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Conversational Threads

Bust dart ends where?

stitchagain | Posted in Fitting on

I know I have seen the answer to this on this forum, and I should probably know, but where does the bust dart rest?

I want to alter this vintage dress and teach myself how to grade.

http://vintagepatterns.wikia.com/wiki/Vogue_2336

The size is a bit small, but I made the top up and the bust darts hit me left and right of center.  It seems like I should move the dart towards the center while enlarging near the armstye. 

 

stitchagain

Replies

  1. User avater
    artfulenterprises | | #1

    The bust dart should end about 1 to 1 1/2" below the apex of the bust (bust point).  You wouldn't necessarily have to move the dart to center.  It could come in from the bodice seam at an angle as long as it points directly at the bust point.  You should be able to draw a straight line from the dart leg (or center line of the dart) to the bust point.  The stopping distance (away from Bust Point) is determined by your cup size.  The larger the cup size, the further away the tip of the dart.

    Measure the distance from the crease of your neck at the shoulder line straight down to your bust point.  Then measure the distance from your center front line across to the bust point. (It helps to have a piece of wide tape around the fullest part of the bustline when measuring this dimension.  You don't want to measure the depth of the inner curve of the breast, just the width between BP and centerline.)  Once you have those dimensions you can measure and mark your pattern so that you know where your actual bust point is located and then can adjust the dart accordingly.  From the photo it looks as though you will have to compensate for the amount of "offset"  the neckline is showing.  In other words, the neckline doesn't sit right at the crease of your neck but appears to be set back about an inch.  Measure from the shoulder tip into the neckline seam to triangulate the exact location of the neckline.

    Nice little vintage dress....looks similar to many "business" dresses I wore back then.

    Hope this helps!

     

    1. stitchagain | | #2

      Thanks for the suggestions.

      1-1 1/2" sounds like an impossibility with this pattern, but your instructions to measure high point of shoulder and distance between points will help a lot.

      As it is now the bust point hit 3/4" west and east of the points (maybe that wasn't clear in my initial statement).   

      It sounds like you might have some perspective on "fit" in the 1960s and now.

      It a cute pattern I want to make it to fit me and be comfortable.  I just wondered if they did things different back then- such as the armstye is cut a bit high and I will change that.  The bust darts are necessary to the design, but I might want to minimize them to keep from looking too much like some Madonna costume.

       

      stitchagain

      1. User avater
        artfulenterprises | | #3

        Maybe I should have said the bust dart ends 1 - 1 1/2" FROM the BP not BELOW the BP.  This dart is rather like a French dart which comes up from the side seam at an angle toward the bust.  The only real "necessity" for a proper dart is that it point directly at the BP.  Otherwise it can come from anywhere on the perimeter of the bodice/garment. For example, if you were to continue the dart at the same angle to the side seam pretending there was no empire seam, it would be a french dart that ended somewhere around the pocket!) So,  "west and east" in this case is just a design choice.   The idea of keeping the dart end pulled back from the apex of the bust is to give enough room for the mound of the bust without it being a pointy Madonna thing.  The larger the cup size, the farther back it should be.  (You didn't say what your personal cup size is, but you may want to make the classic pattern adjustment for that before you go too far with changing the size.)   I must say the photo/drawing looks like the dart is way too close to the BP.  The model is probably a barely B cup! But I doubt she's that big!  Don't forget, Twiggy was the supermodel of the day in the 60's!

        Fit rules haven't changed since the 60's....we still have the same sort of arrangement of body parts!  As for the armscye, usually, the higher the armscye (closer to the arm pit) the more range of motion you will have. (Especially for a close fitting sleeve like the one shown.)   However, if your pattern is a size too small for you, lowering the armscye would be a natural part of enlarging the pattern (as well as moving the curve out slightly).  (Your experiments in grading should be able to tell just how to do it.) Check your measurements across the chest, above the bust, from the center front line to the place where your arm forms a crease when it is in a relaxed position.  Compare it to the comparable location on your pattern.  Also check from Ctr Frt across fullest point of the bust to the side seam.  (Ditto for Ctr Back to Side Seam) These measurements will tell you if your pattern is too small.  There should be at least 1 to 2" of ease across the bust.  You can compare the measurements of the pattern with the measurements listed for that size on the back of the pattern to determine how much ease the patternmaker intended for this garment.

