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MN2009 Protea / Pattern Alterations & Adjustments / Sewalongs / Tips & Tutorials

How to remove Bust Darts and do a Flat Bust Adjustment

how to remove bust darts and do a flat bust adjustment

Hi everyone! Today I’m going to go over a pattern alteration that isn’t going to apply to everyone, but I hope will be helpful to those who need it. We often see instructions for both FBAs and SBAs, but what about if you want to completely and properly remove bust darts and do a flat bust adjustment? This is something I actually do all the time with patterns as someone with a super small, “barely-there” bust, especially patterns that are not super close fitting to the body. And I know there are a few other reasons someone might need this adjustment. So I hope this post finds you!

There are some quick and dirty ways to accomplish this adjustment (and I do them sometimes), but I want to show you how to properly remove the dart from a pattern. And yes, this tutorial applies to ANY pattern with a side seam bust dart. But since we are on the topic of Protea these days, it’s actually the perfect pattern to demonstrate it with.

Let’s dive in.

how to remove a side seam bust dart

Ok, to start, I like to mark the dart legs for my size in a color (pink here), so I can easily distinguish them.

how to remove a side seam bust dart

Also, mark the dart point.

how to remove a side seam bust dart

Now draw a vertical line from the bust point to the hem, perpendicular to the grainline and centre front (seen here in orange)

how to remove a side seam bust dart

Cut along this line from the hemline, right up to the dart point, but not through it.

how to remove a side seam bust dart

Also cut along the bottom dart leg (pink) from the side seam to the dart point. Again, not through the dart point. And you don’t want to cut the fabric off completely. The goal is to be able to pivot the paper while everything is still attached.

how to remove a side seam bust dart
how to remove a side seam bust dart

Now take that lower piece, and overlap at the dart, bringing the two (pink) dart legs together.

how to remove a side seam bust dart

Tape in place.

This now creates a waistline dart that we need to get rid of.

how to remove a side seam bust dart

Draw in the seam allowance (5/8″ for Protea) along the armscye. It doesn’t have to be all the way around, just the lower half.

how to remove a side seam bust dart

Make a mark 1″ or so in from the side seam along the seam allowance line.

how to remove a side seam bust dart

Place some paper underneath the open new waist dart and tape in place.

how to remove a side seam bust dart

Mark the waist dart leg opening at the hemline for easy visibility (blue here).

how to remove a side seam bust dart

Now draw two straight lines from the waist dart legs at the hemline, up to the mark you made at the armscye seam allowance (these lines are seen in blue here).

how to remove a side seam bust dart

Make a small slash from the armscye up to that dot on the seam allowance.

how to remove a side seam bust dart

And now cut along one of the waist dart legs (blue) from the hemline up to the armscye seam allowance dot. Leaving another pivot point at the dot. I went with the right dart leg here.

how to remove a side seam bust dart

Overlap, bringing the two dart legs, the two blue lines, together. Tape in place.

how to remove a side seam bust dart

Now we just need to even out the hemline. Keeping the side seam length as is, connect to the centre front with a slightly curved line.

This will mean you lose a bit of length at the centre front of the pattern (but not the side seam). Just something to be aware of.

how to remove a side seam bust dart

Trim off any excess from the side seam.

how to remove a side seam bust dart

Double check that your new front side seam matches up with the back side seam (It should!).

And that’s it! Now you have a bodice with no dart! If you have any questions be sure to leave a comment below!

About Author

Holly writes part time for the Megan Nielsen blog– sewing like crazy, creating tutorials and sewalongs. She has been sewing since she was a little girl, and has her degree in apparel design. Now she’s a stay at home mama, and spends all her free nap times at her sewing machine.

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Kate Willoughby
Kate Willoughby
1 month ago

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! I have been trying to figure this out for YEARS!!!

Meg
Admin
Meg
1 month ago

You are so welcome!! I’m so glad you found it useful :)

Moira
Moira
1 month ago

Does anything need to be done to the little gap in the armscye seam?

Meg
Admin
Meg
1 month ago
Reply to  Moira

Hi Moira!
That little gap just needs too be filled in with paper, and then the armscye curve drawn in to match the edges.