Adding A Dart To The Button Down Shirt Pattern

Hi readers!
I was hoping to have my shirt all sewn up and finished by today but I stumbled upon some major fitting issues…..

The first of which was the big gap in my armhole when I tried on my muslin. A gap in the armhole happens when your bust is larger and you need to add a dart to shape the garment to it. By the way, I loved that fabric I was using on my muslin but sadly I melted it with my iron. I only paid a dollar for it, but still, it was very pretty. It must have been rayon or something…

Back to the armhole gap. If you are bigger than a B cup this will probably happen to you to when you make your button down shirt. So how do we fix this problem since it isn’t addressed in Design It Yourself Clothes?

We have to add a dart.
But we don’t want a dart coming out of the armhole which would be quite unattractive in my opinion….
Today I am going to show you how to move the dart on your pattern. By using the dart manipulation and pivot technique I will move the dart from the armhole to the side seam, giving it a nice upward, flattering angle.

I had to pinch about an inch out of my armhole which made sense since I am a D cup. This is one reason why you want to make a muslin! You can’t really fix this problem without making a whole new pattern piece unless you want this weird looking armhole dart which screams, 
But did I use a muslin? Of course not, but I wish I had, so I could have saved this pretty fabric.

I also had some problems with my side seams flaring out too much so I cut them down. The shoulders also had an odd slope and I had to cut them down almost an inch at the side seam armhole area. Then I had to reshape the armholes after that. After all that work, the pattern is now very snug fitting! I hope it will fit me when I’m done.
This has been a HARD project!
But I like the collar!
If you have been drafting  a pattern too, I’d love to hear if you have run into any of these same issues. Please leave a comment!
I will have my top next week and will add the linky party button so you can share your projects too! 
Happy sewing friends!

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  1. Kelley Highway says

    Love the collar treatment, too. Can’t wait to see that detail featured! Your fabric’s pretty!

  2. says

    I fully intended to sew along, Justine, but things just haven’t worked out that way. I’ve, as always, left Christmas sewing till the last minute. Hopefully in the new year, I’ll come back to your helpful posts.

  3. says

    I love the fabric you chose for the top, and also the collar. I still haven’t had time to start drafting my pattern for the top, I have so many things to finish up before Christmas, but I’m hoping to get it done soon.

  4. Kaitlin @ Wunderbar says

    Seriously, this has been super hard! I didn’t have any major fit problems, but I also made mine a little loose. I’m finally adding the buttons and buttonholes, but I lost my buttonhole foot so it’s slow going. Maybe I’ll be finished this weekend. Whew!

  5. cal says

    great job justine! this is definitely the area of the book that i would expend if i could do it over, or if i do a second book; fitting, darts and dart manipulation. now i know where to refer people when they ask me what to do for a full bust ;n)

    and this is also why i love knits, rather than wovens, for tops!

    • Justine of SewCountryChick says

      Hi Cal,
      Although I had to do the dart I have never had a shirt that fit so well everywhere. But I will definitely add a little more ease next time!

  6. cal says

    yes, when i made the shirt that’s in the book for myself, i made it a little too snug too, especially in the sleeves. once we learn to draft from our own msmts, it’s easy to forget that a certain amount of ease is there for a reason (like moving your arms)! i like to suggest people take reference of favorite items from their closet, when drafting a new type of pattern for the first time, to avoid falling into the pit of Insufficient Ease ;n)

  7. Shelley says

    I’m always late to the party and am doing last minute (is there there any other kind?) sewn gifts. I’m hoping to come back and tag-along after these posts to see what I might learn. I love crafting, but what I REALLY want to learn is to make clothes…