        Of course, the very best way to get a great fit is to make up a muslin with generous seam allowances and adjust while it is on your body.  Make clear marks on the muslin to show your personal fit changes and then transfer them to your pattern before cutting out your expensive fashion fabric.

        Do you have any flat pattern books that would show you where to take proper measurements?  If not, they would be very helpful since you seem to want to pursue ambitious and proper methods of garment construction.  I suggest Helen Armstrong's "Patternmaking for Fashion Design"  1st Ed. if you can find one!  There are later editions but the 1st is my fave.

        Edited 6/3/2008 7:15 pm ET by artfulenterprises

        1. stitchagain | | #4

          Thanks for your additional input.

          It almost seems like a princess seam dress to me (Although it isn't because it doesn't go up to the armscye or shoulder).  There is no "side" seam.  The bodice cut high and curved in front.  There is a little gathering/easeing on the front skirt near the bodice (I am not quite sure why but I will keep it in ).

          I understood your description of correction for the bust dart.  Actually I worked on it this morning, shifting the whole dart over towards the center and down.  So now the dart is 1 1/4" away from my BP, yea.  I also moved the Front Skirt seam over, widened the curve of the bodice front.  I think I am going to take out a dart in the back to make it larger (there are 4 shaping darts on the back bodice)

          I agree the dress on the model does look like its hitting her point of dart to point of bust (so the whole Madonna pointy bust thing).

          I always thought I was an A cup but after measuring I guess I'm a B cup.

          Close fitting sleeves.  It is OK on the top I made from the pattern (I cut off the skirt and made it in a stretchy sweat shirt fabric), but I normally wear larger sleeve, like campshirt sleeves.  I saw your post on another topic about not being able to raise arms.  It was my understanding that the higher the sleeve cap, the more likely you won't be able to lift your arms or if you can you take the whole dress/blouse with you.  So in response to making a larger size overall, I was going to lower the armscye and flatten out the sleeve cap just a bit (3/8").

          Thanks again for your imput!

           

          1. User avater
            artfulenterprises | | #5

            Actually it is not the sleeve cap that is the issue....it is the cut of the armscye that determines the range of movement.  However, when you lower the armscye, the correct alteration to the sleeve (you must raise the sleeve underarm seam a corresponding amount and blend) to match the new armscye dimension, naturally flattens out the sleeve cap.  That may be why you confused the relationship.  It may seem counterintuitive, but what you are planning to do will actually be more restrictive than leaving it as is.....unless of course, the pattern is simply too small for you.  But the amount you are adjusting is small so should be ok since you want to increase the size of the garment overall.

            That little bit of gathering in the skirt, under the bust, is the bottom end of the dart, normally extending to the waistline, that would be part of a basic block shaping the garment to your body.  The patternmaker simply turned the dart excess into small gathers.

            If you want to retain the original back dart shaping, you can increase the "side seam" dimension by creating one ... temporarily.   Lay your pattern on top of another piece of paper.  Make a line where the side seam would normally be down the full length of the pattern piece.  Make a horizontal line squared to your "new side seam" mark at about mid point.    Make vertical and horizontal balance lines on your  blank pattern paper as well.  Now, Slash your pattern vertically along the seam line and tape one side to your vertical guideline on the blank paper.  Spread the amount of additional side seam width you may need and tape down using the horizontal guide line to line up your two sections.  Be sure you walk the new armscye opening into the sleeve.  You may need to spread your sleeve or add some additional length at each underarm point to accomodate the added width at the dress "side seam".

            You are fortunate to be a "B"!  Most patterns are constructed for your size.  Glad you've worked out the dart issue... 

            Just one note of caution...or maybe curiosity....will your fashion fabric have the same amount of stretch as the stretchy fabric you used for your test garment?  It could make a big difference in the final fit of your finished dress. 

            Best wishes!

            Edited 6/5/2008 11:53 am ET by artfulenterprises

          2. stitchagain | | #6

            Hey, thanks again for the help!

             

            "However, when you lower the armscye, the correct alteration to the sleeve (you must raise the sleeve underarm seam a corresponding amount and blend) to match the new armscye dimension, naturally flattens out the sleeve cap."

            This is in fact what I did.  You worded it much better!

