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Conversational Threads

Adding Darts to a purchased blouse

sjott | Posted in General Sewing Info on

Hi all.

It’s has been a long time since I have posted here, so bear with me.

I bought just your typical button down long sleeve shirt/blouse. I am a little on the busty side, so it fits good there, but is a little baggy on the lower half. I was thinking of adding darts to it to make it a little more fitted…
Has anyone added darts to something like this before? any suggestions?

Thanks for your time.



  1. jjgg | | #1

    You can certainly add some long waist darts to this shirt. Put the shirt on and find where your bust point is, (place a pin through the area) Now, pinch in below the bust area the amount you want to take in at the waist level. If it's more than about 3/4 inch on each side, I would split the amount into 2 darts. If you are just going to put one dart in, - of lets just say for now 3/4 inch. Take the shirt off with the pins still in the bust points. now, form the wrong side, mark a vertical line straight down from the bust point pins (follow the grain of the fabric). At the waist level, measure 3/8 inch on each side of the vertical line, From the bust point measure down about one inch or more (this is up to you where you want the darts to stop) and then connect this point with the marks at the waistline. then taper from the waist to the bottom of the shirt. If you want to put 2 darts on each side, split the difference, and make the darts about 1 inch or so apart. they would be centered under the bust point ( 1/2 inch to either side of the bust point)You may need to do this in the back of the shirt as well.

    1. sjott | | #3

      Thanks so much... I have made shirts like this for myself - but put the darts in first. Wanted to make sure it would still look OK if I did them now.Will have to give it a try this weekend!

  2. sewornate | | #2

    I had a customer a few years ago that routinely had me add darts to remove excess fullness on lower part of blouses.  I did several for her. She pretty much had similar figure differences like you describe.  I put them in the front and back, and fitted it to her.

  3. Teaf5 | | #4

    As others have mentioned, you can add vertical darts after the garment is completed, but you can't add horizontal ones, as there's no place to get the extra length in the side seams.An easy way to mark the darts is to try the shirt on inside out, and then (carefully) pin the darts where you'd like them. I pin the back darts first, then put on the shirt, and pin the front ones while I'm wearing it. On softer fabrics, I make open-ended vertical tucks rather than closed-end darts to nip in the waist while allowing a little more drape above and below.

    1. Gloriasews | | #5

      Actually, Teaf, you could put in bust darts if you opened the side seams & your blouse was on the long side, anyway.  then the inch or a bit more wouldn't show if you shortened the blouse accordingly or cut the bottom hem to look like a man's dress shirt.  I have done this successfully.  On many women, the curved hem is more flattering to their hips.


      1. Teaf5 | | #7

        You're right, a side seam dart would be possible if the top is overly long. But I'm tall and have a hard time finding RTW that comes close to being long enough.

        Edited 2/7/2008 5:29 pm by Teaf5

        1. Gloriasews | | #8

          You're right - it won't work if you're tall.  As well, adding a piece of fabric along the bottom, as I've seen in some pictures & patterns, isn't usually at all flattering.  So I guess you'll just have to keep sewing, eh?  :)


  4. Ralphetta | | #6

    I've always put darts in my shirts. I'm large in the bust and hips, but always had a small waistline and darts removed that excess fabric around my middle. I definitely looked several pounds thinner. Four gentle darts can make a really big difference and it can be done in just a few minutes.

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