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I have a large chest and I don’t have any love or hate about it. I’m zen about it. It just is. I’ve been made fun of and right now, as I type this, I’m okay. It’s not always okay but I’m 35. I can vaguely deal.

I get sad when I hear body slamming, in any direction. You will be happier if you love the body you have. I’m obviously not telling you not to eat healthy or exercise but just because someone is extremely anything does it mean they are unhealthy. Do all the good things for yourself but also make the clothes you want to fit you the way you are now.

I’m getting to bust darts, I swear.

After having two kids, it seemed expected of me to lose weight and be back in my pre-pregnancy clothes. What nobody knew, or remembered, was that I have been this size and (mostly the same) shape for a long time. I was several sizes smaller when I met the Hubbinator but it was never a weight I could easily or happily maintain. I ran everyday, was in a very exhausting puppet theater tour and took dance classes at night. That’s all I did.

Well, now, I very much like my life and going back to a different size doesn’t overwhelm me…though here I am, blogging about it.

What does that say?

I’m curious about what I think. Strange way to put it but sometimes I have to say something outloud or blog it out to see if I still agree with the thoughts locked up in my head.

Bust darts are related. Remember my first Portrait Blouse. Oh, I trust you’ve forgotten it. Well, I didn’t do my pre-thinking work and ended up with bust darts parallel to the floor. There are more flattering placements.

This wouldn’t be a post about darts if I didn’t mention Anne Hathaway’s dress at the 2013 Oscars. Her dress had darts that ended right at what looks like her bust apex and a lot of people missed that it was a dart issue not her bewb showing through her dress. Do you see how much darts can draw focus? I guess the near flesh-like color of Anne’s dress contributed to it, too.

You know I love my 1912 costumes but I need to do something about the wonky collar on my second 1912 blouse. I cringe every time I see this picture though I’m madly in love with the skirt. I don’t think I did a large enough FBA for how blousey 1912 tops were and this fully contributes to my distaste for under bust gathering.

Titanic costume side front

An example of an armscye dart. This dress also flatters because there’s no line marking my waist. I don’t use it as a rule, but I do find that horizontal lines are harder for people to accept on me. Here’s a tute on creating an armscye dart by Sew2Pro. TNG skant I has Combadge close up darts

The dreaded side bust dart on my first Portrait Blouse with a very cool hand picked zipper.


Part of why these side bust darts aren’t flattering is because I think I could’ve ended the dart further back, which is what you should do. The larger your chest, the larger the distance between the apex and the end of your dart. I could’ve also pivoted the dart fullness elsewhere.

portrait blouse new

I love these center bust gathers in my Wonder Woman dress. You can spin your darts to create this look using Gertie’s tutorial here. You can then make a darts or gathers. Another thing that’s working with this dress is that the blue skirt starts just below my waist so I look like I have a bit of a longer torso.


I love my circuit board dress a lot…except for the darts. Luckily it’s not that noticeable in this cotton print. If you look closely, you might be able to see the center darts (unlike the center gather from the dress above) and one of the darts runs horizontal straight to my bust apex. If this were a solid fabric, I’d be getting the same look as with my first Portrait blouse. Other than that, I love the waist, neckline an armhole piping. Love it. This is Butterick 5490 and I think with a little fiddling of the bust gathers/pleats it would look much nicer on me.


Again, gathers at the center instead of coming from the side. There were other fitting issues going on with this dress that I really don’t like but I love the bustline pleats which are topstitched down for about 2″. That face I’m making is me trying to smile after having dental work.

I loved the bust pleats and got practice while doing a mock-up. This bodice is from Butterick 5455. The mock-up shows you some pooling in the middle of the bodice in between my bewbs. I’m so glad I fixed that!

021 - Copy

I don’t have any good pictures of my version of McCalls 6379 even though I love the bodice with the angled midriff. I don’t know if you’re catching on, but I don’t really like below the bust gathers or darts very much and that’s mostly because of how my bewbs are shaped. This pattern managed to suspend my disbelief in these bust darts. The midriff curves at the perfect spot for how I’m shaped which creates a minimizing effect, should I want that. The fabric also helped. It was much drapier and softer than, say, the circuit boards dress fabric.


I did manage to get some decent side darts on my Colette Violet Blouse. I learned from my Portrait Blouse and angled the darts and used a poly chiffon. As drapey as it is, it hangs in a nice soft way. I won’t apologize for the dork face I’m making. Read the post if you wanna see what the goofy is all about.

This next one is one of my first efforts in fitting. I like how the neck turned out so close to my body but the sleeves are too tight and the bust darts are painful to look at. Part of the problem is also where I ended the dart, how little the darts got pressed and the waist hitting me at my natural waist which was just not working. Lesson learned. Luckily, you get a glimpse of my little guy back when he was tiny. I hope that draws more focus.

final dress2 006

I made this dress below with some gathers below the bust, which I think make my bust look fuller at it’s fullest part. This was also before I discovered that I needed to pinch out the neckline so I wouldn’t get gaping. Sorry about the mirror shot. It was before I had a tripod.

Booties and a light sweater anyone?

Booties and a light sweater anyone?

This photo below was from a trip to Banana Republic to try on some of their Mad Men collection. Remember that? These bust gathers would’ve been better in the style of my Wonder Woman dress, gathered to one point, not several points. You can also see the neckline gaping. How awful to have a gaping neckline and tight bust darts!


I hope this has helped you see how different dart placements affect the look of larger bewbs. What’s your take away from all these photos? Will this make you reconsider a patterns choice of bust darts? Do you think about bust darts this much ever? Do you agree with my assessment? Will you play with rotating darts? Is there anything that would keep you from rotating a dart?