I had an a ha moment the other day. After a disastrous first muslin for Jacqui's Cambie that will be part of a robin hood costume I was stumped about what to do next. I had traced the largest size and done a full bust adjustment so that the front bodice had 2 darts but it was still to small and the darts where just horrible. Frumpsville.
|1st muslin pattern with added width added. You can see the original dart.|
I decided to go big or go home and added an inch to the front and back side seams and an inch to the centre back and sewed up muslin no.2 except this time I didn't sew up the vertical front bust darts. When Jacqui came for her fitting I was patting myself on the back because at least this time she was all covered up. There was a lot of room in a few spots but at least she wasn't naked. Success. I took out a sharpie drew a dot for her nipple and pinned a dart that actually fit her body.
Hours later I unpinned the dart that I had just drawn up and felt like I had discovered something pattern companies and companies that make rtw for plus sized women don't want you to know about. I have often complained that straight darts just do not make sense. We are dressing a curve so the dart must be curved.
|Here is a picture of Jacqui's custom pattern.|
See how it curves under makes another point and then straightens out. Almost like a dart you would find on a shift dress only more extreme. On a shift dress the vertical darts start out at the bust comes in at the waist and then flares out again at the hip line. But on Jacqui's body and mine our "waist" is not that smallest part. And I don’t know why we should pretend it is.
I sewed up the darts on the muslin and held it up to me own body. Jacqui and I are not the same size so while nothing else fit or looked right my boobs have never looked better with clothes on. I was so excited I emailed Jacqui declaring I had solved the big boobed code.
I have since changed my mind. This amazing dart hasn't solved all my fitting problems but it is a lesson I will never forget.