I think I will get on my “soap box” this week. Just about any article of clothing you are sewing, you will come across darts. One way you can tell if someone made the clothing they are wearing is by the darts. There is nothing worse than a bad dart. Darts are triangles of pinched-out fabric that are stitched down to give a garment shape. More fabric is pinched out at one end of a dart than another. For instance, more fabric is pinched out at the waist than at the hip. The narrow end of the dart–the dart point–points to the fuller part of the body. In the case of skirts and pants, the darts point to the hips. If the narrow end puckers, then something is wrong.
First,, transfer the shape of the dart from the pattern to the fabric. You can trace the dart onto the wrong side of the fabric using tracing wheel and paper; you can use tailor tacks or chalk to transfer the markings: or you can use a combination of snips and tailor tacks or chalk marks to transfer the markings. Check twice to make sure you are marking the WRONG side of the fabric, ( I’ve been there, done that !)
To sew a dart fold the fabric right sides together along an imaginary line through the center of the triangular dart. Pin the fat end of the dart and then the point of the dart.
Using a regular stitch length, begin sewing at the fat end. (always start at the fat end). Backstitch one or two stitches at this end, to lock the stitches in place. When you are about ½ inch from the dart point, shorten your stitch length a bit and continue sewing. Sew off the fabric at the dart point without backstitching. NEVER backstitch at the point of the dart. If you do, you will guarantee a pucker.
Press the dart toward the center of the garment. When the darts are on the garment front, press toward the center back.
When you are sewing near a dart point, don’t shorten the stitches too much. The rule is not to shorten the stitches so much that you couldn’t take them out if you wanted to.
Do you get my point!