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BUST DARTS CALCULATOR

Almost all of my patterns contain instructions for bust darts. I consider this an important part of a pattern since it improves the fit of a garment for more busty ladies. Some patterns might be more complicated and it is not possible to write general instructions for bust darts (eg. Olival Top; will be released in June). That's why I created this bust darts calculator which can be applied to any pattern (not only mine but please read the notes below carefully).

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A few important notes:

  1. Bust darts are worked at the front between side/underarms markers. In my pattern, there is always a marker in the middle of the underarm stitches one of them being a BOR marker. In the bust dart calculator, I refer to them as a left/right underarm marker because the BOR can be at either side depending on the pattern.
  2. If the BOR marker is at the left underarm you need to work across back and then start with the bust dart instructions. If the BOR marker is at the right underarm you start with the bust darts instruction right away.
  3. The instructions are written for a simple stockinette fabric when you knit on the RS and purl on the WS. Instructions work even for other types of fabric (cables, ribbing, etc.) but you might need to adjust the number of stitches between turns to make it work (nothing too difficult but you need to play with it a little bit). If there is one central pattern (like in Meander Vest or Meander Sweater), the bust darts shouldn't get into the pattern. Or at least it is easier when they don't.
  4. The calculator works with German short rows. Feel free to use any other technique depending on the yarn you use and your knitting style.
  5. Start working bust darts when you reach your full bust line.
  6. You can choose the width of the bust darts – that is how much fabric there will be at the front (how much longer will the front be.) In my patterns, I suggest the following:

To determine which bust darts to make, measure from your mid-shoulder down your back to your underbust line (where a bra would sit). Do the same on your front, going over the bust. If the front measurement is 0 – 5 cm / 0 – 2 inches longer than the back measurement, you probably don’t need bust darts. If the difference is 5 – 8 cm /2 – 3.25 inches choose the “small” bust darts; if the difference is 8 – 11 cm / 3.25 – 4.5 inches choose the “medium” bust darts; and if it‘s 11 – 15 cm / 4.5 – 6 inches or more, choose the “large” bust darts.


  • small bust darts = 4.5 cm
  • medium bust darts = 7.5 - 8 cm
  • large bust darts = 8.5 cm

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