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Bust Cup Correction

marciaroonie | Posted in Fitting on

I would love to make Simplicity pattern # 3833 as featured in Thread #132 in the pattern review.  I can’t figure out how to make the bust dart correction to enlarge it to a C cup.  One of the dart legs is in the front skirt panel.  The empire top section has the other dart leg and the dart point.  Can anyone help?


  1. Tatsy | | #1

    Hi Marciaroonie,

    Tha'ts a cute dress and should be comfortable to wear.

    Adjusting the dart shouldn't be that hard, but it will take a little fiddling around.  You can adjust in three places: the dart line on the bodice, the horizontal midline on the bodice and the seamline on the skirt which meets the dart line.  Make copies of the front pattern pieces, leaving two or three inches of extra fabric on the seamlines and the top of the side seam.  Mark the original seam lines. I suggest using that cheap, sew-in intefacing because it has a soft drape and is so cheap.

    Pin the pieces together allowing a small wedge of extra fabric in the seam lines and adjust until you get the amount of ease you need. Essentially you're putting more fabric in to make a more rounded curve. 

    The one other thing you will have to check is to make sure the side seams match and the skirt is on the straight of grain. Making a larger dart will probably mean that some of the ease needs to be added at the top of the skirt next to the dart line.  The extra fabric in the side seam is to allow for the side seam drawing in as the angle increases.  The side seam lines should be meet at your side seam.  If they don't, add more fabric to your copy.

    Moving darts and changing their size just takes practice.  The fabric tells you what it needs to do.  Good luck!


    1. marciaroonie | | #5

      Hi Tatsy,  Wow, I'm so exited to actually get help!  First thing tomorrow morning, I'm going to my sewing room to try your suggestions.  thanks so much-- I'll let you know.  and Donna Kay, if I'm still in trouble, I'll try to upload the two pattern pieces.  Thanks

      Edited 8/12/2007 10:45 pm ET by marciaroonie

      1. Tatsy | | #6

        Glad to help.  A dumb but helpful exercise is to try to cover a tennis ball with fabric.  You get a more basic idea of what you're trying to do.


  2. DONNAKAYE | | #2

    The website photo doesn't really clearly show where the darts are placed.  Can you sketch a simple diagram and upload it?

  3. DONNAKAYE | | #3

    I don't think my last request was clear.  What I mean is, can you sketch out or scan the two actual pattern pieces at the dart line?  I need to see that before I can help you.  Thanks!

  4. User avater
    Becky-book | | #4

    I'm not much help with dart changes, but thanks for the nostalgia. My mom had a copy of this pattern in the '60s. My aunt (dad's kid sister) made it up in black and emerald green. She had trouble with the darts too. I remember being the one who picked all the seams out for her!! LOL


    PS hope you can get the darts to work out right!!!

  5. cat42 | | #7

    Hmm. Interesting challenge. I just did sketches for general bust enlargement, so I'm gonna try to apply that to this interesting design. From the sketch of the dress in Threads, it appears that most of the lower dart leg is on the skirt, but the very top of that dart leg (near apex) is on the bodice. Is that right? I'll assume it is.Four things need to happen on the bust enlargement:
    1. armhole curve gets sharper, as the point where armhole and sideseam intersect moves upward.
    2. width is added at the apex
    3. the spacing of the dart legs on the side dart widens (deeper dart).
    4. length is added to the bodice (to go over the bust)
    I think all these changes happen on the bodice, except the skirt needs to be widened to match the widening of the bust.Changes to the bodice:
    1. draw a vertical line from apex to bottom of bodice (high waist seam--this won't be a long line. Then draw a line from the apex to a point about 1/3 of the way up the armhole from the sideseam toward the shoulder (about where the notch is located).
    2. Starting from the high waist, cut along the drawn line to apex and then toward armscye, stopping at armhole seam. then clip into the armhole seam allowance to just shy of that same point on the armhole seam, leaving a tad of fabric for the pivot.
    3. Swing the side part of the bodice outward, pivoting at the armscye, and opening up a wedge along the cut line. Move it until the apex of the moved part touches an imaginary vertical line, parallel to the center front, the exact distance away from the vertical cut line that you need to add in bust width. You will see that the armscye curve is sharper and the armhole/sideseam point has moved upward. The bust is also wider now, by the distance between the vertical line at apex and the imaginary line.
    4. Cut along dart center to just shy of the apex, to leave room for a pivot. then move that tiny bit of fabric downward, pivoting at the apex, so that the vertical cut line aligns with that imaginary line (is parallel to center front). This opens up a wedge within the dart.Now to make the necessary changes to the skirt: I don't think the angle of the lower dart leg needs to change, but you will need to add width to the skirt equal to the width added to the bodice (between vertical cut line and the imaginary line).
    5. Draw a vertical line paralel to center front, from top to bottom, positioning it below the bust apex.
    6. Separate the two halves of the skirt by the same amount as you added to the bodice.
    7. True all modified seamlines.
    8. Sew along original dart legs. This will effectively lower the apex. If that is not good for you, you can redraw the dart legs. Their ends are the same as the original (at side seam) but the point moves to the original apex location. I've included detail sketch for this.I've attached sketch. But please note, I'm only guessing at how the pattern pieces look, based on the sketch of the dress in Threads.

    1. sewingkmulkey | | #8

      Your instructions seem quite good but your drawings are excellent!  I believe your suggested adjustments should work well.



    2. marciaroonie | | #9

      Hey Cat,  You're a genius!  The scetch is exactly like the pattern.  Thanks so much-- you've taught me alot.

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