Darts. Those wonderful triangle shaped folds that help shape flat fabric to fit our individual bumps and curves. In addition to giving our garments structual purpose, darts can add interesting design details to an otherwise plain garment.
Sewing darts is easy. But, like most things in sewing, ‘easy’ doesn’t always mean perfect results. Once I found the tip that worked for me (which I’ll be sure to include here, you’ll be SHOCKED) I have never sewn a bad dart.
And, if you are already a wiz at sewing darts fill us in, how do you achieve perfect darts. There’s always more than one way to pet a cat.
- When marking fabric to stitch a dart, use a tracing wheel and tracing paper.
- Press darts before topstitching to help eliminsate seam allowance show through.
- Prevent fraying on cut seam allowances by serging, zigzagging or applying a bead of seam sealant to raw edges
- If the fabric won’t show the usual tracing marks, use tailor tacks.
- Stitch from the dart leg ends (widest point) to the end point.
- Backstitch as you begin stitching, but don’t backstitch at the end of the point. Sometimes this can cause puckering if it’s not done absolutely perfect.
- At the end of the dart, simply leave a long tail thread and knot the end of it close to the point of the dart.
- To prevent a ‘shadow’ from appearing when you press, be sure to press the dart using a pressing cloth between the dart and garment.
- If the dart is very deep or in a heavy fabric such as wool, or fleece slash and trim the dart excess on the fabric wrong side to reduce bulk.
- Pin horizontally across the dart so that it’s easy to remove the pins as you sew.
Now, for my number one tip for sewing perfect darts, pressing. For as long as I’ve been sewing darts they rarely came out perfect. The reason is that I didn’t go the extra step of pressing them correctly. It’s important to press the dart in the direction that is lined out in the sewing guidesheet. Don’t underestimate this direction. If you press the wrong way the dart won’t lie correctly. I press my darts on a ham so that the act of pressing shapes the fabric into position that mimics the body bump. I also give a quick press on the outer fabric and use a bit of steam if the fabric can tolerate it.
For so long I was making perfect darts, but without a good pressing the darts just looked frumpy.
Do you have any tips for perfect darts? I know a few of the tips I suggested some of you don’t do but still achieve great results. I would love to hear these, so drop me a line on the Sew Daily blog!
What’s Your Favorite Tip For Perfect Darts?