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Simple Sew Brigitte dress Sewalong. 3: Sewing the darts

May 8, 2014

Ready to sew some darts?  Let’s get cracking with the back darts first, as those ones are the trickiest to sew.  Best to get them over and done with as soon as possible, eh?!

Of course, you’ll already have your back darts marked beautifully on the wrong side of your fabric 😉

Back darts, marked on the wrong side of your fabric

Back darts, marked on the wrong side of your fabric

Now, take some pins, and pin from one side of the dart through to the other, along the lines.  You’ll end up with something like this:

Darts pinned along the lines

Darts pinned along the lines

Now take this to the sewing machine.  Lay it flat so that your dart is folded down the centre and the pins are holding the lines in place.  Line your fabric up so that the first stitch will be right at the very tip of the dart, on the very edge of the fold.

The pins ensure that the dart is properly aligned.  Remove them as you sew before they hit the needle.

The pins ensure that the dart is properly aligned. Remove them as you sew before they hit the needle.

Do not backstitch to secure the thread.  Instead, sew along the line as normal, leaving long thread tails which you will tie by hand afterwards.  This prevents any bubbling of fabric at the tips of the dart.

Hand tied thread tails at the tip of the dart

Hand tied thread tails at the tip of the dart

Sew slowly, stopping frequently to remove the pins just before you come to them.  At the widest, outermost points of the dart, leave the sewing machine needle down in your fabric, and momentarily lift the presser foot to pivot your fabric so you can sew in the other direction downwards towards the bottom of the dart.

Your finished dart should look like this:

Finished dart (fabric still folded here) - before pressing

Finished dart (fabric still folded here) – before pressing

Tie the thread ends together at each end of the dart, and trim the thread tails.  Now, repeat the above process for the other back dart, and then press both darts towards the centre back seam.

Back pieces with darts sewn and pressed

Back pieces with darts sewn and pressed

Now you’re ready for the front darts, which are easier 🙂

Take your dress front piece, and fold the raw edges of one of the darts right sides together, like I have done for the dart on the right-hand side of my photo below:

Fold the raw edges of the dart you have cut, right sides together

Fold the raw edges of the dart you have cut, right sides together

Start at the raw edge of the dress, i.e. at the bottom of the dart (you can backstitch here to secure the thread as it will be within the side seam allowance).  Sew a 5/8″ seam.  You need to sew a straight line here, and that means you will sew past the apex of the dart that you cut, because that included a seam allowance.  Sew to the very edge again, and don’t backstitch here because this is the tip of your dart and needs to be hand tied.  It should look like this:

Dart tip on the left, hand tied threads

Dart tip on the left, hand tied threads

Now press it upwards.  There will be a little triangular bit jutting out at the bottom of the dart.  Don’t worry about that.  In fact you can trim it away if you want.

The finished front dart

The finished front dart

Now repeat for the other side, and press each dart upwards.  Whew!  You’ve sewn your darts!  Well done!

I will return Saturday, when I’ll be going over the stitching of the shoulder seams, and the assembly and attachment of the neckline facing.  See you then!

8 Comments leave one →
  1. May 8, 2014 12:03 pm

    I am glued to this sew along whilst I make dear Brig!! Thanks. Never sewed a dart before!

  2. May 28, 2014 11:11 pm

    Thanks for this. Unlike darts I’ve done before too. I found this really helpful 🙂

  3. Ell permalink
    August 13, 2014 4:41 pm

    Where are the darts on the front dress? My pattern does not appear to have any

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      August 15, 2014 8:21 am

      You can see them in the photo in the post above: they are just under the arms coming in from the side seams. They aren’t a traditional dart, but instead a triangular wedge that you actually cut out, as directed above.

  4. laura permalink
    February 5, 2016 7:26 pm

    thanks from Italy! I’m a new sewer and your pdf is amazing for my next project!!!

  5. Katie Connell permalink
    July 23, 2016 2:04 pm

    Hi I’m having trouble with my darts. They are pointy and sitting above where it should on the bust. Not sure how to solve this. Any suggestions? Thanks

  6. Katie Connell permalink
    July 23, 2016 2:12 pm

    Hi I’m having trouble with my darts on my dress. They are pointy and seem to be sitting high on my bust. Any advice?thanks

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