Pattern Spotlight: Playing with Darts

Are you all reading Barbara Emodi‘s free weekly sewing newsletter? You should be! It’s almost as wonderful as learning from her in person!

One of her recent newsletters was all about darts – how to sew them, why you want them, etc.

Darts are so important for a flattering fit that Angela Wolf teaches methods for adding shaping darts to a finished shirt. Pamela Leggett has tips on sewing darts and serging darts on her website.

If darts have been eliminated from “easy to sew” patterns, they’ve been eliminated even more frequently from patterns for knits. For some applications, you really don’t need them, but there are many styles, fabrics and bodies where a little dart is a big help! Even a tee-shirt sometimes looks better with a bust dart.

Not all knit fabrics will take darts as easily as others. Here’s a quick list I wrote for myself when I first started sewing:

Better for darts: cotton interlock, cotton double knit, wool double knit

Not so great for darts: rayon, bamboo, lycra jersey, mesh, slippery knits, ITY polyester, lycra

Now, I would argue that the “not so great” list could also be the “practice more” list, the “use a stabilizer” list or the “consider using serged darts” list.

Beverly Johnson talked about sewing darts in shapewear in this online class, so if you prefer to learn by watching a video, you may want to check it out.

Here’s a small roundup of sewing patterns for knits that include darts:

Pamela’s Patterns The Perfect T-Shirt

Stretch and Sew 350: Shell, Includes Four Collar Variations

Stretch and Sew 790: Ladies’ Body Blouse

Stretch and Sew 1030: Shawl and Cardigan Jackets

Stretch and Sew 1040: Classic Jackets

Stretch and Sew 1041: Queen Classic Jackets

Stretch and Sew 1050: Set-In Sleeve Jacket

Stretch and Sew 1500: Basic Dress (nylon zipper version)

Stretch and Sew 1500: Basic Dress (invisible zipper or nylon zipper version)

Stretch and Sew 1500: Ladies’ Basic Dress (invisible zipper version)

Stretch and Sew 1510: Ann’s Dress

Stretch and Sew 1535: Jumper

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