Bust Dart Placement

Knitters, meet Bertha

Third in Our Series on Bust Darts…

For long-time Knitting Daily readers, this post might feel like a slice of deja-vu. There's some information that is just so critical to understanding how to do your own bust darts that I am borrowing some information from a post I wrote a year ago: Where The Darts Go. What the heck. It was fun the first time around, because that post was when we all first met Bertha…

Time for the Virtual Bust Dart Demo. Ready? Here we go. Yes, "we." This is an audience-participation exercise. Bertha will demonstrate, and if you want to find out more about where bust darts might work for you, grab a loose-fitting T-shirt of your own, stand in front of a mirror, and follow along. (Bertha promises it won't hurt a bit, especially if you stop now and then and wave at yourself and say "Hi, Gorgeous!" Flattery will get you anywhere, remember.)

In Photo 1, Bertha is wearing a loose-fitting T-shirt over her most comfortable, best-fitting underthings (or she would be, if she were a real woman like you and me). Note how the loose-fitting T-shirt fits her. The widest part of the shirt is at her widest parts, but the shirt falls vertically down from there, creating bagginess under her bustline. Although Bertha is a nicely curvy gal, she looks about twenty pounds heavier than she really is, because of the baggy factor. (An odd-but-true corollary: Bagginess right over a round little Buddha Belly can also make you look twenty pounds heavier. Just hold onto this thought for now.)

Bertha wants to be a member of Hot Tomato Nation, so I got some of those "jaw-style" hairclips and added them to the front of the T-shirt, pinching in the fabric so that the shirt is more fitted to Bertha's womanly curves. (See Photo 2.) The black clips are slightly off to one side of each of Bertha's "bustiest points," and the pink clips are about one-third of the distance between the black clip and the the midpoint of the armhole. (Photo 3 is a closer view from the side.)

Photo 4 is the infamous Bust Dart photo of my own Tomato-in-progress, so you can see that Bertha's black clips correspond to my innermost darts, and her pink clips correspond to my outermost darts.

The steeper your curves, the closer together the two darts should be—because the majority of the baggy fabric will be under the curviest part of you. The flatter your curves, the further apart the darts should be.

One-third of the distance between the first dart and the midpoint of the armhole is a good place for us larger-cup gals (C, D, and DD) to put the second dart of each pair. Truly gifted gals may want to consider adding an extra (third) dart (towards the armhole), whereas those with more subtle charms may want to consider having only one dart on each side.

Of course, you are your own Hot Tomato Gal, and if you do the above exercise for yourself, in front of a mirror (or even with a trusted friend and a digital camera), you’ll find out a lot about yourself and your curves, and you'll have that much more confidence when you sit down to customize your own handknits.

As for those Buddha Belly Darts: Yes, folks, I have a Buddha Belly, and I did in fact knit darts into the lower half of my Tomato in order to skim those curves oh-so-gracefully.

I bet you're wondering all kinds of knitterly stuff, like how many stitches in and how many rows and all that. Stay tuned for Dart Math.

— Sandi

 P.S. Yep, I am still out of the office, but still reading your comments from my Secret Location. Got something to say? Leave a comment!


Past Adventures of the Hot Tomato

You Asked For A Top, We Gave You A Tomato

On The Third Day, I Ripped

My Surreal Knitting Life and That Stripe

In Which The Commenters Chant: Bust Darts, Bust Darts, Bust Darts!

A Hot Tomato

Questions, Questions: The Darts and More

Increases and Decreases for Sweater Knitting


Sandi Wiseheart
Sandi Wiseheart is the editor of Knitting Daily. What's on Sandi's mind? Knit for your heart. It will do you good.

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