True Bias Ogden Cami and how to do a dart free FBA


Those of you that followed my Me Made May updates can’t have failed to notice that throughout the month I wore a few different versions of the Ogden Cami by True Bias patterns.

I have made no secret of the fact that I love this simple top and seriously, what’s not to love? I love the simple lines;  I love that it fits me so well; I love that it can be made with just one meter of fabric; I love that goes with anything; I love that it can be worn tucked in or loose; I love that it works as well as a layered pice as it does on its own; I love that I can whip one up in less than two hours: I love that it lends itself to so much hacking potential (Ogden Cami maxi dress anyone?) I could go on.

To date I have made four versions of the Ogden Cami, with another two ready cut and one with the fabric ready waiting in the wings.

pineapple ogden.jpg

First up is the pineapple version, made in a cotton/linen blend from Fabric Godmother. How amazing is this fabric?! The recommended fabrics for this top are light weight wovens with a good drape. My pineapple fabric is quite sturdy and is a medium weight. It doesn’t drape well at all but, I just couldn’t resist those pineapples.

polka ogden.jpg

Next is a navy and white polka dot version, made in rayon from Fabric Godmother. This is the recommended weight fabric for this pattern and it has the perfect amount of drape.

ogden floral 2.jpg

My third version of the top was made in this glorious floral cotton  from Fabric Godmother. With its simple lines and lack of bust darts, the Ogden Cami is perfect for showing off great prints like this one. I think I prefer the drape of rayon though.

flower ogden 1.jpg

Version number four is this grey/blue floral rayon also from Fabric Godmother. Beautiful fabric than really suits the pattern.

OK, lets move onto the fit. I have mentioned already that I love that this top fits me incredibly well. This is not a happy accident. It took a few toiles and some FBA wizardry to get the perfect fit.

 My measurements for this top had me at a size 10 but that ended up being tight across the bust and too big everywhere else. Two toiles later and I realised I was going to have to cut a much smaller size with a full bust adjustment.

In the end I cut a size 10 back, a size 6 front and I did a 3 inch FBA, without darts, to accommodate my 32F bust. I also lengthened the facings and the back bodice pieces slightly.

cami tops

Adjusting the bust

A number of people have asked me how to go about doing an FBA in a garment that doesn’t have bust darts. As always in sewing, there a various different ways of doing things including FBAs.  This is by no means the ULTIMATE METHOD but it is the way I do it and is the method that I teach.

cami 1.jpg

First up assemble your pattern pieces and, on the front bodice piece, hold it up against you so you can work out where the apex will go (basically mark off where your nipple is).

cami 2.jpg

Once you have marked the apex, draw a horizontal line (1) from this point to the side seam (shown here in blue).

cami 3.jpg

Draft a second line (2)  from 1/3 of the armhole to the apex and then vertically down to the hem (shown here in red).

cami 4.jpg

Finally, draw a horizontal line (3)  straight across the pattern piece at the ‘lengthen/shorten’ line (shown here in pink).

Now you are ready to start slashing and spreading.

cami 5.jpg

Cut the red line from the hem to the armhole, stopping just before you reach the very end. Also, cut the blue line from the side seam to the apex, again, stopping before you reach the end so that you can pivot the pieces.

Now spread the pieces in the direction of the arrows, to the size that you want. Not sure how much you need to add? Well, all patterns are different but a general rule of thumb is to add one inch for each cup size over a C cup. So if you are a D cup add one inch, an E cup add two inches and so on.

cami 6.jpg

Next you need to cut straight across the pink line, from the centre front to where the blue line crosses with it.  Spread this piece in the direction shown.

cami 7.jpg

The final step is to add some paper scraps behind the slashed pattern pieces and use some sticky tape to hold it all together.

And that is it – full bust adjustments made and no unnecessary darts ruining the line. I hope you found this tutorial helpful.

It was a fair bit of work for what should be a simple top, but I couldn’t be happier with the fit. With four made and a pile more in the queue, this looks set to be my top of the summer.





    • Thanks! Sorry I forgot to add that I lengthened the back slightly so it matched the front piece. I also lengthened the facings a little so the front one covered more boobage!


      • Oh darn, I wish I had read the comments before I went ahead! Amazing tutorial for my first FBA, but I just cut out my fabric and realised that the back is now shorter at the side seams than the front! Whoops. I will have to remember to lengthen the back piece to match next time.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I can’t wait to try this out, my latest one has big drag lines from bust going through the side seams wear it’s too tight (the non drapey fabric isn’t helping) I think I might start from scratch and try this method out as chopped the side seams a fair bit. Thank you for the fab tutorial!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is so helpful! Apologies for the stupid question, but what did you do about the lining? Does that need an fba too or do you just cut a bigger size (since it stops just below the bust)? Thank you!


    • Hi Jenny. Glad it is helpful. You’ll need to make a new front facing with an FBA. Do this simply by tracing off from your new adjusted front piece. I recommend making the facing a few inches longer than the original, so it covers more of your boobs! Hope that helps!


  3. Thanks for your tutorial! I have a couple of questions if you don’t mind 😳

    Did you reshape the side seam of front piece to what it was before the FBA? Or did you reshape the back piece to match the new front piece? I’m guessing the latter since reshaping the new front piece would take away from the FBA?

    I lengthened the back piece but the two pieces don’t look like they’ll match up nicely on the side seams so I’m wondering what the best solution would be. I did a C to a D and added an inch as in your tutorial.

    Thank you again for the lovely and helpful post!


    • Hi Jen, glad you are finding it useful.
      After doing the FBA the front piece is a bit more rounded at the bust and is a different shape from the back – as you have realised. Don’t change the back piece though. Just pin and stitch the side seams as they are and it will work!
      If in doubt use lots of pins!
      It just looks a bit odd while they are flat. Don’t be tempted to cut the back piece to match though. You don’t need the extra room in the back.
      Hope that helps. Xx


  4. I have never done an FBA before and I am soooo thankful for this tutorial! I love my Ogden Cami, but the fit just isn’t right for me—I can’t wait to try this on the next one!

    This may be a silly question, but as I mentioned, this is new to me and I need a tiny bit of clarification.

    Using your example of an addition of 3 inches for your FBA:

    1) Since you are making the adjustment to both sides, you want a total of 3 inches, right? So, you are only making a 1.5 inch adjustment to the pattern piece since it is cut in the fold, correct? (1.5 on one side plus 1.5 to the other side = 3 inches?)

    2) Do you divide the difference of the adjustment between the two slash lines? For example, if the adjustment is to be 1.5 inches to one side of the pattern, do you split it open 1.5 inches at line #1 AND line #2 or would you split the difference and open both lines 3/4 of an inch?

    I hope that makes sense… Thanks again for the wonderful tutorial!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Jen, so happy it is useful to you.
      That additional 3 inches I am adding is on each side. 3 inches per boob! Your not trying to achieve an extra 3 inches in width remember- rather more breast space at the front.
      Follow the tutorial and also read the comments here for a bit more clarity and hopefully you will be good to go.
      I do recommend a toile/muslin first though until you get the fit just right.
      Hope that helps


  5. This looks like such a great tutorial! I’ve avoided doing a fba as I’m in denial about how big they actually are 😂 but I’m going to try this one out!
    Thanks so much!

    Liked by 1 person

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