You may have already heard, but Patterns for Pirates has some ladies woven patterns in the works! Woven patterns tend to use a few techniques that are not often used in sewing knits. One common technique on woven patterns are darts and I’m here to give you a few tips on how to make the perfect dart. Darts are used to create contour and shape in your woven fabrics and accentuate your curves. You will find them quite often used in ladies patterns at the bust, and often on the back of pants or skirts. Don’t be intimidated by darts as they are actually very easy to sew!
I am using the Everyday Elegance Pattern for my example today and we will be focusing on the front piece. The first thing that I like to do before I even start cutting out my pieces is poke a little hole right thru my pattern piece at the tip of the dart. I usually just use a pen and make a hole big enough that I’ll be able to put the tip of my marking tool into it after I cut my pieces.
Once you have your front piece cut out you don’t want to remove your pattern piece from your fabric. I’m going to show two ways that I like to mark the dart depending on the type of fabric that I’m using. First, if I’m using something that is a bit more stable like a quilting cotton, chambray, or shirting fabric I will just take my marking pen (I use washable crayola felt pens or a disappearing tailors pen) I poke my pen thru the little hole that I made in the pattern piece. I then take a pair of scissors and make a 2 little snips in right where your darts end, on the side seam of your piece. You will then flip your fabric over, still folded, and repeat the same process on the other side.
If my fabric is slippery or really lightweight and tends to slip I will mark where I made the little hole with a needle and thread. Yes, I said needle and thread but I promise that it is much easier then trying to flip your fabric over and lining it all up again with your pattern piece. You are just going to make a little cross stitch with your needle and thread, keep it nice and loose and leave a long tails. Then as above make your two little snips on the side seams.
You’re now ready to remove your pattern piece. If you used the needle and thread method to mark the point of your dart gently pull your fabric apart and snip the threads that connect the 2 sides. Next we are going to connect the tip of the dart to where we snipped at the side seams. I use a ruler and draw from my point to the side seam on both sides. I then like to draw a line from the point straight down the middle. Now you are going to fold on that center line and press it with your iron making sure that your snips line up together. I then secure my dart with a few pins. Time to sew!
Now we are done sewing the dart we want to press it. I like to use something that curves to press my dart. I have this little pressing tool that is used to press sleeves but it works great for darts to, you could also use a tailors ham. Don’t have anything? You can roll up a bigger piece of fabric you have in your stash. You want to press the dart down towards the bottom of the top from the wrong side. Then I flip it over and press it from the front and you’re all done!
Now go and practice your darts and get ready for the new woven patterns coming really soon!