September 16, 2008

How Do You Dart?

I was emailing Carolyn earlier today and I'm sure I gave her a good chuckle. I can't tell you for sure how many years I have been sewing. But I can tell you that I have always, and I mean always had trouble making a decent dart. Getting it marked acurately, the whole nine yards. So, last weekend I cut out a new dress. It's McCalls 5672 and I'm making View B - the knee length floral version. Darts are pretty important to this dress and frankly after the last two dress failures - I need a winner. That means I needed to come up with a better way to mark and sew darts. On the back, I basted one layer of the dress right through the tissue. I thought this was pretty smart - until I realized I would have to destroy the tissue to get it off. So after gently removing the tissue and repairing it - I needed to find a better way. First, I used tracing paper and my rotary tracing wheel and traced the dart on doctor's table paper. Then I layed the tissue back over the front of the dress and made taylor's tacks at all the circles on the tissue. Placing the cut tissue dart between the marks. Then I took a length of white cotton thread and basted around the tissue dart. You can barely see the white thread over there ----->
After marking the dart and sliding the tissue dart out. I gently pulled on both ends of the thread, drawing the sides of the darts together! Brilliant! Then I offset my needle slightly and sewed right next to the basting thread.
After removing the basting threads - I pressed the darts, using my pressing ham. These are the prettiest darts I've ever produced. Hopefully this dress will be a winner! So far, it's working out ok. I love the fabric which is a painted linen - It's rather heavy so the sleeve lining, under collar and armhole facing were all cut from a red tonal quilting cotton.


  1. Sometimes my darts come out off center, which really honks me off. I feel your frustration on this one.

    Tissue patterns drive me nuts; most of mine are scotch tape patterns!

    And I just love this fabric - it's sooooo pretty!

  2. I'm pulling for you! I have a feeling this one will be a winner.

  3. Seriously, I'm feeling the same pain, but I can't even sew a line straight. Thank you for the pictures and the description. I think I could try this.

  4. I'm going to try knitting a bust decrease on Blue Heaven. Does that count?

  5. That is a great looking pattern and beautiful fabric! I hope we get to see the finished dress soon!

  6. I am glad that you found something that works for you...and here's hoping that this dress is a success!


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