            I have copied out what you wrote about retaining the back shaping, but I don't yet understand it.  (To be shown pictorially seems to work better for me.)  But I am sure once I get make to my cutting table and work it out step by step, I'll figure it out.  It's grading isn't it?

            Great to understand why there is gathering on the top of the front skirt.  My concern was now that I decreased the width of the front skirt (bust darts closer together still parallel with the original, wanting the skirt seamlines to match up), I have also decreased the the amount of gathering.  Probably OK darts are smaller, width of skirt not so different.

            I am leaning towards using a stretchy polished cotton with some drapy weight to it.  The pattern suggests fabrics linen, pique, double knit.  But comfort, ease of use, and the fact that I don't have to put a back zipper in it is on my mind.  It really is a learning project for me though and I don't know when I'll actually get to making it.

            stitchagain

             

             

          3. User avater
            artfulenterprises | | #7

            Well, I'd call the side seam adjustment more of an "alteration" than grading per se.  Grading generally indicates an overall multi directional change in the size of the pattern.  In this case, you are simply giving yourself a bit more bust/hip circumference.

            In peeking at the pattern illustration again, I can't really tell what is going on in the back.  There seems to be a seam coming from the back at an angle that joins up with the front seaming...sort of like a low wrap-around yoke????  I know I didn't mention that before, but of course you would need to tape that piece in place to complete that fictional side seam you are going to alter.

            I can't imagine you being able to get that dress on over your head without a zipper!  Surely there is one called for at center back?  The snug fit of the bodice wouldn't seem to allow such a thing even for a slim-jim with a B cup!  (But then, my figure, sad to say, is the antithesis of that, so perhaps I lack imagination for such a thing.)  Even when I wore a 70's size 7 I wouldn't have been able to pull that off. LOL

            In the late 60's/early 70's the fabric du jour was polyester double knit or textured knits.  They were quite the rage and like nothing we had ever seen, sewed or worn before.  (Tres stylish!)  Now, of course, they would be simply gross!  Poly knits, now often blended with other fibers, have become a different and far superior product since then.  Living with science is wonderful!  However, dresses cut like this were often made of knit fabric.  And those polyknits were not particularly stretchy as I recall.   Double knits are especially stable like a woven fabric.  Just something to think about.  Anything woven, even with a bit of Lycra in it, I should think would still definitely need a zipper for ease of getting on/off.

            Be sure to post a photo of your completed project and send me a note!  Would love to see the results of your efforts.

          4. stitchagain | | #8

            I loved to hear your impressions on me making a 1970s dress!

            I am hoping it will translate to now.  Somewhere I read that Sybil Connolly created garments with great silhouettes and subtle detailing that one does not see at first.  That sounds pretty good to me!  Here's is the description of this dress on that website page:

            Vogue Couturier Design 2336; 1970s; Sybil Connolly of Dublin - Misses' One-Piece Dress. Semi-fitted slightly A-line dress with bias shaped standing collar has skirt gathered at front into high curved waistline. Pockets in side front seams (no side seams). Short sleeves.

            Bodice Front, Bodice Back, Skirt Front, Skirt Back, Shoulder, Pocket, Collar 

            The front bodice bottom (hem) is curved up so that it meets the armscye- no side seam.  The back bodice looks like sloper with four darts, but cut high.  Skirt back comes forward to meet the skirt front.  The top of skirt back is the part of the front armscye.  Pretty cool really.  Sorry I don't have photo or scanning capability to show you this more clearly.  Back bodice and skirt back and skirt front are sewn together before sewing the bottom of bodice front.  There is a back zipper. 

            The top that I made from this pattern- size 10 when I am more of a size14. (that's vintage size) fits tight but I am able to put in on and off over my head.  Today's fabrics are so stretching.  I am in my 40s so although I didn't wear this fashion I am aware of double knit etc.  I like the look of doubleknit, which was probably trying to look like a high quality wool anyway.  I haven't totally discounted making it out of a linen or woolen, interlining it (as the pattern recommends) and putting a back zipper on it.  I am kind of on a kick of following directions lately (like with cooking recipes, etc), but then again want it reflect my own tastes, be wearable, comfortable.

