When constructing garments, you inevitably end up sewing across intersecting darts and seams. This occurs where a bust dart meets a side seam, or a skirt’s side seam intersects a waistline seam. You may think it is a good idea to neatly secure those seam allowances and dart intakes by stitching over them, but you can cause problems when you do so. Threads Contributing Editor Susan Khalje shares a couture technique that solves these issues.
With darts, stitching over the intake at the seamline can pull the fabric off-grain and cause drag lines that look like fit issues. The seam restricts the movement of the dart intake, too, so there is a constant downward tug on the dart and area around it.
To avoid this and to eliminate bulk at the seamline: Sew the seam as far as the dart seamline, stop, then back-tack. Move the dart intake out of the way and begin sewing the seam exactly at the dart seamline on the other side. If necessary, use a pin to mark the starting point.
Use the same technique when stitching across an intersecting seam: Sew up to the seam, stop and back-tack, move the seam allowances away, and continue sewing from the other side to complete the seam.
This is a simple technique that refines a garment. You don’t need to do it for every piece you sew, but if you suspect the seams might look stiff or bulky with dart intakes or seam allowances incorporated in them, try this to add flexibility.