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Alternatives to darts

Tabasam | Posted in Techniques on

What are the alternatives to using darts in dress making please? For example are pleats, gathering and elastic an alternative to darts please.

Replies

  1. lizingham | | #1

    Yes, those three examples are all alternatives to darts, depending on what you are making and where the dart is. Vertical darts often convert OK to pleats or gathers. A waistline dart in a skirt might respond well to gathering instead, especially when it is a wool fabric that responds well to being 'shrunk' - there is an article somewhere in Threads about doing this on purpose for a more couture look, to avoid the bulk of a dart. In a close-fitting dress with two double-ended vertical darts between each bust and front hip, I will often convert the pointed ends into tucks or pleats, with some reinforcing where the stitching in the waist section ends. When sewing a lining, it's a good idea to convert the darts into pleats in any case as this gives the lining more ease to move with the outer fabric. Pleats generally don't work for horizontal bust darts, as they may not sit right. When sewing a knit bodice / top in a drapy stretchy fabric, I will almost always convert any bust dart into gathering / easing. When I'm lazy, I will simply stretch the back piece to match the length of the front piece (with the dart removed) and let it snap back into shape after I've sewn the seam, but that is really lazy sewing (it works for me and nobody is looking so who cares). But it's a better idea to gather the side seams of the front bust area , sew the seam with a stretch stitch, then remove any gathering thread after the seam is sewn, to avoid any stiffness from the gathering stitches. If the dart is a really big one or an odd shape, you might have to rethink things. I hope that helps! Good luck with your ideas.

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