The Side Dart of the Basic Unfitted Bodice (Points M-U-W) must be no wider than 1 1/2″. This technique works on the Basic Unfitted Bodice pattern created from the draft detailed in this blog posting, “How to Draft the Basic Unfitted Front Bodice”.
Step 1: Take 5/16″ off Pt. E at the Shoulder. (Point 1 in diagram.)
Redraw shoulder line from Point 1 to Neckline.
Step 2: Beginning at neckline curve near the shoulder line, use a tapeseaure to measure down 1 3/4″. Mark as Point 2.
On the armhole curve, from the original Point E use the tape measure to measure down 2 1/2″. Mark.
Draw a straight line between these two points.
Step 3: Along the armhole curve, to either side of the line drawn in Step 2, mark 5/16″. Mark as Points 3 and 4.
Cut along the upper line of this dart and close by bringing Point 3 down to Point 4.
Step 4: Lower the original armhole 1″ down at the side seam. See Points 5 and 6 of the diagram. Redraw the armhole curve.
Step 5: If there is any remainder of the side dart, check the measurement below new lowered armhole.
If the measurement of the new dart is 1/4″ or less, draw a line from Point U of the dart to the middle of the new shoulder line. Close the remainder of the side dart and open a new shoulder dart. Measure the width of the new dart and take this amount off from the end of the shoulder seam from Point 1 to the mid-way point of the armhole curve.
If the remainder of the dart is over 1/4″ and up to 1/2″ divide this amount in half. Using half the measurement, create the dart as described in the previous paragraph. Then draw a line from Point U down to the end of the bodice. Open up this line and close the remainder of the side dart. Measure the new dart. Take this amount off from the side seam by measing that mount in at the bottom of the bodice side seam. Draw a line upwards tapering to zero at the underarm.
As in dart manipulation, the goal is to distribute the fold of fabric resulting from the wayy the fabric will drape against the curves of the bust and the rest of the body. In this exercise we have distributed the ease in the best possible way to eliminate the dart.
A muslin toile must be made to check the fit and ensure that the unfitted bodice retains its shape without any sagging or folds appearing along the bust.
IF THE SIDE DART IS MORE THAN 1 1/2″ this manipulation cannot be done. There is simply too much ease to distribute into the seams. This is usually the case in large sizes or lart bust measurements. As a result the dart needs to be transformed into style lines, tucks, gathers, flares, etc. to achieve a particular effect. One of the easiest ways to deal with this is to lower the side dart of the Basic Unfitted Bodice Front by one half the width of the original dart. It can be lowered at the side seam even an extra 1/2-1″. A fitting will determine the correct length downwards from the armhole.