French Darts in Knitting

A knitter recently asked about adding French Darts instead of horizontal bust darts for better fit.
I wholeheartedly agreed that this style of dart is much more flattering when sewing.
But I had never considered it for knitting. After “noodling” for a while, I realized why knitters don’t use French Darts.
French Darts in Knitting



When machine knitters create bust darts, we use short rows. Short Rows are worked over every other row.


This works out great for bust darts. In this example, the knitter would hold 3 stitches every other row 6 times for a nice, smooth dart shape.


What if you wanted transform the dart to a French Dart?


To create this shaping, the knitter would need to hold 2 stitches every THREE rows … no can do with short rows and maintain a clean finish.


You may also like...

One thought on “French Darts in Knitting

  1. evilcostumelady

    August 4, 2016 at 6:21pm

    It is possible, but less convenient to make a French dart. Instead of holding 2 every 3 rows, as example above, do the holds alternating holding 1 & 2 sts (perhaps 2, 1, 1, to hold 4 sts in 6 rows, which is pretty much equivalent to 2 every 3 rows). “Loading” all the 2s at the beginning can produce more curve, which French darts often have, instead of a straight dart.

  2. peggy

    August 4, 2016 at 7:14pm

    why would you want to use darts….darts are used to turn a flat piece woven fabric into a 3d piece of fabric in order to fit over the bust line…..knitters can add surface to a flat piece of yardage for fit purposes by short rowing….just where/only where the increased ydage is needed

  3. Arlene

    August 4, 2016 at 9:42pm

    I need an extra 1 1/2 ” more in the front. I just knit it it longer and work the extra rows in the side seam starting about 4-5 ” from the armhole. Works for me. Arlene

  4. Ann Jones

    August 18, 2016 at 1:18pm

    When your breasts are larger than the usual B cup that is used in drafting patterns, a dart is a wonderful thing, even in knits. They help eliminate bunching in the underarm, they add definition to the bust. For a lot of women, they are not needed. For those of us that find that our clothes fit better, they are needed. Being knitters, we will find as many way to do them as we can. I have never done a French dart, but now would love to try!

Your email will not be published. Name and Email fields are required