Pattern Making

Tranferring bust dart location

Welcome to our first post of 2016 which is the start of a new patternmaking series. I’ve had a lot of fun illustrating these tutorials and hope you find them helpful. If there’s a specific pattern puzzle you would like us to write about don’t hesitate to leave a comment!

We will start by going through some basic changes that you can make to existing patterns. It’s great to learn some alterations because it helps you understand the principals of how patterns work. The step to drafting your own patterns from scratch will not be as intimidating if you know some alteration techniques. The series will later include some pattern drafting basics and address common fit issues.

Changing the location of a dart is one of the simplest pattern alterations you can make. The fit of the pattern remains the same, so you don’t have to worry about measurements. Moving the dart to the waist is just one example. You can move the dart anywhere as long as it points to the bust apex. Common darts are mid-armhole, mid-shoulder or french darts.

For all pattern alterations I always recommend working without seam allowance or at least drawing the seam line on the pattern as I’ve done below.

1.  First of all you need to know where the bust apex / bust point is located. This is the fullest point of the bust, in other words the location of your nipple! If the pattern doesn’t have a marking you can find it by lengthening the dart 2-3 cm ( about 1″ ).

2.  Parallel to center front draw a line from bust apex to waist or hem.

3.  Redraw dart legs from bust apex.

4.  Cut along these lines.

5.  Close the bust dart and tape. Here’s your new dart!

6.  To complete the pattern grab a piece of paper and place the pattern on top. Draw a line to connect the dart legs. I like to draw both seam line and seam allowance so there’s no confusion. Find the centre point of this line and draw a line from the bust apex to the centre point.

7.  Measure down 2-3 cm (1″). This is where the location of the new dart point.

8.  Draw the new dart from the dart point.

9.  Now we need to true the seam line. Pivot the dart so that right dart leg aligns with left dart leg, draw along lower edge.

10.  Repeat for other side.

11.  Pivot dart back to its original position and tape to paper underneath.

12.  Cut lower edge of paper.

If you’re working with a dress and the skirt pattern has waist darts you might have to move them to match the dart placement on the bodice.

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