             

            that's my ramble

            stitchagain 

          5. User avater
            artfulenterprises | | #9

            I see no reason your pattern shouldn't translate into a beautiful contemporary dress using today's fabrics. Good design stands up well to time! This pattern is pretty much a classic 70's silhouette. I still have many similar designs/patterns in my stash since my sister and mom gave me their 70's patterns (and more!) many years ago. I still occasionally mourn my fit of sewing pique in 1979 when I threw out about 80% of my pattern collection. What was I thinking??? Guess it's just as well though since my patterns fill up a 4 drawer lateral file!I think if you wanted to update the look a bit, the easiest solution would be to eliminate the bias stand up collar and make a nice jewel or scooped neckline. Although the collar as it is would still be very attractive.Hmmm...your description of the pattern back sounds like it might be simpler to slash the back section from about where the back armscye notches would be, straight down to hem, and spreading the amount you need to bring it to your designated side seam location.(Unless the garment is tight across the upper back area you may not want to spread the garment where the slash line would intersect the shoulder.) But then you must do the same to the front section as well. Whatever total amount you want to add should be divided equally so that garment is balanced and your side seam stays where it belongs. On a plus size, "balanced" is not always "equal" but for someone your size it may be fairly close. Some of us are broader in the beam or have a fuller tummy so the dimension from CF or CB to side seam is not the same.Anyway, here is a diagram of a custom 2" grade. Of course, ignore the numbers and plug in your own grade amounts as necessary. But the spread lines will illustrate where you might wish to alter your pattern.Oops...can't find where I insert image. I've looked all over the forum and can't find any instructions on uploading a .jpg image! So sorry! Do you know how to do it without directing the reader to a web page???

            Edited 6/7/2008 10:50 am ET by artfulenterprises

          6. stitchagain | | #10

            Oops this statement from a previous post is wrong:

            The top of skirt back is the part of the front armscye. 

            The back bodice side is sewn to the curved bottom of the front bodice.  Part of the Skirt back connects to the front bodice as well. 

            you seem to have understood anyway.

            I am not school taught when it comes to sewing alterations.  I guess I had one class in college making slopers years ago.  I have picked up a few things, but I am not readily understanding your slashing.

            There are some dots on the back bodice representing the bottom of the armscye and two more closer to the high waist seam.  I suppose this is the designated side seam location.  But this line runs quite a diagonal compared to the zipper and using it to start a grid doesn't seem right. 

            Oh well, I will take you new instructions and try to apply them to the back.

            In the past, I have attached images (borrowing a camera, going to the library) using the button on this "post" page.

          7. User avater
            artfulenterprises | | #11

            Doh! Silly me....didn't even see that Attach Files button....if it was a snake it woulda bit me!Here's a basic grade diagram....maybe it will help you a bit. I'm sorry I don't have all my usual useful images available...a recent hard drive failure cost rather dearly. Hopefully I will be able to have a techie recover my files one day soon.RE: my previous solution....I would tape together the pattern pieces as if they were sewn. Then determine where the side seam would be on the pattern size you currently have and mark it. (If you made a full muslin you could easily mark the side seam with a nice vertical line.) That is where you will slash to spread your front and back pieces. Divide the amount you need to add equally to the two sides. If you place a horizontal guideline at a right angle (squared) across your newly marked seam line, it will help you line up your pattern pieces again once they are separated. To do that, simply mark your new blank pattern paper with a long vertical guideline and a wide horizontal guideline. Place the slashed pattern pcs. on top of your new pattern paper and line up the slashed back section side seam line with the vertical marker so that the horizontal markers meet. Spread the front pattern pc the distance required and line up your horizontal markers. Now you know the front and back are still in the same horizontal relationship with one another. Be sure you check several points along the seam to make sure you have spread the two pcs. parallel. Hope that clarifies what I was trying to say! I can't quite tell from the photo exactly to which pcs your additions will be added. Looks like maybe side front, a small section of side back and possibly a small section of the bodice front.

          8. stitchagain | | #12

            I am sorry I am not understanding your instructions.

            Just starting here:

            If you place a horizontal guideline at a right angle (squared) across your newly marked seam line, it will help you line up your pattern pieces again once they are separated. To do that, simply mark your new blank pattern paper with a long vertical guideline and a wide horizontal guideline.

            The seam is not parallel to the back zipper.  That is not how you have marked your lines on your diagram.

