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length of darts

dotty | Posted in Fitting on

I know darts are supposed to end an an inch or two from your bust point. I’m DD person. The thing that throws me off is not the huge depth of a dart. I’ve tried both splitting up and cutting off excess fabric to avoid bubbles. What I’m realizing is that I can’t make any thing with too much ease at the sides. I do think its more slimming to have a closer fit, but every time I try to make something a little looser I end up with nasty drooping darts that don’t land in the right place. I think this may be why drop shoulder things are never quite right for me. Anybody else out there have this problem? or better yet a solution?


  1. Teaf5 | | #1

    Many of us have the same problem, usually a combination of full bust plus low bust along with narrow shoulders and a flatter chest.  A lot of the threads on this forum have excellent suggestions; try searching for "Full bust adjustment" or "fba" to find the most relevant posts.

    As a D cup with a petite ribcage, I've realized that rtw knits fit in ways I'll never get wovens to fit; however, I have found a few patterns with pieced bodices that cleverly add all the extra curving I need to get enough fabric over the bust without excess in the back and through the rib area.  I also try to stick with drapey rayons rather than stiffer cottons, which tend to "tent" me and make me look fifty pounds heavier.

    1. dotty | | #2

      Hi thanks for the reply . I've done extensive FBA research over the last few years. But the ease issue is of course never clear: fabric choice and personal preference change everything. I think in fact fabric may be the problem. I usually use some cheap cotton after my muslin for my first go round with a pattern. I like to wear it a bit to make sure it's comfortable before screwing up expensive fabric. Stiff fabric does make the darts funny. Maybe my real question should be where does a large busted, narrow shouldered person add ease?

      1. HeartFire2 | | #3

        Perhaps the question should be where to put the darts. For a very large bust, with consequently a very large dart, will give a very nasty point at the tip of the dart.You can split the dart in 2 and have one from the armscye, one from the waist, or one from the shoulder and one from the side. OR, you can have 2 french darts or even just one french dart. The benifit of the french dart is that it is on the bias, and the fabric will drape better at the point2 french darts are often very attractive, and gives much less of a wonky point at the tips.

        1. dotty | | #4

          French darts are the one thing I have yet to try. Will do.

      2. Teaf5 | | #5

        I add ease only in the front bodice pieces at the side seam below the armscye.  Basically, I extend the pattern piece out another inch or so starting at the underarm, then ease back to the normal or whatever I need at the waistline and high hip.  Sometimes this means using a size 16 for the back bodice and using a size 16 for the front bodice, extending the front side seams out to nearly size 20 or 22.  Sounds weird, but then, typically-fitted patterns look weird on me anyway!

        Of course, this means adjusting the front facing for sleeveless and adjusting the top front edge of a sleeve to match.  Adding ease only in the front below the armscye gives me the ease I need for my bust without making the rest of the garment balloon over me.

        1. dotty | | #6

          I've been heading in that direction. Basicly a bigger front than back. There are times when I can't seem to admit to myself that that's the solution. Strange how in doing alerations one someimes resists the obvious.

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