How to sew a Basic Dart

Basic Darts are the simplest to sew.

This is the simplest way to add shape to a garment.

The Basic dart runs from the edge of a pattern piece in towards the fuller parts of the body i.e. bust, shoulder blades, the curve of the stomach or buttocks. There are two legs of the dart that lead into the point of the dart. 

Darts sewn in heavy or thicker fabrics can be trimmed down to reduce bulk. They can also be slashed open along the fold and pressed open. 

Sewing a basic dart – 

1. Mark out the dart on to the wrong side of the fabric.

You can mark the ends of the dart legs with small notches on the edge of the fabric.

2. Match together the legs of the dart that have been marked with notches along the edge of the garment and pin in place. This creates a folded pleat in the fabric.

3. Sew from the notches on the edge in towards the point of the dart.

4. Securing your stitching at the start and finish.

TOP TIP – To get a super smooth shape to your dart aim your stitching to finish about 1cm short of the dart point along the fold of the dart, then curve your stitching to meet the point. Think  – cresting over the brow of a hill. This will smooth off the point of the dart and prevent pointy dart dimples. 

Another TOP TIP  – To get a nice straight line of sewing, pull out the threads on the sewing machine so they are quite long. Start your sewing, then pull the extra long threads around to the front and hold them to the point of the dart. Use the long threads as a sewing guide to keep your stitching straight.

Trouble shooting!

My fabric has bunched up at the start of sewing. 

Make sure to start your sewing about 1cm in from the edge of the fabric. Reverse to the edge of the fabric and continue forwards.

The fabric has bunched up when I reversed at the end of the dart. 

As you get to the point of the dart, drop the needle down into the fabric, lift up the presser foot, turn your sewing around and sew back up the line of stitching by about 1cm to secure your sewing.