Help with French dart adjustment

by livebird on September 11, 2010 · 3 comments

in Vintage Sewing

You pack of genius readers, you, can you help?

I am making up Simplicity 3833 60s retro reissue for a friend and need to do a small bust adjustment.

But, there are tricksy seams and modified French darts at the front and I’m a bit intimidated. (Link above has a tab for technical drawings.)

I would love some advice. Thanking you!

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Heather Claus September 11, 2010 at 10:26 am

Would sew the upper and lower pieces together before sewing the dart… I'm sure they put that in the instructions.

However, French darts are pretty "stuck" when it comes to fitting, so be sure your measurements are correct before sewing, and give yourself additional seam allowances at the side seam, just in case.

Also, I would sew the back waist darts AFTER the rest of the dress is done (or just baste into place), as that will allow you a bit more leeway to adjust the fit at the waist, if you need it.


drsue September 11, 2010 at 12:19 pm

Make a muslin first and fit it to your person. I'm fairly small of chest, but rarely do I ever bother to make an SBA. We small girls are usually OK with the Big 4 chest sizes. If you do need to make smaller, it might be easier to figure it out from the muslin.


Jen September 11, 2010 at 1:37 pm

The Texas A&M ag extension has a pdf that shows how to enlarge french darts for making a full bust alteration– maybe you could reverse the instructions for a smaller bust? Here's the link:

it's free, even though it says bookstore.


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