             

            And on your diagram What is checkpoint?  Is that notation to move the whole line over (armscye and side seam)?

             

          9. User avater
            artfulenterprises | | #16

            Sorry to have confused you further! Let me address my first "solution" first. Then I'll talk about grading.I made a diagram for you since I know visuals are helpful. This is my interpretation of your pattern based on your description. The seam lines created by the designer/patternmaker don't have to be parallel to the center back or the center front lines. Outside of the context of any given pattern, the CB and CF are "virtual" guidelines which are perpendicular to the floor. Your side seam, in the context of this vintage pattern, is not visible as a seam, but it is there just the same. So, you need to determine where, exactly, it is. The side seam is a vertical guideline that runs perpendicular to the floor and is placed at the mid point of the body when viewed from the side, extending from about 1" below the underarm (place a ruler under your arm snugly and measure down 1") to the hemline.The best way to determine that is to sew up a muslin of your garment and then mark the muslin at the appropriate place. You can then transfer those marks to your paper pattern. Barring that, you could pin your pattern together and fit it to your body, pinning it in place so that you can mark the side seam.Now, the second part of the puzzle. In suggestion #2, wherein I sent a typical bodice grade to illustrate another option for enlarging your garment. For your purposes, the "checkpoint" could be ignored as irrelevant. But in explanation, when grading patterns through several sizes, all the changes start from a base point, usually the CB or CF. When the grading is complete, the patterns are then stacked one on top of the other, lining them up at the original base point (called a graded nest). The "checkpoint" shows you visually whether you have done the grade properly. For example, if you used a 2" grade, the difference between each size at the checkpoint would be 1/2".The illustration I sent you was just a suggestion as to where you could slash and spread your pattern to achieve the fit you want. The increments shown are a typical 2" grade I believe. So, if you needed to add 2" to the overall size of your garment you could use those measurements. Hope this clarifies the problem for you.Edited 6/10/2008 2:59 pm ET by artfulenterprises

            Edited 6/10/2008 3:00 pm ET by artfulenterprises

          10. User avater
            artfulenterprises | | #17

            Here are the diagrams....first time I put them in too large so had to delete!Don't get worried about the Madonna thing! This is a simple dress and you can fit it for today's look just with simple alterations. You've already changed the bodice to your liking so why stop now? Carpe diem!

          11. stitchagain | | #18

            Last night I realized what I had said about grading the pattern so I went back (to the start) and hreads 101  pp66-70 and followed directions to grade apattern.  At first I tried to do the  bust alteration as well.  But on second thought there is an order to everything. 

            So grade first (uneven grade since I am pear shaped).  Figure out the side seam.  Bust dart alteration.  Alter skirt front to match.  Match Bodice to Skirt -smooth out the uneven grade.

              Side seam-your instuctions should come in handy because I am still stump by this.  There are dots on the back bodice that I am taking to be the side seam.  They way my grade came out I had a vertical widening just beside the "side seam" and just at the tip of the front bodice.  When I went to grade the back skirt I wasn't quite clear on where to widen.  The widening 3/16th on the tip of the front bodice goes into the designers seam to the back bodice.  Anyway I widen two times and I figure any exsess will be dealt with when I match the skirt to bodice.  Have not graded the collar.

            I will go over what you wrote to see if it changes anything I did

             

            I also looked at Threads 117 article on armscye and it said to rest a ruler under your arm comfortably and that the sewn seam should be just under that.

            There's no techinical drawing to this 1970s pattern, unfortunately.  I laughed when I realized that the bust apex notation is not an "+" but the Vogue pattern emblem 1 inch large and it was 1 1/4" from the end of the dart on the flat pattern.  Thanks for the good advice.  This is really a learning project for me.

          12. User avater
            artfulenterprises | | #19

            You're welcome....Just a note on those dots you think are the side seam. You might go thru the pattern directions and see if they are referenced anywhere. Most likely they are markers for joining those three pattern pieces. Usually it says "Stitch to double dots" or maybe "Stop stitching at double dots".As for the ruler under the arm thing.....how wide is your ruler???? :o) Both methods are telling you that you want to drop your armhole about 1" below the point where your arm joins your torso. I'm glad you are persevering.

          13. stitchagain | | #20

            Thank you so much!

