Due to our varying body shapes, sometimes the apex of a bust dart will hit you in the wrong place. If you find the bust dart is sitting higher than your bust apex, or lower than your bust apex, then you will need make a pattern adjustment to change the height of your patterns bust dart.
(Please keep in mind that sometimes a bust dart will hit you in the wrong place, in addition to other fitting issues – which may mean that you need to do either a FBA or an SBA rather than simply changing the height placement of the dart.)
Draw a box around your dart. It doesn’t really matter where you draw the box specifically, but I find it easiest to draw a vertical line at the tip of the dart, parallel to the grainline. Next, draw two perpendicular lines between the vertical line and the side seam, one above the dart and one below, that align with the ends of the dart legs.
Now it’s time to mark the amount that you are adjusting the dart height by. In this example I am moving the dart 1″ downwards, so I made a mark 1″ below the top of the box along the vertical line I drew. If I was going to move the dart upwards, I would have measured and marked the adjustment amount up from the bottom of the box, inline with the vertical line.
If you are making a very large adjustment that is larger than the vertical line of the dart box, you may need to extend the line further to be able to make your mark along and to act as a guide to keep the box aligned when you go to shift it up or down.
With the box and adjustment marked, you can now cut out your dart.
Next, shift your dart down until the top of the box is aligned with your adjustment marking. If we were raising the dart, we would shift it upwards until the bottom of the box was in line with our marking.
Tape in place and tape more paper behind to fill in the gap.
And finally it’s time to fold along the dart legs, true the side seams and trim away any excess paper.
And voila! You have moved your dart successfully, how easy was that? If you’ve got any questions about what we’ve covered today, don’t forget to post them in the comments section below.