Finding the pattern apex
Let’s start by reminding ourselves that the apex of a dart points towards the region which requires maximum fullness. Darts on a front bodice generally point towards the bust apex of the mannequin for which the pattern was drafted.
In some cases, the bust apex is labeled on the pattern by a circle with a cross.
If the bust apex is not labeled on the pattern, in order to find the location of the pattern bust apex, all we have to do is extend the line that crosses the center of each dart. In front bodices with more than one dart, the position of the bust apex is simply determined by the point of intersection of these lines.The bust apex is generally 2″ – 3″ away from the apex of the darts drafted for the pattern. This is a good rule of thumb to find the location of the pattern bust apex on a single-dart pattern.
In order to find the position of your apex on the pattern you are using, we have to remember lesson 1 where we determined the position of our bust apex by locating it with respect to other body references. Remember these girls?
Depending on the pattern style, one of the above references may be more useful than others. For instance, the following styles are examples of patterns that would lend themselves to taking the side neck (M6649), the center front (B5889) or the shoulder seam (B5034) respectively as references.
Once you have selected the reference point that works best, you can proceed to find the position of your own apex on the pattern. The following image illustrates how to find the location of your apex when you take the center front neck as your reference. With any other reference you would proceed in a similar manner.
Now that we have found the position of your bust apex on the pattern, we shoud shift the darts to point towards it so that the fullness is added in the appropriate place. It’s good to keep in mind that the bust apex is generally 2″ – 3″ away from the darts apex and may vary depending on the pattern style. You can shift the darts using one of the following two methods:
Cut and shift the dart following Megan Nielsen’s tutorial. You need to make sure to align line passing through the center of the dart with your bust apex. True the dart.
I personally use Method 1 most often.
Now that we have the pattern with the correct bust placement and the darts pointing towards the right direction, we are ready to do the pattern alterations we had planned in post 2 (link to 2: Choosing your pattern size and planning the pattern adjustments).
1) Grading the seams of the pattern
To do this, Tanya from the Curvy Sewing Collective (CSC)has written a very clear post to guide you in how to grade a pattern the easy way. Note that you would only need to grade at the side seams. You can find other grading tutorials at the CSC website.
This modification generally depends on the pattern, you can find a tutorial here for FBA on a one dart bodice.
In general, following these alterations, my first muslins are wearable.