April 16, 2012

How to: Move a Dart

This is an easy peasy trick and if you've ever dabbled in a little bit of pattern drafting, you've probably done this several times. Darts are basically excess fabric pick-ups that, when sewn together, create shape for your curves - you know, like for your bustline, waistline or hipline. They can also be a great way to incorporate design lines - think princess seams, the tutorial that's coming up tomorrow - into a garment. I really wanted to be able to show you how to create armscye princess seams as I'm doing the same for my wrap dress, but first you need to know how to move a dart. Let's get started!

I'm going to show you how to move a dart on a front bodice, but this technique can be used for other parts of a basic sloper/TNT (tried'n'true) pattern too - any where there is a dart, you can move it! Let your imagination run wild.

Step 1 ♥ Find your apex. What's the apex? It's going to be the middle/shifting point of the dart. For our front bodice, its right square in the middle of the breast. Many commercial patterns already have this marked for you, but if not, find your apex and mark the apex with a circle.

Step 2 ♥ Redraw the dart lines to the apex. Most, if not all darts, tend to end about 1 - 2 inches shy of the apex. To move the dart we need to extend the dart lines to the apex. To do that, you'll simply take a ruler and shimmy it up to a dart leg end (the fat end of the dart) and along and up to the apex and pencil it in. Easy right?

Step 3 ♥ Pick a spot for the new dart. This is where it gets fun! From the apex, you can shift a dart to pretty much anywhere. I'm going to move the shoulder dart here to the armscye because I'm going to show you how to draft a princess seam from there, but you can put the new dart anywhere.

Step 4 ♥ Cut out the dart. Then cut the new dart line all the way to the apex.

Step 5 ♥ Shift the old dart closed and tape it up. And Voila! You've moved a dart! Fill in the new dart with some paper and tape. Shorten the dart back to where it was - opposite of Step 2, within 1 - 2 inches of the apex and then cut the dart from the paper after you've folded it into position. From here, true up the rest of your seam lines if needed. Not so bad, right?

Tomorrow I'll continue this little creative exercise with how to draft a princess seam. Have you ever moved a dart? Ever wanted to dabble a bit in pattern drafting? I'll admit, if you were to ask me about pattern drafting several years back, when I got back into sewing, I would have instantly said no. But over the years, I've developed a keen interest in it and have found that its more of a continuation into this wonderful enormous world of sewing. I find it rather fascinating and to be honest, extremely liberating. Being able to dissect that latest dress I spotted whilst window shopping is awfully fun.

Ciao friends!
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