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adding darts to rtw

klara | Posted in Fitting on

Can anyone tell me how to add darts to rtw? I am especially referring to vests – I’m large busted and without darts the chest area of the vest doesn’t lie flat. Blouses are also a problem.

Also, on a boxy style shirt or lightweight jacket, I would like to add darts to make me appear a have waist. I want these darts to extend from the bottom of the bust straight down to the hemline.

I need an easy way to do these alterations.

Any help in these areas is greatly appreciated!


  1. Gloriasews | | #1

    One way to add bust darts to RTW is to undo the side seams & add them in, but then you would be shortening the front.  If you have to shorten the garment anyway, this would work.  As for taking in the waist, you could take it in at the sides and/or insert darts or tucks under the bust.  Darts would have to be angled to nothing at the bust level & below the waist to fit over the tummy.  Tucks could just be under the bust for an inch or two & end at waist level.  Would that work for you?

    1. klara | | #2

      Thank you so much for your help. I used to sew all the time but haven't in a while, so my skills are rusty. For tucking in at the waistline, I just wasn't sure where to start the dart. But now I can taper some of my clothes a little so they don't look too boxy.

      1. Ralphetta | | #3

        It's amazing how much difference just 2 slim darts in back and 2 under the fullest points of the bust can make.  I do that to all my clothes and I swear it makes me look 10 pounds slimmer.  I don't make them figure hugging, just enough to remove some of the excess around the waist and play up the hourglass instead of a big blob. 

        1. klara | | #4

          That's exactly what I'm looking for - thanks!!

          1. Ralphetta | | #5

            I mark the bust point and place the dart directly beneath it.  I fold it wrong side out and baste a narrow fold vertically from the point to the hem and start basting about an inch below the bust point.  I'm only basting enough of a crease to give me a line to work from.  In my case I rarely go to the hem, because my hips need the space.  I put it on wrong side out and mark with chalk or a pin where my waist is.  That will be my widest part of the dart.  Then I just taper it with pins above and below the waist on my vertical line.  In the back I just pick a place about 1/4 across the back and make sure the two lines are the same distance from the side seams.  I'm kind of sway backed, so when I mark the waist and get rid of some fullness there, the back hangs much better.  It doesn't take long to do.  When i was thinner I ALWAYS put darts in my RTW blouses and got rid of the excess fabric around my slim midriff.  Also, the blouses stayed tucked in better. Just pin/baste a little at a time...you don't want to overdo it or it throws off the lines of the garment.

    2. Char9 | | #6

      Thought I knew most sewing terms but I can't figure this one out.  What's RTW?

      1. Gloriasews | | #7

        Ready to wear.  Sorry - I try not to use abbreviations, but that one is so common on our threads, that I chanced it. 

        1. Char9 | | #8

          Geez, ya think I coulda figured that one out.  Thanks.

          1. Gloriasews | | #9

            You're welcome.  Don't feel bad - I didn't know what it was when I first started in these forums, either.  Live & learn.

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