Friday, September 24, 2010

The Proper (According to Cordelia) Way to Sew a Dart.

Before we get started, I thought I would let you know that today is national punctuation day! So, in order to celebrate this momentous event, I’m going to... er... um, well I don’t know what I’m going to do, but hopefully I won’t have too many punctuation errors in this post.

Back to business. Yesterday Cordelia and I showed you how to mark a dart, so today we will show you how to sew it.
Fun right?!?!?!?!

Start with your marked dart which should look something like this.

Fold the fabric in half making sure to match up the dart ends and to make sure the dart tip is along the fold of the fabric.

Now go ahead and sew along the marked line. You always want to sew from the end to the point! I always backstitch at the dart end.

Stop sewing when you are about ½” away from the dart point. Lower your stitch length to about .75 mm (for those of you who have an European machiene--for those of you with an american machiene, trade it in and buy a Bernina!  JK there are lots of beautiful american made machines out there but sadly I don't know what the convershion is in stitches per inch.  Just shorten your stitch lentgh to tiny and it will work) and then continue sewing. The shorter stitch length will secure the stitches at the dart tip.

Once you hit the dart tip, continue sewing. This means you will take 2-3 stitches off the fabric. This is ok and it will help give you a nice clean point at the dart tip. We don’t want those unruly puckers at the end of the dart—ewww.

Now it’s time to press the dart.
Start by pressing the dart with the fabric still folded. This will help secure the stitching line.

Next, find your handy dandy pressing ham—if you don’t have one, I strongly recommend you invest in one if you will be sewing many garments.

Unfold the fabric and place it facedown on the pressing ham. Fold the dart down to the desired side and press.

A quick note about pressing darts. If the dart is a VERTICAL dart, pres it towards the CENTER FRONT/ CENTER BACK. If the dart is a HORZONTAL dart, press it DOWN.

Remember this, it’s important cause when drafting a pattern you have to decide which direction you want your dart to lie, and when your pattern drafter made the pattern they fallowed this rule. If you try to press a dart in the unintended direction, things won’t match up and lay as smoothly.

Now flip your fabric over and press from the right side so the curve of the fabric is curving in the same direction as your body.

And Tada! You have successfully sewn a beautiful dart.

 You go you little DARTINATOR you!

Happy Darting
~Melisa & Cordelia

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