Fuller Bust Adjustment (FBA) for Raglan Tops with a Gathered Neckline - Driftwood Blouse

Here are step-by-step instructions for adjusting a gathered-neck raglan top to fit a fuller bust.  We are demonstrating the adjustment using the Driftwood Blouse.  

Use this adjustment to add ease just where it's needed - over the bust - without impacting the fit of the garment elsewhere.  

Before we start, it is important to note that this is not a beginner alteration.  
We aim to create patterns which are achievable for an adventurous beginner sewer, however, if you are gaining confidence and wish to up your sewing game to create a garment with a customized fit, then this step-by-step guide on how to adjust your pattern may be just right for you!



  • Blouse Front pattern piece (we're using the Driftwood Blouse)
  • Scrap paper
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Tape


To determine the size of adjustment necessary, measure your high bust and full bust. 

The high bust measurement is taken around the body, with the tape snugged up to the underarms, and above the breasts. 

The bust measurement is taken around the fullest part of the breasts.  

Measuring High Bust and Full Bust for FBA SBA for Fable Dress by Twig and Tale

Select your size based on your high bust measurement.  Then, compare your actual full bust measurement to the size chart.  If your full bust is more than two sizes larger than your selected size, then you may wish to do a full bust adjustment (FBA)

Calculate the difference between your full bust measurement and the amount listed in the measurement chart. 

For example, if the actual bust measurement is 51" (129.5cm) and the full bust measurement for your size in the chart is 47.5" (120.5cm), that would mean adding 3.5" (9cm) for the FBA.  

Pattern adjustments will be made to half of the garment (because the pattern piece is cut on fold), so the pattern adjustment amount is half the difference = 1.75" (4.5cm).

Adjust pattern piece

1.  Draw three lines on the Front Blouse pattern piece:

  • a line parallel to the fold line about halfway between the side seam and the fold line. 
  • an angled line from the curved sleeve seam, meeting the first line
  • a line straight across (perpendicular to the grainline) at the level of the waist notch.

Cut along the lines, leaving a bit of paper intact at the seam allowances to create pivot points. 


2.  Place a piece of paper underneath your pattern pieces, so that you can tape them in place once adjustments are complete. 

Slide the bottom middle section down by half of your adjustment amount.


3.  Slide the side section over by your adjustment amount. 


4.  Pivot the armhole section so the neck edge closes up.  For a minor FBA (1 or 2 cup sizes), pivot until the neck closes fully.  For an FBA of 3 or more cup sizes, do not fully close the neck gap - you may leave up to a 2" (5cm) gap.  If the armhole starts to look too distorted, pivot back out again (this will add more gather to the neckline).  


5.  Pivot the lower section of the side seam so that the hem edges meet.  Again, if you are doing an FBA of 3 or more cup sizes, then do not fully close the hem gap.  If the side seam starts to look too lumpy, making it difficult to blend, then pivot back out again (note that this will result in a slightly wider hem).  


6. Blend and smooth the pivoted areas, the hem, and the neck edge.  Tape all pieces in place.  

Use your adjusted pattern pieces to cut and sew your top as described in the tutorial.  We always suggest sewing a muslin to test the pattern adjustments before cutting into your fancy fabric.  

Enjoy wearing a garment with a custom fit!

The Twig + Tale Blog is home to a number of simple tutorials that allow you to modify your Driftwood and achieve even more looks with this versatile pattern.  Read more about the Women's Driftwood Blouse and Dress here: