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How to do a Full Bust Adjustment on the Bondi Top

Updated: Nov 27, 2023

The Bondi top is a simple boxy top with not much shape built in. It is meant to be loose and drape. However, you may find that you have a little bit of pulling around the chest area, or you may be making the top too big to accomodate your chest and finding it swimming around your waist and hips.


Tip 1: Determine if you need an FBA

Start by taking your measurements: Upper Bust, Bust, Waist. These are the measurements that we will use to determine if you need an FBA. If your Upper Bust and Waist are the same size (For example: Medium Upper Bust and Medium Waist) however your Bust measurement is larger (For Example: a size Large) Then you most likely need a Full Bust Adjustment.

Tip 2: Trace the Smaller Size

If you have determined that your Upper Bust and Waist are the same size/smaller than your Bust, then trace the size smaller first. You will do the Full Bust adjustment to increase the cup size of the pattern AFTER the pattern is traced out. So if your Upper Bust and Waist is a medium, trace a size Medium and then grade out to what ever size you need to for your Hips.

Tip 3: Evaluating Fit

If you can't tell if you need a FBA from your measurements, have a look at the pull lines in the image below. If you already made a test garment and see these pull lines then you may find doing a FBA will help with the fit of the garment.


Making the Adjustment

Key for Following Illustrations:







Step 1: Mark and Cut your Pattern
First step will be to make the marks on your pattern.
Draw your first line up from the bottom hem to your Apex.
Line 2 will be from the apex up to your shoulder.
Line 3 will be coming from the side seam to your apex. Use the picture below as reference. Also take note that at the top and bottom will be a hinge, and the direction the scissors are going for when you are about to cut.
Side note: To find your apex, simply put the pattern up to your body and mark where your bust point is.
Once your line is drawn, cut on that line, as shown below.


Step 3: Cut and Pivot
Start by cutting from the apex up to the shoulder (LEAVE A HINGE) and down to the hem (LEAVE A HINGE)
Next, cut from the OUTSIDE seam in toward the apex. (LEAVE A HINGE)

Now we need to decide how much to add to the opening.
For every size difference add 1/2" (1.2 cm)
For example:
Bust is a Large but you traced a Medium add 1/2" (1.2 cm)
Bust is an XL but you traced a Medium add 1" (2.5 cm)
and so on...
Another way is to make a mock up with no bust alterations, cut the top in the middle of your bust and measure how much it spreads. Divide this number in half and that is how much you will add to the FBA.
After you figure out how much to spread out your pattern pieces in the middle, you will notice that a dart will open up at the side.

Step 4: Draw in Dart
Now you need to draw in your dart. The dart point should start 1" (2.5 cm) away from your apex.
You may want to transfer and trace your altered pattern piece onto a new piece of interfacing and make another test before cutting into your good fabric.


Extra Adjustment: Fuller Bust Adjustment

If you find that you have more than 1" to add to your FBA you may also find that the front of your top raises up. Below is how to draw and cut an extra line to accomodate for length that needs to be added.

Step 1: Mark Pattern Piece
Start by finding your apex. (Bust point) As mentioned before, simply but the pattern up to your body and mark your apex.
Next, draw your lines as you did before:
Draw your first line up from the bottom hem to your Apex.
Line 2 will be from the apex up to your shoulder.
Line 3 will be coming from the side seam to your apex. Use the picture below as reference.
Line 4 will be from the apex out to the fold.
Step 2: Cut and Adjust Pattern
Start by cutting from the apex up to the shoulder (LEAVE A HINGE) and down to the hem (LEAVE A HINGE)
Next, cut from the OUTSIDE seam in toward the apex. (LEAVE A HINGE)
Finally, cut from the side seam to the apex.

Once everything is cut, spread the amount you need to, just like before, except if you spread the dart out 2"(5cm) you will also want to drop the added line by the same amount.


Step 3: Draw in the Dart
Now you need to draw in your dart. The dart point should start 1" (2.5 cm) away from your apex.
You may want to transfer and trace your altered pattern piece onto a new piece of interfacing and make another test before cutting into your good fabric.

I hope this little tutorial has helped you solve a fit issue you may be having. Remember that these same steps can be used for lots of other patterns that do not have a dart already in them.

Comment below and let me know if you have any questions. :)


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Hey y'all!
I'M LINDSEY RAE

Welcome to Sew To Grow!
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