One of the biggest difficulties we face as sewists is fit. Even though your measurements may be the same as someone else, their body shape is invariably different. Everyone is different. Although it is everyone’s dream to find a pattern that can be cut and sewn without adjustments, there is bound to be some tweaking for a proper fit. With the growth of the independent pattern companies, many have found their niche with a focus on a particular body shape.

My friend, Faye, is a busty woman who has always had to fuss with patterns.  If she made the size determined by her bust measurement, the rest of the garment was too big.  Yet, if she made the garment to fit her shoulders, the chest area was too small. What she needed was a Full Bust Adjustment. (FBA) While many sewists may now be familiar with this term and know how to make such adjustments, it can be a hassle to do. Oh, to just cut out the pattern and sew! Read on to find out Faye’s discovery of a new-to-her pattern company!


As we all know, matching up the right pattern to a fabulous fabric is bliss to all of those who sew.

As we also know, FIT IS EVERYTHING, and many of us struggle to find joy in this department.

So when I discovered a new (to me) pattern line that actually comes with different front pieces for B,C, and D bra cup sizes, I immediately ordered 3 patterns and went to Gala for some linen.

I chose a lovely dove grey washed linen that is fluid, soft, and has a very subtle variation in dye coverage, and just enough textural interest.

My first project is the Geneva Blouse from  Liesl + Co patterns, at 

Not only are Liesl and Co patterns the best fitting patterns I have used for a long time, but the website has many helpful videos, blogs, articles and tips. Look at the bottom of each design photo for these links.

I’m a busty gal, with 2.5” between my high bust measurement and my full bust. So I chose the D cup upper front for the Geneva. I found the measurements listed to be accurate and the ‘actual garment measures’ reliable, so I just made careful adjustments when I traced the pattern.

We’ve all been taught to use the high bust measurement when choosing pattern size, then alter your bust if it’s more than a B cup. But have you ever done that? I hadn’t until now, fiddling with FBA. (full bust alteration)

So I traced the size 10 above the bust, size 14 at the bust, (remember that if you change the side seam size here, you need to change the sleeve piece at the connecting point under the arm) and hip and tummy at size 16.

It’s a very well drafted pattern, and it fits perfectly! The front placket and bias facing around the neck is easy and the directions very clear. Other than the sizing issues I mentioned, I made no changes to the pattern except narrowing the neck opening at the shoulder and raising the back neck, just my preference.

I did make a wearable muslin from a piece of stash linen, and chose the Lantern sleeve version for that one, but for my dove grey piece I did the Bell sleeve and do prefer it for me. I found the Lantern tended to slide up then stick above the elbow, so if I do make that one again I will just enlarge the sleeve opening to keep it loose.

These patterns are available in PDF and tissue, online from Liesl’s site.

If you’re curious, I also ordered the Verdun Woven T-shirt and the Gallery Tunic + Dress; I have a luscious piece of  printed handkerchief linen/ramie that I bought from Penny 3 years ago which has been waiting for the right pattern…..

My new sewing machine does do beautiful buttonholes, but to make them even better I used silk thread in the needle and bobbin….best buttonholes ever!

My Geneva is pictured with Tessuti’s Tamiko pant which I love, in black handkerchief linen.

Honestly, I haven’t been this excited about sewing for a very long time.