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Creating new darts for created pattern

birdlady1 | Posted in Patterns on

Since I couldn’t enroll in night school for Pattern Making Level II because all of the classes were cancelled, I have decided to start sewing and redo the pattern I did for my course.  The one I did before needed some work to be done on it.  I found that the waist did not fit me.  It was too tight.  Therefore, I figure with more practice, I will improve.

My problem is that the students purchased a pre-printed pattern pieces for the class.  I bought size 4 to 20.  I used the size 18 pattern and it did not fit me around the waist.  Therefore, I am going to use the size 20 pattern size.  I am not sure how far in I should create my darts.  In this pattern piece we all puchased, has only one start in it. I want to create two darts for each for the front and back.  The measurement from size 4 sewing line to the first line of the dart measures to 51/2 inches. The whole dart measures 2 2/4″.  If I measure from the start of the 4 to the size 20, the waist measures 11 1/2″.

For the Front piece, the dart from size 4 sewing line to the dart is is 6 2/4″ and the width of the dart is  2″.  From the size 4 sewing line to the 20 sewing line measures 11 3/4″.  My waist is 38″.  I apologize if I did not explain myself better than this.  If you need me to explain it to you better, then I will try and produce a picture.  I don’t do a lot of altering patterns.  I am hopeful I will get back with time.




  1. Tatsy | | #1

    All patterns make certain assumptions about our figures that may or may not apply, one being that the waist is smaller than the areas immediately above or below it. How about starting with a piece of stash cotton or cotton blend that's 4"-6" bigger than your waist, finding the grainline, cutting a hole in the top for the neck, pinning out what you need to make the waistline fit, then taking it off, marking the darts, and checking the fabric against the paper pattern?

     This is essentially what the book Body Mapping does, and it starts with the real world you. I've done lots of playing with pattern drafting and have often found it's easier to work backwards from a muslin than estimating, guessing, and reguessing.

  2. User avater
    stitchhappy | | #2

    I'm concerned that by going up a size to fit your waist the dress will no longer fit you anywhere else. Usually, the advice is to use a pattern that fits through your shoulders and then enlarge the pattern at the waistline, which is a much easier alteration than the other way. Is your bustline in proportion to your shoulders? By that I mean is it an average size--not over or under?

    The way to enlarge a pattern for the full waist is to make a cut that look roughly like a "7" from the armhole seam over to the bust point and then straight down (parallel to the grainline. Pivot the side piece on the armhole seamline away from the center front half the amount you need to add at the waist. You don't need to alter the back, the sides seams will still fit, but you will have to lengthen the dress at the center front.



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