Saturday, May 05, 2012

Dart Difficulty

So, you're probably wonder how that Sorbetto top is coming.  Well, currently, it's not.  I was hoping to have it done by the time we left for Iowa for Cate's baptism, but we have gone and come back and still no Sorbetto.

When last we spoke re: Sorbetto I had made a boat-load of adjustments and adjusted the dart height on my muslin.  After that, I took it totally apart and transferred the new dart position and the sloped shoulders adjustment to my paper pattern which is now made out of Swedish Tracing Paper (love that stuff!).  Then, I made a new muslin in quilting cotton with the thought that if it came out okay, I would bind the neck and armholes and add it to my wardrobe.

Fig. 1.  A boat-load of
Well, it didn't get added to my wardrobe and the problem was the bust darts.  See, I put it on and there were these funky bubbles of fabric at the ends of the darts.  So, I googled "bubble at end of bust dart" (God bless the internet; 10 years ago I would have seen the bubbles and given up) and found that these bubbles are not an uncommon problem.  I tried the easy fixes of resewing the darts several different ways (shortening them, curving them slightly, stitching a few straight stitches at the end of the darts) but nothing seemed to work.  So, I had to resign myself to the idea that, sadly, it was going to take something a little more complicated to fix this issue.  A number of full-busted gals mentioned having this problem and it turns out it can be due to short darts that have to take up a lot of fabric (I actually talked about this with my mom and she agrees that's probably the issue, although she's never experienced it since, if anything, she'd be modifying a shirt with a Small Bust Adjustment; genetics are weird sometimes).  The solution seems to be to divide the one dart into two.

Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a lot of information out there about how to change 1 large dart into two smaller darts that are close together and in the same region.  There's information about moving darts around but this was a little bit different.  I eventually decided to measure the distance between the two legs,  divide that number by 2, and draw two new darts that were more diagonal than horizontal to the side seam.  Then, I transferred the markings to the muslin and sewed it all up again and...

...there were still little bubbles at the ends of the darts.

At this point, I put the project in time out.  I only had a day or two until I was leaving for Iowa for Cate's baptism and didn't have time to mess with a misbehaving shirt.  Since then, I've thought about it some more and I think part of the issue may be the fabric as well.  I didn't notice the bubbles on my first muslin which was made from cheap broadcloth.  That fabric had a lot of drape compared to the quilting cotton of the second muslin.  I do still think that taking up so much fabric in such a short dart is going to give me problems, but they'd be less noticeable in a fabric with more drape.
Fig. 2.  A diagonal dart near the hem
will be longer than a horizontal dart
and might be better suited to such
a large dart.

So, I'm still going to have to fix the dart problem.  I've been thinking about how I should do it.  One way is to keep working on making the 2 parallel bust darts.  I was also thinking that if I did a long diagonal dart from closer to the hemline, then I might be able to get away with one dart.  I'm not going to let my difficulties with this project get the better of me, though.  I'm going to have a perfect-fitting top if it kills me!

And then I'm going to make about ten different versions of this shirt because I'm not going through all of this for one measly shirt!