WHAT IS IT?
A dart is a wedge section of fabric that’s folded and stitched in place. From the right side of the garment, a dart will look like a straight line with no visible stitching. From the inside of the garment, darts will look like triangles, curved triangles or narrow diamond shapes. The angled lines of the dart are called “dart legs.”
Darts on bodice (Simplicity 3965)
Darts on Cambie Dress
WHEN DO YOU USE IT?
Darts are used to shape flat fabric into three-dimensional forms around curves. Darts add shaping over the bust, at the waistline and over the hips. Anytime you want to remove excess fabric, a dart is a good way to do it. Darts can be placed in pairs or multiples for added shaping or as a design detail.
TYPES OF DARTS
Single-pointed darts. You’ll see these at the side of a bodice pointing toward the bust, placed vertically from the waistline toward the bust, or at the waist of skirts and trousers, taking fullness out toward the waistband. These darts can be shaped, with curves inward or outward, or sewn perfectly straight.
Double-pointed darts. These have points at each end, shaped like a diamond. You’ll see these darts used to shape the waistline on dresses, blouses, jackets and coats. Again, these darts can be either curved or straight, depending on the desired fit.
Tips + Notes
- Mark the dart stitching line for greater accuracy. This is more important for curved darts than for straight darts.
- Use a tailor’s ham (page link) to press darts.
- For darts in thick or heavy fabrics, slash along the fold line, stopping about 1” (2.5cm) short of the tip and press open. Press the dart tip to one side.
- You may see darts sewn with the wrong sides together, so the dart wedge is on the outside of the garment. This works best with small darts. If you plan to add this feature, make sure your dart stitching is very even and accurate. Instead of backstitching at the tip, pull the threads to the inside and tie in a knot.
HOW TO SEW SINGLE-POINTED DARTS
Transfer markings from the pattern to the fabric. With right sides together, fold the dart along the fold line. If the fold line is not marked, fold so that the dart points meet up with each other. Pin the dart in place. I like to poke the pins right through the fold line so I can sew toward each pinhole.
Sew the dart from the wide point to the narrow point. Secure (see sidebar) and trim the thread ends.
HOW TO SEW DOUBLE-POINTED DARTS
Transfer markings from the pattern to the fabric, just like the single-pointed dart. With right sides together, fold the dart along the fold line, and pin the dart in place. Start in the middle of the dart, at the widest point, and sew toward one end.
Turn the garment piece upside down. Start again in the middle of the dart, face the other point and start sewing about five stitches over the previous stitching. Sew toward the end. Secure (see sidebar) and trim the thread ends.
Four Ways to Secure the End of a Dart
- Tie a knot in the tails. Tie the knot and hold your finger over the tip of the dart when you pull the thread tails so the knot tightens as close to the dart stitching as possible.
- Backstitch the dart. This isn’t recommended unless you can backstitch over the stitching perfectly without crossing into the body. Backstitching also adds bulk and stiffness to the dart.
- Before snipping the threads from the machine, lift your presser foot and slide the fabric piece down. Re-place the machine needle through the fold of the dart, about 1″ (2.5cm) below the tip, and sew a few stitches to secure. Trim the threads.
- Begin and end stitching with a shortened stitch length.
Source : The Sewtionary An A to Z Guide to 101 Sewing Techniques + Definitions
About the Author : Tasia ST. Germaine