Darts shape your garment and accentuate the features of the body, such as the bust, waist and mid-back. Depending on the style of your garment you can have them fitting close to the body or fitting loose to the body. Either way, they help turn a flat piece of fabric into a form fitting garment.
Darts are worked out during the pattern-making stage and are calculated dependant on the personal body measurements and the type of garment to be created. It is important that they are accurately transposed from the pattern to the cut piece using tailors tacks.
To stitch a dart
Begin by marking the stitch lines of the dart with a tailors chalk or by basting. When it comes to stitching your dart, firstly pin the dart following the guide markings. Pull about 3 inches of thread from both the bobbin thread and top thread of your machine and stitch without fastening. When you have finished stitching the dart, do not backstitch or knot, instead pull another three inches free from the machine and then cut the threads.
To secure the dart, simply double tie the loose threads at either end and trim to an inch from the garment.
Next you should press the dart. Set the stitches by pressing flat, using a pressing cloth to avoid harming the fabric.
Then, open up the dart, take a tailor’s ham and position it in the most natural position for the curve of the dart to fall into place. Press again using the cloth and use a clapper to flatten and neaten it.
Note: Darts should always be pressed towards the side seams.