Welcome to Episode 5 in the How to Sew A Skirt Sew-along series. The subject for today is: How to sew darts
Let's recap so far
How are you enjoying the Sew A Skirt series so far? If you are new to sewing you may already have learned a lot about fabric, measuring, patterns, and the preparations you need before even starting to put a needle to your skirt.
To recap the series so far –
- Overview, tools and equipment and choosing your fabric
- Drafting your custom fit pattern, and all about ease and seam allowances
- Cutting your fabric and pattern matching
- Marking darts perfectly
Today it's time to start sewing. And the first step is to sew the darts in all 3 pieces of your skirt, the front and the two back pieces. If you have followed and drafted the pattern from step 2, then you will have 6 darts to sew.
If you have never sewn darts before, then I suggest practicing several times on some scraps of fabric before getting started on the skirt itself. They aren't difficult if you take your time, but getting it wrong on your skirt could leave puckers or bubbles at the bottom.
How to Sew Darts
- Mark your darts and snip the very ends of the dart legs as shown in the tutorial in step 4 above. Go back and take a look if you need to.
- Fold the fabric with the right sides together matching up the two little snips at the top of the dart legs. Continue the fold until you get to the bottom of the dart and make sure that the very point of the dart is on the fold of the fabric.
- Secure just under the point of the dart with a pin to stop the fabric moving. Now put a couple of pins through the dart leg from one side, making sure it passes through the marked leg of the dart underneath too.
- Now take the fabric to your machine. Pick a medium stitch length, regular straight stitch. Line up the wide end of the dart under the presser foot so that when you sink your needle, it pierces the marked line.
- Sew two or three stitches and then back stitch two or three to secure.
- Follow the marked line, removing pins as you go. Slow down as you approach the point and take care. Your final few stitches will be very close to the edge of the fabric until eventually you sew right off the end at the point.
- Do NOT back stitch at the point of the dart, but remove from the machine and leave long thread tails.
- Tie the two long thread tails at the point in 2 or 3 knots, and then cut the threads leaving little tails so that you don't cut right up to the knot.
- Repeat the process for any more darts.
Pressing your darts
- Once sewn, you need to carefully press your darts for a good finish.
- Look at the instructions on your pattern for how to press. Normally horizontal darts such as bust darts are pressed downwards, and vertical darts such as these at the waist of our skirt, are pressed towards the center.
- Bear in mind the function of the dart as you press – it is there to curve the fabric to your shape, especially around your behind, so you should allow the fabric to curve as you press. Many sewists like to use a Tailor's Ham to help pressing curved seams and darts.
Congratulations ! Your darts are finished and looking good.
Our next steps
Join me soon for the next step in our Sew A Skirt series – Inserting the Zipper, Which Zipper Foot to Use?
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Authored by: Deby at So Sew Easy