Sewing Techniques with Burda: Sewing Darts to Perfection

Darts are wedge-shaped seams used to shape garments to fit the body’s contours more closely. Darts are always stitched from the broad side to the tip. At the tip, the seam must be as flat as possible to avoid unattractive ‘cones’ on the right side.

Seems complicated? No worries! Follow our sewing techniques and unlock the keys to mastering this 4 different types of darts: 

  • Simple darts
  • Clipped-open darts
  • Balanced darts
  • Double waist darts

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Simple darts

This is the easiest and most common way to sew a dart. This type of dart is found in many sewing patterns. Here's how to sew it :

 1.   Fold the fabric such that the dart lines match, right sides together. Pin or baste the dart lines together, beginning at the tip. Stitch the dart, starting at the wide side. Secure the beginning of the seam by backstitching. Knot the ends of the thread at the dart tip (1).

 2.   RFirst press the dart flat (1a), and then press it to one side – always pressing from the wide side to the point. As a rule, bust darts are pressed downwards and waistline darts (vertical darts) are pressed to the centre.

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Clipped-open darts

Ce type de pince est réalisée sur des projets dont le tissu est très épais. Il vaut donc mieux entailler la profondeur de pince, pour en réduire son épaisseur. Voici comment procéder:

 1.  First, make a simple dart. For wide darts, clip open the dart intake approx. 1 to 1.5 cm (3/8 to 5/8 in) next to the seam (2).

 

 2.   Press the edges apart and then press the dart flat to the tip (3).

For narrow darts, slash open the dart intake at the centre up to approx. 5 cm (2 in) away from the tip and then press the dart as explained at the left.

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Balanced darts

If a dart needs to look like a seam that has been carefully pressed apart from the right side or must be topstitched, add a strip of fabric or lining to it.

Make a strip is approx. 3 cm (1 1/4 in) wide and approx. 2 cm (3/4 in) longer than the dart, and cut it out on the bias.

 1.  After basting the dart, pin the fabric or lining strip to one side of the dart (if the dart will be stitched, on the side where the decorative seam is located) such that the centre is on the basting line (4). 

 2.   Stitch the dart from the other side, catching the strip. Next, press the dart to one side, doubling the strip, and press it to the other side (5).

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Double waist darts

This last type of dart, which tapers on both sides, is executed in two steps. Here's how to proceed:

 1.   You begin at the centre of the dart for each step and stitch to the tip (6). 

 

 2.  As these darts are somewhat shorter at the fold than at the stitching line, they are clipped close to the stitching line at the centre and then pressed to centre front or back (7).

And there you have it! You now know how to sew 4 different types of darts like a sewing pro!