Ok guys, so here’s the deal. The older version of the Darling Ranges pattern had a much larger dart, which sometimes caused a problem creating a too pointy bust. While the newer version of the pattern has a smaller dart (and now positioned at the waist!), its still possible you may experience some pointy-ness. Thus is the nature of bust darts, unfortunately. And especially if you are doing a FBA, therein creating a larger dart again, you may be looking for a solution. But don’t worry, I have some options for you!
**You should note that not all of these methods may work for you. You may need to play around and see what will work best for your shape. I would suggest always testing out a pattern alteration before you dive in and use it on your final garment.**
Ok, let’s get started!
CURVING YOUR DART LEGS
This may be the easiest and quickest way to help out with a pointy bust, if you don’t want to go through the trouble of manipulating the dart. Simply redraw your dart legs using a french curve (or another curved tool). But make sure it is a somewhat gentle curve – nothing too extreme. The curved legs eliminate some of the intake near the bust point, therefore creating a bit of a more natural shape.
TRANSFER DART TO SIDE SEAM
Personally, I think the waist is the best place for a bust dart. But maybe you prefer a side dart (the older version of Darling Ranges had the dart placed here), and that’s fine! Even though the dart size remains the same, you may find that the placement makes a difference for you.
1. The bust apex point on the Darling Ranges pattern is about 3cm (1 1/8”) away from the dart point. So, from the center line of your dart, mark 1 1/8” away from the dart point along the center dart line – this will be your apex and pivot point. Redraw your dart legs. (For most manipulations, you would now need to cut out the dart to the pivot point. But for this one, I’ll show you how to keep it intact).
2. Draw your slash line to the side seam. This will be your new dart position.
3. Cut up to, but not through, the pivot point.
4. Close your side dart. It is at this point, if you cut out your dart in the beginning, you would simply pivot the pattern to close up the side dart. Here, I am closing the dart by folding it – bringing one leg over the other. This way, it keeps the side dart intact, and would make it easy to revert back to it if you ever wanted to.5. With paper placed underneath, re-position your dart point 1 1/8″ (3cm) below the apex, and redraw your dart legs. Tape in place. True your dart, and blend your lines.
CREATE TWO DARTS
You could also split your one large dart into two smaller darts – one still at the waist, and one at the side seam. It is the same concept as above, but you don’t move the entire dart… 1. Start the same way as above. Mark your apex 1 1/8” away from the dart point, and redraw your legs.
2. Draw your slash line to the side and cut to (careful, not through!) the apex. This time you will need to cut out the waist dart.3. Pivot your pattern, until you have two (about even) darts. Place paper underneath and tape in place.
4. Redraw your dart points 1 1/8” (3cm) away from the apex. Redraw your dart legs. True your darts, and blend your lines. And that’s it! You will now have 2 darts.
CREATE DART CLUSTERS, OR MULTIPLE SMALLER DARTS
Another option is the make multiple, smaller darts in the same area. You can also do as many darts as you want (2, 3, 4…). I’m going to show you 3. Not only could this help with the bust shape, it is also a pretty design element! You can see a finished garment with this variation here. OK, here’s how… 1. As usual, move your apex up 1 1/8” (3cm) above dart point. Redraw legs.
2. Cut out and remove dart.
3. Mark 1/2″ down on each dart leg. And then draw perpendicular guidelines, 1/2” out.
4. Draw lines, parallel to the dart leg and 1/2” away, all the way to the waist. Draw lines connecting to apex point. (please see above photo for example) to create little triangles. These are your slash lines.
5. Cut along these slash lines all the way to the apex. But, of course, be careful to cut just to the apex, not through. Place new paper underneath, spread so you have 3 equal darts, and tape in place.
6. Re-position your dart point. It’s a little different here. The middle dart is the same as before – 1 1/8″ down, straight down the middle. For the two side darts – mark 5/8”down from your perpendicular guideline to creat the new dart points. (I know this may sound confusing – see the photo for best explanation).
7. To true your darts – fold your darts towards the center front. The waistline will be uneven, so redraw and smooth out your waistline, and then cut (while folded) along your waistline.
-If you try any of the dart transfers and manipulations, try also combining it with the curved darts for maximum effectiveness!
-When sewing your darts, try not to backstitch at the dart point. Instead, leave long enough thread and tie a knot about 1/8” away from the point.
// LOOKING FOR MORE TUTORIALS? //
Here’s the full list of Darling Ranges tutorials:
- Project preparation
- Pattern alterations: full bust adjustment
- Pattern alterations: small bust adjustment
- Pattern alterations: lengthen the bodice
- Pattern alterations: raise the neckline
- Pattern alterations: rounded neckline
- Pattern alterations: fishtail hem
- Pattern alterations: add darts to the back bodice pattern piece
- Sewing & construction: Bodice & darts
- Sewing & construction: Skirt & pockets
- Sewing & construction: Attaching the skirt & bodice
- Sewing & construction: Placket & Neckline
- Sewing & construction: Sleeveless version
- Sewing & construction: Attaching the sleeves
- Sewing & construction: Hemming
- Sewing & construction: Ties & beltloops
- Sewing & construction: Closures
- Sewing and Construction: Sleeveless variation
- Sewing and Construction: Dartless Versions (V2 &V3)
Don’t have the Darling Ranges sewing pattern yet? Get it in store here! We absolutely love seeing what you make, so don’t forget to tag your creations with #MNdarlingranges and @megannielsenpatterns if sharing on social media.