Donny Shirt Fitting

The Donny Shirt has a boxy fit without being oversized. There is no shaping through the waist and hips. It is slightly cropped and the hem is meant to fall above your hips. If you lengthen the top so that it falls below your hip line, make sure it will fit around your full hip measurement. The Donny Top was drafted using sample measurements for a B bra cup and for a height of 5’6”[168cm].

We recommend choosing a size based on your full chest measurement.

Lengthening/Shortening the Shirt
  • On Front (A) and Back (D) cut across the lengthen/shorten line.
  • To lengthen, spread the pieces apart to add the desired amount of length. Tape a scrap of paper in place behind your new opening.
  • To shorten, overlap the pieces to remove the desired amount of length. Tape in place.
  • Redraw sideseams.
  • Trace new pattern pieces!


Raising the Neckline
  • On Front (A) trace the neckline around the circle mark going above and below it by a couple inches. Be sure to also add the circle mark placement to your traced piece.
  • Cut out your traced piece and mark its placement on Front (A)

  • Move the piece up along the center front as much as you want to raise the neckline (e.g. 1"). Keep the straight edge below the lapel lined up on your new traced piece and Front (A).
  • Tape it in place and then smooth the curve of the lapel.
  • Retrace your piece. Repeat these steps with Front Facing (B).

Doing a Full Bust Adjustment (FBA)

Before we begin marking up your pattern, first you will need to determine how much room is necessary to add to your pattern for a proper fit. To determine this, we will need to do a bit of math:

(Your Full Bust Measurement - Full Bust Measurement of pattern size you are making)/ 2

*To determine what size you want to start with in your pattern, check out this handy blog post by fellow designer Untitled Thoughts.

For example, say that I am making a size M whose bust goes up to 37”, but my bust size is actually 41”. I would use the formula above like so:

(41”-37”) / 2 = 2”

That means for my Donny Shirt, I will need to add 2” to my pattern pieces, which will give me an additional 4” around the entire garment.

Once you have gathered your own, unique measurements and done a wee-bit of math, it’s time to start altering!

  • Take Front (A) and drape it over the front of your torso, approximately where it would lay when worn. Find and mark your apex (AKA where your nipple rests).
  • Place your pattern on a smooth work surface and draw the following three lines:
    • From the apex to the side seam in a place you think a bust dart might look best (line A).
    • ⅓ of the way down the armsyce to the apex and then vertically down to the hem (line B).
    • From the CF of the bodice running perpendicular to line 2. This line should be at least 2” (5 cm) above the hem (line C). 
  • Cut through the following bits:
    • Vertically up line B from the hem to the apex. Then pivot and cut through to the armscye, stopping at the seam line which is ⅜” (1 cm) away from the edge.
    • From the side seam to the apex point of line A. Be sure not to cut through the apex. We just want a hinge effect for line A.
    • Horizontally, cut completely through line C.

  • Place a spare bit of paper underneath your pattern and have tape at the ready. 
  • Gently begin shifting pieces 2 & 3 towards the side. We are trying to add room along the center of cut line B. Be sure to keep piece #3 as straight as possible so that your hem doesn’t flare out at an odd angle. 
  • The space you are creating along the center of line B is the most important bit to this whole task. Be sure to keep either side of this gap parallel while moving it to match the width of whatever number you got from the equation earlier. Once everything is nicely lined up, tape down pieces 2 & 3.  
  • Slide piece #4 down so that it is still running evenly with the CF of your pattern as well as level with piece #3. Tape it into place.

  • Next, you need to draw out your brand new dart. To do this, grab a pen and a ruler and re-draw a set of dart legs pointing towards your original apex marking (dark blue marking). Then, “walk back” the dart by approximately 1” (2,5 cm). Ensure that both your dart legs are of equal length. If not, adjust them until they match properly by adding length to the shorter leg. Add a little dart hat and voila! Your new dart is complete!

  • True up the CF and hem of Front (A).


Congrats! You just completed a FBA!