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Irrational pet pattern peeves

February 16, 2011

There is one construction detail that’s an absolute deal-breaker for me when it comes to buying a pattern.

That’s the presence of a pernicious horizontal bust dart. That bold in-yer-face slashed line at the side of the bust, as you see in the picture above. Which I just can’t look at for more than a moment.

It’s just so… clunky!  It breaks up the lines of the figure, which, let’s face it, you want to flow from top to bottom, rather than side to side. It stops the eye. The bust dart is the equivalent of misplaced punctuation in; the middle of a flowing sentence.

I know the female form has to be accommodated somehow, but there’s so many more elegant ways to do it.

Gathering to shape the bust, a feature of even the more basic patterns of the 30s and 40s:

I’ve seen quite a few Mod/1960s patterns which use seams both for graphic interest, and for shaping to get round the bust:

But if you can’t eliminate a bust dart, you can at least hide it, like this 1950s Vogue pattern. See how the bust dart becomes part of the diagonal design?

Trouble is, all this relies on putting some thought into the cut. And that thought can be expensive and time-consuming from a design perspective. It’s generally the high-end or “designer” patterns that put effort in to accommodating the bust in an interesting way, rather than just resorting to a bust dart. In fact, I’d stick my neck out and say that the plain old bust dart is just plain lazy. I grant it’s probably easier to custom fit that a more complicated design. Yes, it’s fairly quick to sew. And I suppose it might be more economical on fabric. But still. I just can’t like it.

Am I slowly sliding into being completely irrational? What about you? What’s your number one pet pattern peeve???

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Leann permalink
    February 16, 2011 4:31 pm

    I don’t mind bust darts- at least I can sew them! But for me, it’s facings. URRRgh!! So I get through a ton of bias binding instead!

  2. February 16, 2011 4:36 pm

    Haha!! I’m the same way!
    If it comes up at a nice angle I like it- but I guess that’s earlier. For the most time bust darts like that just spell doom for me.

  3. February 16, 2011 6:18 pm

    Great post. Interesting to think about dart alternatives and you have given some good examples here. -Cyndi

  4. February 17, 2011 2:03 pm

    Not irrational! You’re vintage pattern love seems to have exposed you to more creative and elegant shape accommodations. Great post, keep it up :)

  5. February 18, 2011 11:09 pm

    Great post…I’m not a fan of bust darts, either, but they show up in many of my patterns. As someone with a fuller bust, I have to say it IS necessary to, well, accommodate…I appreciate your providing other options here, too. This post is getting filed away with other great sewing tips…!

  6. PanfriedVI permalink
    March 22, 2014 1:05 am

    Agree completely!

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  1. The Great Expectations Dress – Construction details « Books and Black Wool

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