Since I’m learning how to sew my own darts this week, I’m obsessed with the way that darts and seams turn a flat piece of fabric into three-dimensional curve coverage. If you’ve been shopping for full-bust clothing for any length of time, you could be forgiven for thinking that there are only three ways to use them to make room for big boobs:


bust and waist dart diagram

3. Combining bust and waist darts into a PRINCESS SEAM.


But these are three of many options, as this list from Ikatbags only begins to demonstrate.

1 = Neckline Dart (sometimes spread out over the neckline)
2 = Shoulder Dart
3 = Another variation of the shoulder dart
4 = Armscye Dart
5 = French Dart
6 = Waist Dart
7 = Chest Dart opening into the center front.

For a long time I’ve wished that big bust clothing companies would create design elements out of the technical details essential to contouring an hourglass shape. However, I’ve wanted something more than twist front tops and wraps. This week I realized that DDAtelier has granted my wish!

Their new tennis dress is my favorite example. The pink lines that I’ve added show the standard princess seam and waist dart as well as a shaped dart that extends from the princess seam to the hidden side zipper–and then continues to the back waist! I’m impressed. Technically, the shaped dart makes room for the bust while keeping any extra fabric from puckering out from the arm scye.  Yet the little seam that continues from the zipper to the back is a completely gratuitous design detail that builds upon the shaped dart. A detail like this increases the production cost–there are more pieces to cut and it can’t be easy to match the seam across the hidden zipper. Add to this the generous fabric in the skirt, and I can hardly stop myself from pushing the “submit order” button. (The only thing preventing me is my one-inch-too-large waist measurement. If they tell me there’s enough ease, then I’m buying it.)

ddatelier denim tennis dress-001

I’m also impressed by the Galaxy (only a few sale sizes left) and Affari dresses. The latter, in an unlined and breathable 96% cotton, is perfect for summer.  It also comes in cream, which is pretty close to khaki. I searched high and low for a khaki sheath to wear to an after-work cocktail party two summers ago, but I never found one, so this is tempting.

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Next up is the Tie Dye Dress. It’s a welcome break from solids, and it has a sexy scooped back that won’t show your bra. Personally, I don’t like the way the tie dye pattern is broken up by seams crossing the bodice and running down the middle, but it’s still a great example of how DDAtelier is moving past cliches to fit its customers’ curves.

ddatelier bust darts 6

Finally, here’s the Double-Breasted April Dress. This isn’t really an example of incorporating technical details for design, but I’m including it to show how meticulously DDAtelier fits the bust, this time with the tiny chest darts.

ddatelier bust darts 3