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Small Bust Adjustment – Side Darts

Most sewing patterns are made with B-cup bust sizes. That means if you have a smaller bust cup size, you’ll likely need to do a small bust adjustment.

In this post, you’ll see how to do it when your pattern has side darts.

1. Pin your sample as shown and measure the amount you’ve pinned.
2. Come back to the pattern and slash it open as follows:
* Starting from the waist or the hem, cut vertically towards the Apex. At the Apex, pivot towards the armhole. Continue cutting diagonally and stop just before the armhole.
* Starting from the side seam, cut on the side dart line and stop just before meeting the cut at the Apex.
* From the centerline, cut horizontally towards the vertical cut to get a small separate square. This is optional.
3. Allow the Apex to overlap the amount you measured in your sample to close out that amount.
4. Then allow the side panel to raise up until it reaches a parallel line on the vertical line.
5. Fit the small square to match both the centerline and the new hemline. If you didn’t cut it, you just have to fold it up.
6. Your dart becomes less deep and, in some cases, possibly disappears depending on the amount you’ve overlapped.
7. Your dart position may need to change to where the Apex is. Since we closed it up, this has raised our dart. Many times, you don’t need to change the dart position.
The only downside of it is that it also decreases your waist. If you don’t need the waist/hem to become smaller, you would add on the side seams.

This information and more can be found in The Fitting Book. Order your book today through the link below.

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Fitting Process:

  • A) Identify the Fitting Issue.
  • B) Pin, Cut, & Tape the Fitting Sample.
  • C) Correct the Sewing Pattern.


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  • ~ Pants ~
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