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Moving Darts to Improve the Fit

Darts aren’t always in the right places, but you can fix that easily. Learn how to reposition the bust dart on a bodice pattern, to end up with a more flattering and comfortable position and fit.

Judith Neukam and Amber Eden from Threads walk through the process for making this change.

Reposition a dart

The technique starts with identifying the wearer’s bust point, or apex, which if often different from the one printed on the pattern tissue. Simply try on the bodice pattern tissue and apply a paper dot sticker to mark the tissue at the natural bust point.

Then adjust the dart so it points to the newly marked bust point. Do so by cutting and sliding a section of the pattern that includes the dart. At your worksurface, cut this rectangular section’s top and bottom lines perpendicular to the grainline. Be sure the horizontal line of this cut-out section is parallel to the grainline and that it runs through the dart point. Once this rectangular section is cut, you can move it up or down on the pattern tissue.

You’ll want to place a piece of tracing paper or tissue under the cut pattern and tape the pattern tissue to it. Then place and tape the cut-out section for the new dart location in place. Note: The dart should end about an inch away from the bust point.

Next, true the pattern lines with a straightedge, fashion ruler, or French curve, before using the pattern to cut out your garment.

Rotate a dart

Alternatively, reposition or even eliminate a dart by rotating it. Judith says this easy method is one of the most useful ways to alter a pattern.

Simply tape the pattern’s existing dart closed. Then release it elsewhere on the pattern by…

Previous: How to Get the Perfect Custom Bust Fit Next: Q&A: Where to Place Bust Darts

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Bust Fitting
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