Morris Sew-Along: Adjustments

Today as requested I have a few specific fit adjustments for you – lengthening and shortening the pattern, and a full bust adjustment.

Morris Sew-Along: Adjustments | Grainline Studio

First up is lengthening and shortening the blazer. I’ll be showing the back here, but the same method applies to any piece in the pattern.

1. Start by locating the pattern piece you need to adjust. Depending on what piece you’re altering there may or may not be lines to denote where you should lengthen & shorten between. If there are no lines, you can draw in your own.

2. Cut between the lines. With a piece of paper underneath the pattern, spread the two sections the amount you need to lengthen your piece making sure to keep the grain line of the two pieces aligned.

3. Trace your piece off onto the paper and re-blend any jagged edges along the side seam and repeat the adjustment to any affected pieces.

Now lets talk Full Bust Adjustments. The Morris is drafted for a B cup (like all our patterns) so if you’re a C you may be able to get away without a FBA. The illustrations are cropped for better detail but any vertical lines should extend to the bottom of the pattern piece. If you’d like to do a small bust adjustment you would do the opposite of what I’m showing here.

Morris Sew-Along: Adjustments | Grainline Studio

The first thing you need to do before you start your full bust adjustment is to figure out how much of an adjustment you’ll need. To begin you’ll need your upper bust measurement and your full bust measurement. Once you have those you’ll subtract your upper bust from your full bust. If the number you get when you subtract your upper bust from your full bust (the total adjustment) is over 2″ (B cup) you may need a full bust adjustment, whereas if the number you get is 2″ or under you’re either fine to use the pattern as is or you might consider a small bust adjustment. So if your full bust was 40″ and your upper bust was 36″ you’d subtract 40-36 to get 4″ which would require an adjustment.

Now you can take this new number and do one of two things with it. It seems to be the most common to just divide this number in half and apply that amount to each side of the adjustment shown below, so you would be moving the pattern 2″ in Step 3.

Your other option is to take your new number, in our case 4″, and subtract 2″ from it to get the full amount of your bust adjustment. Subtracting the 2″ comes from the fact that the pattern is drafted for a B cup which is a 2″ difference. Since this amount is already drafted into the pattern you are just adding the additional amount on top of what exists. You would then divide the full amount of the adjustment in half so you would be doing a 1″ adjustment on each side of the pattern.

1. Select your size based on your upper bust & waist measurements. Cut size.

2. Locate the apex of your bust and mark. Draw a line from the apex out to the side seam. Next you’re going to draw a vertical line from the apex down to the hemline of the pattern piece making sure to keep the line parallel to the CF / grain line. From there draw a line connecting the apex to the approximate center of the armscye. These are the lines that will form the full bust adjustment. Additionally you’re going to need a line across the torso, perpendicular to the CF / grain line in order to line the hem up in a future step. I made this one dotted so that it doesn’t get confused with the adjustment lines.

3. Slash through the waistline to the bust and up to the armscye taking care to cut to, but not through, the pattern at that point. You want to make sure that the two pieces are hinged together. Then slice through the line connecting the side seam to the apex, taking care to not cut through the apex point, you want the pieces hinged. You’ll then open the vertical slit the amount of your full bust adjustment making sure that the two edges of the opening are parallel.

Morris Sew-Along: Adjustments | Grainline Studio

4. You’ll notice that when you move the side out for the adjustment the side panel became longer than the piece you moved. Cut along the line you drew in step 2 and align the newly freed piece so that it’s even with both the center front and the dotted line on the side piece.

5. This method of adjustment will result in a new dart being formed. To aide in creating the side of the dart find the center of the dart legs and mark a line through the center of the dart (dotted line above). This will help you when folding the dart in the next step.

Morris Sew-Along: Adjustments | Grainline Studio

6. Fold the dart legs together with the takeup pointing towards the bottom of the garment and re-blend the side seam. I like to score the bottom dart leg and center line lightly with an awl to help the pattern fold right where you want it to on the first try. You can either cut across the side seam / dart or mark it with a pattern tracing wheel and cut when the dart is open.

7. Unfold the dart and cut out your new piece.

That’s all, next up we cut!

11 replies on “Morris Sew-Along: Adjustments

  • gis

    sorry, don’t fully agree with your calculations.
    If your upper bust is 36″ and your full bust is 38″ you don’t need any adjustment ( since your pattern is drafted for a B cup, i.e. a 2″ difference).
    If your upper bust is 36″ and your full bust is 40″ you need to increase 40-38=2″. That is 1″ on each side.

    BTW what is the height you pattern are drafted for?


  • Brandi

    The FBA tutorial looks great. However, you forgot to mention that the front facing will also need to be lengthened to mirror the adjustments made to the front. If you forget, you will be in for a surprise when you attempt to attache the collar and facing.

  • Belinda

    Thanks Jen for these instructions. I am doing an FBA on my pattern and I normally use the CF to find the bust apex. Where does the CF sit on this jacket? I guess-timated it was on the cutting line but I’m not sure if I’m off? Thanks!

    • Jen

      The CF of the jacket is the stitching line at the front, 1/2″ in from the edge of the jacket pieces if you’re looking at the pattern. Hope that makes sense. Apologies for the delay in replying, I found this in the Comments spam, my spam blocker got a little overzealous

  • Edie

    Many of the finished Morris’s posted online show three-quarter sleeve length; others show full sleeve. Is this an option that is included in the pattern or have sewists made their own modification. I have a 3/4 sleeve jacket that makes me feel like I’m wearing something I’ve outgrown :(.

    • Jen

      Hi Edie- the sleeve is sort of bracelet length so I’m guessing you’re seeing the differences in the length of people’s arms. I’d recommend measuring from your shoulder tip down the back of your arm, to where you’d like the sleeve to hit and make adjustments based on that length.

  • barbara

    i see that the sizes go up to 18. i love this jacket but wear a 22. what are the chances of adjusting it to fit me with a large bust? some patterns just don’t work.

    • Jen

      I think it’s totally doable, I’d just watch the proportions of the lapels, you’ll likely need to grade them a bit larger as well to maintain proportions. We’re currently working on a second size range for release next year so we’ll have your size without adjustments soon!


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