Added Jan 15, 2013
The subject is darts - one of the mostly commonly performed and easily done techniques for any experienced garment sewer. As we all know, darts play an important role in creating curves and shaping a garments silhouette. And, when executed well help create a professional look in clothing. In contrast, poorly executed darts can make a garment look "homemade."
So, what's the big deal? Yes, for most sewers we don't give them much thought. Within a matter of minutes they're done. But, as I have learned teaching many new sewists, this simple technique can be a daunting one. Sewing darts for the first time can consume an inordinate amount of time to accomplish when conventional methods are employed. But, it doesn't have to be that way.
I have painfully watched new sewers struggle sewing darts for the first time. Where they (and let's face it a lot of us, too) go wrong is sewing beyond the dart's end point or short ending the points that produce the dreaded pucker. Or, simply not being able to follow the dart leg properly. A task most sewists can perform with relative ease and precision can take 3-4 times as long for the beginner. This simple sewing basic should be, for all practical purposes, a cinch to master.
The objective of sewing the perfect dart is pretty straightforward. Follow a properly marked, and pinned, dart leg to a precise end point without overshooting, backstitching or short ending it.
I have a nice library of reference books, from basic sewing how-tos, to textbooks and those advocating couture techniques which I frequently consult to ensure I teach my students proper techniques. All of them instruct sewers to sew darts starting from the wide end. Whether there is a technical reason for starting there I have yet to find one. For a new sewer (or even some of us more experienced ones) when starting from the wide end the task of finishing the dart at the precise end point can be a challenge. All the more important when they sit right and left of one another. The last thing you want is to have one dart taller or shorter than the other. OOPS!
To remedy this I now instruct my new students to sew darts starting at the end point. Gosh, I wish I had thought of this sooner! By doing so darts all finish at the precise end point - hooray! And, if properly marked the dart leg is much easier to follow - another hooray! Most of my students can now complete a dart well on the first try.
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