SBA for Verity Bodice (or Any Gathered Bodice)

sba-process-for-verityApologies for the brief radio silence. I’ve had this post planned for about a week, but I’ve been battling the flu for the past several days, and it doesn’t seem to be in a hurry to leave me in peace.

Anyway, I’ve received a few questions about small bust adjustments for the Verity bodice, so today I have a step-by-step for performing an SBA for the Verity pattern (or really any other pattern with a gathered bodice). I have also included a sheet with step-by-step illustrations for quick reference.

Verity is drafted for a C to D pattern cup size. Remember, a pattern cup size is different from a bra size. F0r example, I wear a 30F bra size, but I am only a pattern cup size D.  The pattern cup size simply refers to the difference between high bust and full bust, with each letter representing 1″ increments (A= 1″ difference, B= 2″ difference, C=3″ difference, etc).

For the sake of example, let’s say we have a high bust measurement of 32″ and a full bust measurement of 33″.

So, since Verity is drafted for a C to D pattern cup size, the pattern is drafted for at least a 3″ difference between high and full bust. We need to choose a size which best matches our actual high bust measurement to the corresponding assumed high bust measurement for the pattern. In this case, we would start with a size S. Since the full bust measurement is 35″ for this size, the assumed high bust measurement 32″ (35-3 = 32), which matches our actual high bust measurement.  Our actual full bust measurement is 33″ and not 35″, so we need to remove 2″ across the front bodice by performing an SBA on the front bodice pattern piece.

Since the 2″ must be removed across the entire bodice, and the front bodice is cut on the fold, we will be removing 1″ from our pattern piece at the full bust.


Step 1: Hold the pattern piece up to yourself in the appropriate position and mark the apex of the bust. Once we have the apex marked, we can draw our lines for slashing and folding.

-Draw the first line from the bottom of the bodice piece up to the apex, parallel to the center fold line

-Draw the second line from the apex up to the armscye (about 1/3 of the way up the armscye, below the notch).

-Draw a third line from the side seam out to the apex

-Draw a fourth line across the bodice piece, about 2″ up from and parallel to the bottom of the bodice piece.


Step 2: Now, we need to cut up line 1 through to the apex, and out line 2 as close to the edge of the armscye as possible without cutting into it, creating a hinge.


Step 3: Next cut along line 3 from the side seam up to but not through the apex point.

Step 4

Step 4: Fold the hinged pieces toward center front, removing 1″ at the bust. Manipulate the  hinged pieces, until the folded over edge of line 1 is parallel to the center front.

Step 5

Step 5: Now, we need to cut along line 4, and shorten the bottom center front piece to match the rotated piece.

Step 6

Step 6:  Since we removed 1″ from the underbust when we performed the SBA, we need to add the 1″ back at the underbust, so we will have enough material for creating the bust gathers. Cut along the rest of line 4 (marked step 6 above) and move the piece out to correct the underbust measurement.


Step 7: Attach a piece of paper behind the side seam segments, and draw a new side seam line. Use a curved ruler to draw the new side seam line, starting at the armscye, curving in according to your adjustments and blending out at the bottom of the bodice (see the red line in the image above. Cut along the line to create the new side seam. It may look odd now, but once you add the gathers, the side seam will be pulled in toward center front at the bottom.

Step 8: Depending on how long we need the bodice to be, we have two options to make the front and back bodice side seam lengths match up. We can lengthen the front bodice at the lengthen line, or we can shorten the back bodice piece so the side seam matches the length of the front bodice piece. This is entirely dependent on your body and length preference for the bodice.

I hope the reference sheet and step-by-step is helpful to some of you. This process can be used for any bodice with gathers under the bust. So, have fun and happy sewing!

I’ll be back soon with a recently completed selfish sewing project.

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