Bust Dart Fear - how to conquer?

Thanks to some body shape changes, I’m pretty sure I need bust darts now. I’ve read about, read patterns incororating them, but the fear persists. Does anyone have advice on what specific pattern or book with pattern will really finally me over this massive impediment to my knitting? Apparently, I need it all clearly spelled out not only how but how much and where exactly, within the pattern, at least for the first time.

Thanks so very much!

P.S. I feel similarly about waist shaping but not to the paralasis degree of the darts.


First off, decide if what you need is more width (room across the front-bust, solved by vertical bust-darts, added stitches made by increases at the bust-points) -or- more length (room down the front-bust, solved by horizontal bust-darts, added rows made with short-rows) -or- BOTH! Depending on the design, construction, yarn elasticity, fabric stretch, and amount of ease, what’s required may be different every time.

Vertical bust-darts (VBD) are probably already familiar to you, because they’re just like waist-shaping only positioned at each bust-point instead of at the side-seam. Horizontal bust-darts (HBD) are usually the ones that trip people up. Do you knit socks? Basically, HBD shaping is just one-half of a big wide short-row heel. :wink:


Thank you so much!! I have no idea! Yes, I’ve knit short row heels. I guess i just have to dive in. I’m gonna find some sale wool and just do it! But not sure i can deal with knitting wool in summer.

I like Maggie Righetti’s calculations. They can be found in Sweater Design in Plain English and Knitting in Plain English. The only bit she did not mention is where to place them…I did a raglan sweater with darts 1 inch below the arm hole and it was too high! I’d aim the darts so they are vertically situated at the nipple (not to get too anatomical here).

Another thing I learned is that there are different kinds. Amy Herzog likes vertical bust darts better if the difference between shoulder-front-waist and shoulder-back-waist is only an inch or two. For me, the difference is three inches, and short row darts really worked well.

Best of luck! You got this!

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This video really helped me too!

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Yeah, that whole “placing your bust-darts based on the arm-scye” is a dreadful idea - every design has their armhole in a different place, not to mention that some of us are perkier than others. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

I measure down from my shoulder to my bust-point. Then, using the schematic, I figure out where in the pattern that point is in relation to the shoulder. For top-down construction it’s easy - just measure your work’s length from the start of the mid-shoulder. For bottom-up construction, you need to subtract the bust-point measurement from the total length, then work till you reach that length.


That makes perfect sense. I will do that next time!!!

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Thank yiu soooo much!

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Thanks honeybee33, i believe we’ve met on Ravelry. (I can’t seem to change my moniker in here.)