Are you a person that needs to make adjustments to every pattern that comes into your space? I mostly am. That means that I should but don’t necessarily always do it. Do you know when you need a bust dart? Well, a few telling signs are when the front is always shorter than the back or the side, the little gathering around the side bust, the little pleat that hangs from the bust to the side seam, and when the front swings forward away from the body.
There is tons of information on the net regarding how to add a bust dart but how do you know it’s correct? Is the answer it depends on where you start? If you’re starting with a pattern that has the correct width for your bust, why would you add additional width when adding a dart? I can see adding additional width when you start with a pattern that is smaller than you. Most of the information that I see about bust darts are adding width and length. Here an example of Full Bust Adjustment (this is a link) from Sew News.
Have you ever wondered how to add a bust adjustment when you don’t need to add width? I have always done the easy method of just cutting the pattern across approximately where the apex is and adding the length that I want. This method works best with knits because you generally ease in the extra length with very little gathering or an actual dart. No, I don’t think this is a recommended method. In researching this question, I came across “Sabrina Student Designer” blog and the “How to Calculate Your Bust Dart Size” (this is a link). Great information in this article. Warning you might need a calculator for this one. This information sounds like the information that Peggy Sagers uses in her patterns. I plan on using the information to determine the cup size with my next Silhouettes top pattern. I will let you know if it was of any use. When I was reading the comments from the above article, there was a reference to another tutorial on "How to add a dart to a dartless pattern" (this is a link). This is a very good article, also.
Do you have a favorite method for adding darts or reducing a dart?