How to Pivot a Dart

2:00 PM

How to Pivot a Dart Tutorial -- Erica Bunker DIY Style!
Butterick 6351 has a basic sleeveless bodice with a horizontal underarm dart. I chose a multi-stripe  fabric and I wanted my pattern to match across all seams as much as possible. There was no way that they would at the side seams because of the dart pointing towards the bust apex at an angle. Had this been a solid fabric, I wouldn't have bothered. But it just wouldn't work for me aesthetically.  So I decided to pivot it and create a vertical waist dart.

Here's how I did it:
I made basic bodice alteration of lengthening an inch.
To move a dart on a pattern piece, draw a line to extend the dart to the apex. (Note: In case you didn't know, the bust apex is marked on the pattern pieces, usually.
Draw a line from the apex to the new dart position.
Cut out the original dart.
For the new dart, cut up to the apex and close the old dart.
Using pattern paper under the pattern piece, tape it in place and redraw dart. Your dart stitching line should end approximately 1" below the apex.

Here's how I cut out my front and back pattern pieces to match the stripes:
When matching prints, ALWAYS cut on a single layer.
Since the front bodice pattern piece is only half, I cut the first half and flip it over the the other side.
For the back, I used the cut out pattern piece, turned it to the other side and cut out while matching the stripes.
Here's the bodice front with the new dart.
And here's the back.

More to come on this post...

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  1. Thanks for the great explanation and visuals:) I always heard about rotating a dart but didn't quite understand how to do it.

    1. Thanks Angela. I hope this gave you a lightbulb moment. It's really simple!

  2. When I think about the side seams of stripped fabric garments I've messed up due to big old bust darts (one recently)I want to cry. Thanks for sharing this information!

    1. I think it looks so much better this way. Thanks Faye!

  3. Very informative, thanks :)

  4. Lovely garment! The stripes look great in this pattern. The vertical dart truly kept the stripes matching.

  5. Thank you for this! The vertical dart info and pattern matching tips just changed my life!

    1. Just the little things in life. Thanks so much, I'm glad it helps!


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