#Mélilot# Small/Full Bust Adjusment

Written by Camille

After learning to grade between sizes, let’s look at how to make a small or full bust adjustment on the Mélilot shirt!

You have made a muslin for Mélilot based on your bust, waist and hips measurements, but the fit at the bust and shoulders is still not right? You might need a small or full bust adjustment. If the shoulders are constraining but the bust fits right, you need to go up one size and do a small bust adjustment (SBA). On the contrary, if you have too much fabric at the shoulders but the bust is just right, you need to size down and do a full bust adjustment (FBA).

For this example, we will do a 1 1/2” FBA, so 3/4” per half-front, and a 3/4” SBA, so 3/8” per half-front. Only the bodice front (#1) will be modified.


Mark the bust apex on your pattern piece, either by marking it directly on your muslin, or by placing it 1 1/4” to the right of the bust dart.


Draw three lines on your piece:

  • one going through the middle of the bust dart up to the bust apex,
  • an horizontal one going through the waist notch,
  • a vertical one going through the bust apex, parallel to straight grain, going from the shoulders to the waist line.


Slash along these lines leaving three pivot points:

  • one at the bust apex,
  • one at the shoulder seam line (5/8” from the edge),
  • one at the side seam line (5/8” from the edge).


Place your pattern piece on a new sheet of pattern paper. Spread or overlap the left and right parts at the bust apex, making sure that the top and bottom parts of the center front stay aligned. For a FBA, the distance should be your FBA value / 2 (in our case, 3/4”). For a SBA, they should overlap by your SBA value / 2 (here, 3/8”).


Mark a dot halfway between the two parts: this is your new bust apex. Tape in place.
To draw the new dart, place the dart point 1 1/4” to the left of the new but apex, and connect it to the old dart legs.

Redraw the shoulder and side lines to have uninterrupted curves, and connect the two parts of the front center line.

With this you should get a perfectly fitted Mélilot shirt!

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