Moving darts on your bust pattern

After having built your basic bodice shell with darts, you might want to change the position of darts or to create others. This post shows you how to move the main darts and still have a pattern that is perfectly fitted to your measurements.

Take the scissors and your basic bust pattern to the waist with the two main darts. If you want to train yourself before the real cutting, draw a reduced pattern and do a try before.


Now draw a line for the new dart. You have 8 possibilities.


Cut out the main darts: the shoulder dart and the waist dart. Then cut on the new line and close the two main darts. The new dart will magically open by itself.

When you cut out, stop 3 mm before the nipple. The goal is to rotate the pattern piece and not to remove it. Attach the closing darts, round the waist line and observe a 3ccm flatness from the chest.

Here are some examples:

The side dart which is cut on the chest line.

The bodice dart also called Dior fold.

The armhole darts
One possibility is the draw it below the arm-to-arm line.

You can also draw it to the extremity of the shoulder line.

The neckline darts
The first possibility is to place it on the middle of the neckline. This dart can be hidden by the collar or by the gathers around the neckline.

The second possibility is to place it lower, near the center front.

The waist darts
You can enlarge the main waist dart and close the shoulder dart.

If the dart value to absorb is too high, you can draw additional darts slantwise.

You can also open two darts instead of one, as shown in the example below:

Or create three darts by reducing one or two main darts:

And you can go on with your combinations. There are plenty of possibilities.

The position and the number of darts contribute to your garnment style but beware of the amount of work: the darts must be impeccably executed in order to look pretty.

In my case, I try to avoid them as much as I can, especially for heavy fabrics, printed materials or bright colours.

Are you ready to play with the scissors now?


12 thoughts on “Moving darts on your bust pattern”

  1. I love your page! And your tutorials on dart manipulation and sleeve setting helped me save my fabric. Your instructions are so easy to understand and follow.
    Thank you!!

  2. This is incrediibly I know how dresses wiith diff pieces are made without obvious darts…dis site iis sure a dart haven…tank a lot nd God bless u

  3. Thank you! I used a generator to come up with the measurements and the pattern generated only had one large waist dart. I was wondering if I’d need to make a new sloper if I needed a bust dart on the side, and this site cleared so much up for me! The differences in dart placement would be interesting to explore! But maybe that’s a project for when I get a bit better. ☺️

  4. A straight forward and easy to understand explanation and illustration on dart manipulation I have come across so far. Nice one.

  5. I now found your page and really well suprised cuz i was looking everywhere to learn this stuffs. I have a question how the darts should be done cut the line with scrissors and then sew it or how? i cant really understand. I wait for answer

    • Hi Neyla and thank you for your message. to sew the darts you need to stitch the lines together. the dart itself will be folded on the back of the garment or cut if it is too large

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