             

            Back to the original dilemma.  When I alter the bust dart,  it will be lowered and shift more towards the CF.  That means that less fabric will be "removed" from the lower edge of the bodice.  What to do with it?  Do a alteration for a smaller bust?- Possibly this is needed.  The difference between the deep dart that ends high on the bodice and the smaller "triangle" is 1 inch of edge removed.

             

            I did the alteration after the grading and now the bodice is similar to my original altered bodice.  Is that a good sign or not?

             It was a 3 inch grade for the top of the garment, larger for the skirt.

            stitchagain

          14. User avater
            artfulenterprises | | #21

            I'm not exactly clear about what you are asking. If you mean that shortening the length of the dart changes the amount of excess at the empire seamline, then I would think that the solution would be to measure the bodice seam line (without darts) and measure the side back and center panels at the connecting seamline and adjust the two to fit. You have a center panel with gathers that may be able to take up any excess in the garment body.Actually, I'm not sure why the dart, at bodice seam, has changed since generally a bust dart is shortened from the top down and redrawn using the original starting width of the dart legs. Here is a drawing showing an original dart in black , the mark in red indicating where the new dart tip will be located, and the green lines show new dart legs.If you have an excess amount of fabric in the armscye area or above the bustline, then perhaps you need to adjust for a smaller bust/cup size. If the excess is below the bust where it joins the skirt, then perhaps you need to deepen the dart after all. There are ways to shift excess fabric from the armscye into the side seam although I don't want to confuse you further with pivoting darts, etc.Have you made a muslin of this new pattern draft? It could help you see more clearly where you need to make changes.

          15. stitchagain | | #22

            Thanks for the response.

             

            I had just assumed that to adjust the dart I should do a sort of cut and paste.  Cut out the original dart and reposition it toward the CF and down so that it was 1 1/4", producing a smaller dart overall, but with the same angled dart leg.  Your diagram shows clearly my mistake.

             

            No muslin yet

          16. User avater
            artfulenterprises | | #23

            Just a little note re: the location of your dart tip. Remember that the distance from the bust point to the tip of the dart is given as an approximate. Generally the range is 1 inch to 1 1/2 in. depending on the bust cup size. If you think you may need to adjust for a smaller bust, the distance from the apex (bust point) may be closer to the 1" range. But you will be able to fine tune that when you make your muslin. So far, you're doing great!

          17. stitchagain | | #24

            Thanks for the encouragement!

             

            Here is that section in Threads #117 about armscye adjustments (p48)

            I quote:

            "Deciding where the armhole hits under the arm is partially a personal preference.  Remember that an armhole cut high up under the arm is generally more comfortable because it allows a greater range of movement in a garment with sleeves; this is often counterintuitive to a beginning fitter. ...  If you hold a ruler under your arm as high as is comfortably possible, the underarm seamline should fall barely below where the ruler is touching the flesh."

             

            Seems high but I am going to try it out. 

             

  2. BernaWeaves | | #13

    Looking at the photo of the pattern, the bust darts DO hit east and west of the model's nipples / bust points.  Look closely.  She has her hand in her pocket and the bust darts are in line with the pocket opening.  The reason the darts look like they are supposed to hit the bust points are because the dress is in red and it's hard to see the seams AND she's wearing a very pointy bra.  Think Madonna.  My mother had bras like that back in the 60's and early 70's and they had concentric circles sewed into them to make them guided missiles and to keep the points pointy.

    Your version is fitting you exactly like it's fitting the model.  It's deceiving because the drawing, which obviously bears no resemblance to reality, has the darts pointing at the bust points.   It seems to me that whoever created the flat pattern, didn't do a good job of making it look like the design sketch.

     

    Berna



    Edited 6/9/2008 5:17 pm ET by BernaWeaves

    1. stitchagain | | #14

      Thanks for your post I am a bit concerned that I am expecting too much of this pattern and my grading/altering ability. 

      Madonna dress is not what I am going for.  Maybe I should rethink this

      1. BernaWeaves | | #15

        It's not a Madonna dress.  The model is wearing a Madonna bra.  That was the style back then.  It's just the bust darts don't line up with her bra points like the drawing implies.  The bust darts are east and west of the bra points.  I think this is a mistake in whoever created the flat pattern.

         

        Berna

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