Jaime's Dart-less Sewing Method for Small Busted Women
Today I'm going to let you in on a little secret of mine. I hate darts. I don't hate making them, I hate the way they look on my body. I'm a petite woman with small breasts and darts are usually not flattering on me. I've developed my own way of dart-less sewing. A few of you have asked about this so today, we're going to show you what I do. This is not a professional or probably even correct way of sewing - it is my own invention to get rid of darts on the clothes I sew. Early on in my sewing career, I tried doing a small bust adjustment, but that just leaves you with smaller darts, I wanted no darts. Sometimes I'll try a dart, but often I take them out before even trying a pattern for the first time. This has worked for me almost 100% of the time. I can't guarantee it will work for you, but if you're an A cup or smaller, you might check it out. It has helped me with countless woven patterns that have darts.
I made this Grainline Studio Hadley top a while back in a straight size 4 without my go-to dart-less bust. As you can see it is a beautiful shirt with an elegant fit, but it is a bit roomy for me at the top. I thought I could go back and make it dart-less to show you the difference. (see even more photos of the original fit here)
Here is the same shirt, made in the same size, and same beautiful silk noil, but this time I removed the darts. As you can see it hugs my body a bit more and is much more flattering for my figure.
So here is how you do it!
It is truly the most simple adjustment you can make. You only need to make changes to the front pattern piece that actually has the dart on it.
Before you trace the front pattern piece, crease along the upper dart line in the size you intend to trace. Here I have made a crease in the size 4 upper dart line.
Bring the folded upper dart line down to meet the lower dart line in your in your size. Press the pattern flat so it stays in place and is easy to trace. Here I have done it for a size 4, or the third line from the right. As you can see it basically removes the dart from the pattern piece. Now you just trace the pattern and sew as normal, skipping any instructions for sewing the darts. It's as simple as that!
Note* There might be a slight jog where the new side seam lines meet up, as there is in the above photo. I just smooth that out when I trace the pattern to keep things nice a tidy.