of length from the front bodice pieces.

Small Bust Adjustment for Princess Seams | Sew Over It Elsie Dress Sewalong

3. Transfer the bust apex marking from your toile onto the pattern pieces.

Small Bust Adjustment for Princess Seams | Sew Over It Elsie Dress Sewalong

4. On the centre front, draw a line through the bust apex, perpendicular to the grainline. On the side front, draw a line through the apex to the side seam at a slight angle, as if drawing in a bust dart.

Small Bust Adjustment for Princess Seams | Sew Over It Elsie Dress Sewalong

5. At 1.5cm from the edge, draw a small section of the seam line on the side seam of the side front as shown above.

Small Bust Adjustment for Princess Seams | Sew Over It Elsie Dress Sewalong

From the princess seam edge, cut along the horizontal line stopping just at the seam line marking. (In order for the front and back bodices to match when you’re sewing, we don’t want to shorten the side seam here, so make sure you don’t snip into the seam allowance.)

Small Bust Adjustment for Princess Seams | Sew Over It Elsie Dress Sewalong

6. On the side front, fold the pattern so it overlaps by the adjustment amount (in our case 1cm). Before you fold, it can be helpful to draw in the seam line here (1.5cm from the princess seam edge), as the overlap needs to take place on the seam line rather than the cutting line. Tape this in place.

Small Bust Adjustment for Princess Seams | Sew Over It Elsie Dress Sewalong

7. On the centre front piece, cut all the way across the pattern on the line you drew. Overlap these two pieces by the adjustment amount and tape in place.

8. Smooth out the curve of both pattern pieces if necessary, and make sure to re-draw in the grain lines as shown below.

Small Bust Adjustment for Princess Seams | Sew Over It Elsie Dress Sewalong

And there you have it! Your Small Bust Adjustment for princess seams is complete!

Now you can cut out your fabric, and we’ll see you next week when we’ll be starting to sew! Missed a step? Find all the Elsie Dress Sewalong posts together on our blog!

2 thoughts on “Elsie Sewalong: Small Bust Adjustment for Princess Seams”

  1. This might be a really silly question but is it the same process for the lining pieces? They will need to be altered as well, right?

    1. Alex says:

      Yes you’ll also need to alter your lining pieces. Instead of using the separate facing and lining pieces (as you’d have to alter both pieces), you might find it easier to cut your lining out using your altered bodice pieces to create a copy of the shell, which you then use as your lining 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get 10% off your first shop when you sign up to the mailing list!
Your 10% off code will arrive by email shorty
Never display this again

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close