Full Tummy Adjustment Tutorial (for men and women)

Hi there! This is Manda. I am going to take you along on my journey on learning how to do a Full Tummy Adjustment!! Doesn't that sound exciting? 

Are you wondering what a Full Tummy Adjustment is? This adjustment is a common adjustment that takes care of tightness in the stomach area of your garment. It provides extra room in the front bodice for people that have a wider middle section. This adjustment can be used for both women and mens patterns. Women often use it as a Maternity Adjustment or to add some extra room and for men it has been called the Beer Belly Adjustment as well. We will just call it the Full Tummy Adjustment. 

When would you need this adjustment? When you have made a muslin and you see drag lines from the stomach to the sides of the front bodice. It usually feels a bit tight around the stomach area as well. Maybe your garment looks shorter at the front then at the back as well. We want to add a bit more fabric around the mid section for comfort and a more flattering look and optional a bit of extra length. 

A note before we start: Before making this adjustment, it is helpful (read necessary) to make a muslin first and check how much width you want to add to the waist line and (optional) how much length to the bottom. In this example I want to add a total of 2 inches at the waist line and 1 inch to the length. This means that I will add only 1 inch to the waist line at this pattern piece, since it will be cut on the fold. This adjustment needs to be done to the front bodice pattern piece, without seam and hem allowance. 

What do you need:

  • Front Bodice Pattern Piece
  • Sticky Tape
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Spare Paper
  • Pen/Pencil

Step 1: You remove the seam and hem allowance at the side and at the bottom of your front bodice pattern piece (check the arrows on the picture). 

Step 2: You draw a horizontal line that starts about an inch under the armpit (the widest part of the chest), and ends just over half way into your pattern piece. Then you draw a straight line (from where you ended your first line) vertically to the bottem (see the pink lines).
Step 3: You take a pair of scissors and cut both lines towards their meeting point (arrow), but you don't cut it all the way. The paper stays connected and now you can pivot this piece. 

Step 4: You will pivot the part that you just have cut towards the side. You will make sure that there will be a gap at the waistline height from around 1 inch (remember: I want to add 2 inch in total to the waist line, so I need to add 1 inch to this pattern piece. Because you will cut it at the fold it will end up being 2 inch in total). Paste the top part of together, so it will stay in place. 


Step 5: You probably want to add some extra length to the pattern piece as well, since the bodice often ends up looking shorter in the front because the belly uses some of the fabric that is needed for length. Check the fit of your muslin to determine how much you want to add.

Cut the left part (that is near to the center fold) about an inch up from the bottom and spread the small bottom piece into the correct position (if you want to add an inch, you will create a gap of an inch here). Remember to add the same amount of length to the back bodice, otherwise your back and front bodice won't match up.  


Step 6: You place a sheet of paper under the pattern piece, tape your pieces in place and redraw the side seam and the hem line like shown on this picture. After that you can cut your new pattern piece.  

And in close-up:

Step 7 (optional): You can straighten the side seam right under the armpit, at the point where you had moved the pattern piece sideways before. You can skip this step as well and just cut a straight line when you are cutting your fabric at this point. 

Step 8: Add your seam and hem allowance back to the pattern piece (at the sides where you took it off before) and you are ready to go!

I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial and that it will be helpful to know how to do this adjustment! 

6 comments

This is so helpful!! Thank you!

Jessica V July 23, 2020

This was extremely helpfull. Imhave done this wrong so many times. Thank you.

Monique Moody July 23, 2020

Bless you! Just what I need for the 2 patterns I just purchased.

Gwen C Davis July 23, 2020

Does this work on any style top, such as a tank? I just made one for my sister and wish I had seen this first. I graded from a med bust to xl belly, then would have needed a L hip. But just stayed at the XL cuz I thought it would cling to her belly if I graded back in!!!!

Jeannie Bush July 23, 2020

This is so very helpful! Thank you!

Tina Weikel July 15, 2020

What about for pants? My hips and belly are the exact same measurement so pants alway fit me funky.

Dawn King July 15, 2020

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