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Flat pattern method Small Bust Adjustment for the Parfait


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I’ve pointed a lot of people to the Small Bust Adjustment tutorial that Gertie wrote for us, using the Parfait pattern. SBAs are really useful adjustments for those with an A or B cup bust.

This week, Shaerie of Sew LA in Los Angeles wrote to tell me about a similar tutorial she wrote, but this one is an SBA using more of a flat pattern method.

It’s an excellent tutorial with tons of pictures and great information! I know different people prefer different methods, so you can try whichever looks easiest for you. I’ll add Shaerie’s tutorial to the How To section soon as well!

Sarai Mitnick   —   Founder

Sarai started Colette back in 2009. She believes the primary role of a business should be to help people. She loves good books, sewing with wool, her charming cats, working in her garden, and eating salsa.

Comments 21


I have the opposite problem- most patterns need to go up a bust size for me, as I have a relatively small waist with a large bust. Ah, the trials of sewing. ;) I think I could make a similar method to the tutorials work, however. Thanks!


A full bust adjustment is sort of similar in principle, just in the opposite direction. I’d love to post a tutorial sometime with one of my patterns (though I’m sure you can find one if you search for “full bust adjustment” on the web).


Full bust adjustment is definitely next on my list, probably in a week or so once the taxes are done! We have some D and DD ladies who need some room so I’ll be explaining things like increasing or adding a dart, and then what we did specifically for the Parfait Dress.


Thank you Shaerie! That’s awesome.


I’m in the process of doing an FBA on my Rooibos right now… I can take pics if anyone else is working on the pattern and interested in seeing the adjustments I made. I’m a D or DD depending on how you measure and found that I definitely needed an FBA since the dress is close fitting. I have a few pics of the Rooibos muslin up on my blog now and I’ll post the adjusted version soon.

dedalina google

Hola colette veo que te gustan las revistas antiguas. Mi mamá guardó revistas de los años 30,40 , 50 y 70 y más. Me encantaban de chica, adolescente y aún de grande ojearlas. En mi blog verás pequeña historieta de los años 50 de una de esas revistas. Me encanta tu blog, seré una de tus seguidoras. Besos desde Argentina.!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I have a large bust question too. I am a 34G with an over bust measurement of 42 and a 36 waist. (Bust is UK size but I don’t think that differs to US sizing?) So quite curvy and I love your dresses but am wondering if you think any of them would work without adjustments. Can I just look at the pattern measurement and go for one that looks right or will my cup size mean it won’t fit? I’m new to sewing and love your patterns but am a little scared! Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


Hi Flossie! With the fullness of your bust, it is likely that you would benefit from learning to do a full bust adjustment (often known as FBA for short).

I also have a full bust, and another thing I recommend is doing a muslin of at least the bodice portion of a dress before you make it. This will really help work out any issues before you sew and doesn’t take terribly long.

I will try to find some great tutorials for you ladies and do an FBA roundup here!


As much as I generally like Gertie’s advice (I follow her blog), I would recommend people using this method, it’s much more professional and gives cleaner lines. I’m also an advocate of keeping the original pattern intact and using a copy when it comes to bought patterns.


Please consider doing a full bust adjustment tutorial… The tutorial you link to was more of an advert for a class than a step by step process (and the class isn’t available in my area). Your tutorials are so great!


I’d love to do one. We have it on the list.

I’m not sure what you mean about the tutorial linked above, though. There are several photos with step by step instructions for doing the small bust adjustment, definitely not just an ad for a class.


Sorry, Sarai! I must have replied on a different entry than the one I originally read… I think on another post, you linked to someone who did a large bust post on Sew, Mama, Sew, but she mostly just talked about how great the Palmer/Pletsch class she took was. I wasn’t referring to Gertie’s post, which is indeed quite thorough!

Thanks for adding this to your list! I’m working my way through several books that talk about it, so fingers crossed that this will work for me!


Hey Sarai! I found the post I was thinking to… I believe you linked (somewhere) to this post on Pink Chalk…

Which is very effluvient about a P/P class, but wasn’t the step-by-step I was hoping for ;)


I don’t know if it’s just me but the photos seem to have vanished :( Dammit, I really needed this!


Hi Emma! we’ll get this fixed ASAP, so hold on… they will be up again soon!


All fixed now. Thanks for letting me know!


You guys are amazing! I didn’t think it could possibly get fixed that fast. Thank you so much!! :D *resumes sewing project*


What size bust are Colette patterns made for? Thanks!


Melanie, our pattern block is made for a C cup.


Oops, I bought Crepe and I have A cup, … The dress will never fit then?

rosalina saez

por favor ayuda sus moldes al imprimirlos dentro de los margen hoja no se que tamaño es el real en cm. la joja al imprimir

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