Hello, all! It’s Holly again, here with another tutorial. Megan mentioned to me that some people were having problems with the side dart on the Darling Ranges dress producing a too-pointy bust. And if you are experiencing this problem – I have a few (possible) solutions 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 WAIST
Megan recently did a post about transferring bust dart locations, and there are a whole bunch of places you could move it to (see that post for more explaination). But the waist is the most common choice. And, although the size of the dart will still be the same, simply moving it to the waist may produce a different result. Here’s how:
1. The bust apex point on the Darling Ranges pattern is about 1 1/2” away from the dart point. So, from the center line of your dart, mark 1 1/2” away from the point – 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 waist. 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 1/2 below the apex, and redraw your dart legs. Tape in place. True your dart, and blend your lines.
>> CREATE 2 DARTS
You could also split your one large dart into two smaller darts – one still at the side, and one at the waist. 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 1/2” away from the dart point, and redraw your legs.
2. This time you will need to cut out the dart. Draw your slash line to the waist, and cut to (careful, not through!) the apex.
3. Pivot your pattern, until you have two (about even) darts. Place paper underneath and tape in place.
4. Redraw your dart points 1 1/2” away from the apex. Redraw your dart legs. True your darts, and blend your lines. And that’s it!
>> CREATE DART CLUSTERS, OR MULTIPLE SMALLER DARTS
Another option is the make multiple, smaller darts in the same area. Here, I am using the newly transferred waist dart, but you can do the same exact steps with the side dart. 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! Here’s how…
1. As usual, move your apex up 1 1/2” above dart point. Redraw legs.
2. Cut out and remove dart.
3. Mark 1″ down on each dart leg. And then draw perpendicular guidelines, 1” out.
4. Draw lines, parallel to the dart leg and 1” away, all the way to the waist. Draw lines connecting to apex point. (please see above photo for example). 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 1/2″ down, straight down the middle. For the two side darts – mark 1/2”down from your perpendicular guideline, so that your dart points are towards the one side of your slashes, nearest the center. (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.
8. This is what it will look like in the end. You’re all done!
>> OTHER TIPS:
-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.
–Come back tomorrow to see a completed Darling Ranges dress with one of these dart manipulations!