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Serger Darts for Knits

Apr 28, 2016
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Darts are notoriously difficult to sew in knits, especially if working with a very stretchy, thin knit. Serging a dart is a bit unorthodox, but you will be astounded by how easy it is to do and how good the results are. In this tutorial, serger expert and instructor Pamela Leggett shares her method for achieving great-looking darts in knits by using a serger.

This technique and others will be covered in greater depth in Pamela’s upcoming serger online video brought to you exclusively by Threads and Craftsy. Sign up for our newsletter to learn more about this class and for other announcements!

sergerMore serger techniques:

• Video: How to Serge Seam Allowances
• Four Serging Techniques
Choose the Right Serger Stitch for Your Project

How to Serge Darts on Knit Fabrics

Step 1: Make sure the dart is in the proper place before serging. This is crucial. Pin the dart closed, and check that it is in the correct spot.

serger bust dart

A bust dart should point to the apex. If it is too high or too low, move the end point and redirect the dart from the dart legs.

Step 2: Draw the dart line from the side seam to the point.

serger darts

Step 3: Set the serger for a three- or four-thread overlock stitch. Align the left needle mark on the serger presser foot with the dart line.

Step 4: While watching the mark on the foot, serge all the way off the end of the fabric.

serger dart

Serge from the side seam toward the dart point and off the fabric fold.

Step 5: Gently pull the serged thread tail to “make it skinny.” Tie a knot in the end, using a pin to cinch it. Dab antifray liquid, such as Fray Check, on the knot to secure. Leave about an inch of thread past the knot.

serger dart

serger dart

Step 6: Press the finished dart over a ham.

Will you try this technique?

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  1. user-5625813 May 31st

    I learned this technique from Pamela at one of our ASG events. I've used it ever since. Works every time!

  2. stxgail May 31st

    Yes. Pamela's techniques always work for me.

  3. dgray1101 June 1st

    If Pamela recommends it, then YES. Her techniques are always spot on. Thanks! I'm taking on new projects with this.

  4. Grandma2six June 4th

    Sewing darts in knits wasn't something I considered years ago! But, because darts shape fabric better for tops, I've been sewing them on knits. Never was comfortable with serging a dart until I saw this article, so I'll definitely give it a try.

  5. fyiberarts June 8th

    I do not make bust darts frequently as I ONLY VENTURE INTO APPAREL USING UNSTRUCTurED DESIGNS. I CURRENTLY FOCUS ON accessories (jewelry made from textiles, notions and even zippers), handbags and home décor. I love the idea of serging almost anything as it reduces bulk. I also like serging as an embellishment on the outside of pieces. I am very surprised at the range of equipment that has found a home in my studio. Includes computer, printer, copier, scanner, and many tools from woodworkers or metalsmiths workrooms. Latest item ordered is a digital cutter with a 15 inch by 30 inch capacity. Learned recently, another digital cutter that not only cuts thin wood and metal, but now clay. Buttons to match the fabric print! Also resin. Fibers that melt with heat, but only to themselves. Everyday I hear or read of one or two new techniques and materials for a hobby that is hundreds of years old. I do own a treadle machine so I won't forget that.

  6. User avater yourwildestseams June 25th

    YESSSSS!!! I have been secretly doing this for years and feeling so guilty! Thanks for giving me permission to keep the sewin' goin' !!!

  7. Carol0516 June 6th

    This is a great tip. Thank you. I'm interested in taking Pamela's class that you mentioned above. Do you know what the name of the class is and when it will be offered?

  8. sokelly July 2nd

    I've followed your instructions on a loose woven cotton top and it works very well. As someone with a large bust, it's a great way to get rid of the excess dart fabric. Not sure if the serging would show up on a fitted, woven top.

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