FBA – No Way!

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I’ve never been that comfortable wearing fitted dresses but the New Look 6000 offered a fantastic belly disguising ruched detail which I really like the look of.

new look 6000

Before buying the pattern I googled what other sewists have come up with to get a more realistic look at what could be achieved – this is a very popular pattern!


Tilly and the Buttons

Anita by Design

There were some amazing makes for the New Look 6000 although the collar and cuff detail were a step to retro for me. So, I decided on version C but with the neckline of version E and to substitute the cuffs for plain bands.

As it’s impossible for me to buy ready-to-wear fitted dresses I knew that this make wasn’t going to be straightforward and, as usual I had a whole host of fitting issues to address…

The first two are pretty much standard for me – I needed to chop off a corner of the shoulder to fix front neck gape, and grade the pattern from a size 10 to a 12 at the hips. I did these changes before I even thought about a toile – but once made up this showed up a more significant issue – the body was waaaay to long!

Even little dog is not impressed

Back to the drawing board and with an inch reduction in the body length I thought I was on the home run…

Excuse the black undies!

It was only when I viewed this image on my computer that I saw the bust drag lines!!! Much googling later the verdict was that I needed to perform a full bust adjustment. What??? I am your industry standard, out of the box, not so common and garden B cup so I had always thanked my lucky stars that I didn’t need to venture down this dark street.

Once I’d got over the shock I realised that a FBA on this particular style of pattern was not going to be straightforward. I searched the web long and hard but all the FBA tutorials assumed that a) the pattern had darts and b) the pattern was symmetrical! The best instruction I could come up with was Maria Denmark’s Easy Full Bust Adjustment for No-Dart Fronts. I followed the instructions for pivoting on one side of the bodice, and on the other side (with the pleat lines) well, I just sort of winged it and ended up re-positioning them.



I thought it would be a miracle if this worked, but decided to stack the odds in my favour by using some jersey for the final make – a little bit of stretch covers a multitude of sins!

However, the issues were not yet done with me. As I had taken a bit of a break between the making the last toile and sewing up the final version I had, in the meantime, lost a wee bit of weight. Now, I’m not complaining but this did mean that in the end I needed to up the side and back seam allowances to 2 cm – thankfully I had been trying the garment on at each stage of the make.

This has truly been a labour of love but I think the end result was worth it! Shame it clashes with my current hair colour!

It is literally impossible to escape photo-bombing in this house!

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