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Dart dramas
Confused about how to shape darts over a full bust
lalalauren
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lalalauren
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Date: 1/18/14 7:07 AM

Hi lovely people,

Please help! I've been fumbling my way along up until now, but I'm not sure what I *should* be doing to get my darts to fit and not be so bubbly/pointy/dimple-y.

The following pictures are of my muslin for the Sewaholic Cambie dress.

**WARNING: Unattractive pics ahead!**






I performed a 1" FBA using the Y-bust adjustment as described in Fit For Real People. I kept the bust dart (thinking it would make my darts less pointy!) and split the waist dart into two.

When tissue fitting I *thought* I made sure the darts ended 1 1/4" below the bust point, but looking at these pictures I'm thinking the waist darts go up too high.

The thing is, I've already tried shortening the darts and changing the angle and the point is still so pointy!

I made sure the dart legs were curved when doing the pattern adjustments, and when sewing I decreased the stitch length gradually as I reached the dart tip, and I've pressed the darts over a ham.

Any suggestions? Shorten the darts more? Do you think this is a construction issue (i.e. can I use a better sewing technique to avoid the pointiness) or is this a pattern adjustment issue?

Thanks in advance!
-- Edited on 1/18/14 7:28 AM --

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frame
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frame
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In reply to lalalauren <<
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Date: 1/18/14 9:07 AM

Yes and yes. Your darts are too long and it is also the way they are being sewn.

Think about the purpose of the dart. It adds shaping and removes some of the fabric that is no longer being filled in by the bust. So shortening the dart would be more attractive and allow the fabric to open up more naturally over the fuller part of your body or in this case the bust.

It just takes practice to sew a smooth dart point. Lots of suggestions all over the place (books, Internet). Probably explained much better than I could do. :)

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"I meant what I said, and I said what I meant." - Horton(Dr. Seuss)

Quickie
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Quickie
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Date: 1/18/14 9:49 AM

I would suggest that Perhaps you need a little more room over the bust.
I am with frame that the vertical darts are too long. I see that your bustdart is smoothen enough, so probably you master the trick.
Deviding in two vertical shorter darts could help you.

PeppermintPam
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PeppermintPam  Friend of PR
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Date: 1/18/14 10:04 AM

Instead of guessing how much to shorten the darts, etc, why not remove the stitching (the darts), and then put it back on and pin the new dart stitching lines so it fits the way you want it to. Then take it off, use a french curve to smooth out the lines, baste the new darts and try it on again. IMHO it's much easier to adjust the fit while the garment is on the body instead of trying to guess what changes to make.

Irina Grace
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Date: 1/18/14 5:38 PM

I suggest to leave one dart only and move second to combine with a side bust dart. It will look and work better. Your side bust dart becomes deeper. Yes, waist dart should end on a bust a little lower...One more thing I want to point out you have a diagonal fold/wrinkle running from your bust to you side at waist. I have full bust too and it was a constant issue for me even with custom self-drafted patterns until I figure this out. You need to release sides along waist area on front bodice only, start with 1/2" on both sides and see if you need to release more...
I want to mention ( this is my little opinion)you do not need more room for your over bust - looks great, perfect fit.
-- Edited on 1/18/14 5:44 PM --

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Irina Grace
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lalalauren
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lalalauren
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Date: 1/18/14 6:49 PM

Thank you all so much for your valuable advice! I'll have another crack at it today. I really appreciate your taking the time to reply :)

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Rosalaya
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Date: 1/20/14 0:33 AM

I think that the long darts (longer than usual) are a design feature and therefore shouldn't be lowered.
I'm with lalalauren in that if you unpick the darts and fit them whilst the garment is on you I think you may get a correct formfitting curved dart.
-- Edited on 1/20/14 0:37 AM --

lalalauren
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lalalauren
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Date: 1/21/14 1:45 AM

I'm back! Thank you again for your advice. I've had little success, I'm sorry to say.

I tried draping the dart but I just couldn't figure out how you do that without resulting in a dart that goes right up to the apex, and even when I would mark the dart but just shorten it 1.5" below the apex, it was still puckering.

I then put that first muslin aside and went back to the paper pattern, performing a 1" FBA again, but this time I shifted about half of the dart take-in to the bust dart. The dart take-in for both bust and waist darts is about 2" each now, whereas before it was like 1" for the bust dart and 3" on the waist. I should also add at this point I was still attempting to use a curved dart at the waist, which is what was drafted in the pattern.

Here's some pics of muslins #2 so you can see what I mean with
the two different bust darts (one angled, one horizontal).









As for the techniques I used while sewing these darts, I did some research and tried different things that supposedly help with the puckering. I reduced the stitch length, sewed from the dart point to the raw edge, only pressed at the dart tip (lifted the iron as opposed to moving it forwards and back, which I read could stretch the fabric), and sewed slowly.

For muslin #3 I decided to go with the angled bust dart and gave up on the curved waist darts, instead doing straight lines as dart legs, which I believe has helped a bit of the puckering at the dart tip. I also removed 1.5cm from above the bust, as from tinkering with muslin #2 I appeared to get a better fit when I tucked the fabric in horizontally. There is still a pretty poor fit under the bust. In terms of numbers, my full bust is 36.5", under bust 28.5", waist 27.5".









I did also take Irina Grace's tip (thank you!) about letting the front bodice side seams out 1/2" from above the bust to the waist. That is the case in both muslins #2 and #3.

I have to admit I am approaching my wits' end. I would really appreciate any more advice you guys could offer, as I really don't want to let the darts win out!

Thanks again for everyone's help.
-- Edited on 1/21/14 1:53 AM --

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Tizmehr
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Date: 1/21/14 11:12 AM

I think you have a narrower bust width than the pattern does. In other words, your darts are set too far out from the CF. In particular, your waist darts seem to be pointing off to the sides instead of to your bust apex.
I definitely think you've got a better fit across the bust. Gone are the horizontal pulls across that area. You're getting there. Keep going.

Mole Princess
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Date: 1/22/14 4:48 PM

I thought the first one was the best yet do see that it needed some refinements. I agree with the person who said it fit well above the bust.

I think one issue you may be having is a mismatch between where the pattern places the shaping and where you need it. You appear to have fullness on the side bust, as many ladies do. Sarah Veblen talks about this in her fitting book and one of her models has the same shaping. I believe in her bodice fitting section she talks about how this should affect dart location. I think you might want to try converting the side dart into a French dart in order to place a shaping control under and to the side of the breast, because you have a hollow there with nothing helping to make it smooth. I'm not sure, but it's a thought. Better yet, check her book and see if that's what she said! :-)

It's a beautiful pattern and I think it should be possible to fit it to you.

I also wonder if your initial FBA didn't go far enough, and maybe that accounts for the diagonal drag along the side?

Don't despair--a change of pace and scene and the solution may strike.

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