Saturday, January 12, 2013

Darts in Clothing that hit the Bullseye

This morning I gave a presentation to my local group of American Sewing Guild members. I'm sure you'd like a picture of it, but I can never remember to take photos of the (interesting?) things I do when I'm out and about. I forgot again. Anyway, the topic was darts.

To get us off on the right track, here is a quiz for you. A dart is widely understood to be:

A) The stinger of an insect.

B) A game in which small, slender, pointed missiles are thrown at a target.
C) A sudden, rapid movement.
D) A fold sewn into fabric to help provide a three-dimensional shape to a garment.

Though I have moved quickly to avoid being stung by a bee while attempting to hit a target with a small slender missile, I am really best qualified to speak on the three-dimensional fabric type, which I think are largely misunderstood. Here are the basics:

See how nicely those imitation darts (dotted lines) fit so well into the curves of our lady? The main point I would like to make about darts is that 1) the type, shape, length and width need to be personalized. One dart cannot be all things for all people. It can be for some, but not all. Let's see how those lovely darts look on someone of a different figure type:
You see what I mean- Not such a good match up.

The next thing to keep in mind is that a dart should never be longer than the apex of the curve it will be fitting.

So, what happens when a dart is too big? You'll end up with a big poof or bulge where you don't need it, as in the Sewing Lawyers experience with Vogue 1324.

The photo I want you to see:

The whole blog post:

Okay, but how to fix it? Make the dart smaller (draw in a smaller dart, and not so long) and then take another avenue to reduce the now too large waist.

So What happens if a dart is too small?  You'll see drag lines and/or pulling, but be careful because the cause may not be the darts at all. You might think these draglines point to a need for a full bust adjustment as with Kadiddlehopper when she made Sew Chic 7401:        

The right solution to this problem may surprise you. Read about it on her blog here:!/2010/01/myrtlewood-muslin.html 

Sometimes a pattern comes without any darts when it really needs one. Read about our experience with Butterick 5601.

I challenge you to look for new ways to use darts for fitting. Of course they can be both friend and foe, but when used right, they work wonders!

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