The House of Tatterdemalion


Recent Posts



Less and more: less blogging, more darts!

April 17th, 2017 by tatterdemalion

Hi I don’t know f you are still blogging but I was wondering if you could clear up something about having a very large side bust dart from making a fba and then rotating half to a waist dart and leaving the rest at the bust. does this work or would you be left with extra fabric at bust dart and therefore should rotate the whole amount. If this is possible I’m not sure why people aren’t doing this instead of trying to split bust darts into 3 etc and leaving them at the side bust position.
Thank you so much if you can clarify this for me.
Kind regards Valerie

Valerie! Thank you for writing! I’m sadly not blogging, because I am even more sadly not sewing, a situation I still dearly hope can be remedied someday, but as for today: alas. But I still love taking your questions and trying to answer them, and I welcome all inquiries, even from the Time of No Sewing. Here is my best answer, complete with my classic low-quality but highly effective illustrations.

You are correct that a very large dart makes for poor shaping and is better divided up into more than one dart. In fact, the more darts, the more subtle and flattering and plain old accurate the shaping is. More lines (or darts) make for a smoother shape.

Absolutely you could rotate half of it to a waist dart and leave the rest at the bust. And there’s nothing to say you have to stop at two darts. You could do one bust dart and two waist darts, or any other myriad of combinations.

Why aren’t people doing this? Some are, I’m sure. But this is the place where we leave technical possibility and go on to choice of design. Some people feel that waist darts bring more attention to the bust, acting as arrows toward what is already prominent:

Some people feel it ruins the flow of the pattern or nap. The larger your dart, the more it disrupts the pattern. Bust darts on the side still disrupt the pattern, but they’re near your arm pit and often covered by your arm, so who knows or cares?

Some people feel it conflicts with the garment design they were going for (and again, the side dart can be more easily hidden and provided shaping without structural lines).

But can you? Absolutely you can, and in many cases, it is not only functional, but quite flattering! Darts are both a functional element (shaping) and a design element (appearance). If using waist darts to shape for the bust works with the fabric you have that you want to use, the shape and structure of the garment you want to make, and whatever you find to be flattering on your body—well, the choices are pretty much endless. For a bucket load of ideas, try taking a look at “Make Your Own Dress Patterns” by Adele Margolis, who I rather adore for having her sewing book re-published at the ripe old age of 97 (she lived to a hundred and is now sadly departed). Or, search for “dart placement” on Pinterest or Google Images.

Or, ask me another question! 🙂


Posted in Tutorials | 1 Comment »

One Response

  1. Sara Says:

    I found your blog while I searching for darts tips and “perfecting”, “truing” seams when you put a dart there and close it, then edges are misaligned… I have doubts about how to redraw the “true” edges/side seams. Finally I resolved it (crossed fingers). Anyway, I leave the topic as a tutorial suggestion . Looking for that information, I enjoyed reading your articles and your reflections about couture. I hope you go back to the blog and sewing. Greetings from Chile. Sara. Pd: my native language is spanish, apologize for any mistake or no-sense phrase.

Leave a Comment

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.