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Finishing the raw edges of darts?

MibaReywes | Posted in General Sewing Info on

I’m making a shirt and it has darts on the front, and some on the back. I’m self-taught, been sewing for a few years, I wouldn’t call myself a beginner, but I also wouldn’t say I’m so very experienced, I basically teach myself what I need when I come upon the need to learn it, but I’ve pretty much stayed away from darts till now, so I’m very new to darts, and I can’t find any information on how to edge finish them. The pattern wants me to cut them and press them open. I’ve done that but now I’m worried it will fray, especially while it’s in the washing machine. How should I finish the raw edges? Overcast by hand? I have a serger but I don’t think I could get to the point very well without distorting it. I don’t have pinking sheers. I think binding them would make it too bulky. The fabric doesn’t seem like it’ll fray much. Unfortunately I forgot to see what kind of fabric it is, I found it in the clearance and liked the pattern and feel of it so much I rushed right up to buy it without looking and when I went back later they were out of what I’d gotten. But it seems fairly durable. I prewashed it in cold on regular and it was fine in the dryer. It’s fairly light. But the shirt isn’t very form-fitting, I prefer my clothes a bit loose and not snug so I made sure it was going to be that way so a little extra bulk on the darts wouldn’t really bother me. Anyone have know how to do this? Usually google gives me what I need, but this time it failed, so I turn to you guys.

Replies

  1. starzoe | | #1

    It is quite unusual to have darts in a shirt pattern cut open, particularly if the fabric is light weight. Cut-open darts are usually for heavier fabrics used in coats, jackets, etc. But now that you have cut them, what to do? I'd probably press the dart legs together and (if it is in the front or back) press to the cb or cf, and if it is a bust dart, press down toward the waistline. If you still worry about fraying, maybe just basting the two legs together would minimize fraying and not add any bulk. I wouldn't use fray-check or anything like that at first but if the fraying is serious you might have to resort to that.

  2. stillsuesew | | #2

    Perhaps you could press them together instead of ooen and zigzag the two raw edges together. If you use the three step zigzag stitch it shouldn't bunch up at the edge.

  3. stillsuesew | | #3

    Perhaps you could press them together instead of ooen and zigzag the two raw edges together. If you use the three step zigzag stitch it shouldn't bunch up at the edge.

  4. Rabia | | #4

    If the material didn't fray badly in the dryer along the cut edge it should be all right to just leave it as it is, since it's not fitted, but yes, it IS odd they would tell you to cut the dart open on a SHIRT. Cutting open darts is for reducing bulk, which is hardly a problem with shirt material! Pattern instructions are not gospel, and sometimes they are out-and-out ridiculous or inaccurate. Not often, fortunately, but often enough. Live and learn! You could try, as was suggested, overcasting the edges, but I would just leave it, especially if it didn't fray in the dryer.

    1. MibaReywes | | #5

      Thanks, everyone! I think I'm going to leave it for now, since the cuts are on the bias anyway (which means less fraying, right?) and if they fray first time I wash the shirt I'll press them together and probably I'll use the 3-step zigzag.

      As for the pattern, it's about 40 years old (I like old styles like that), so that might be part of the reason it says to cut open the darts. Like I said, I've never really had to deal with darts so I didn't know shirts don't normally say to do that. But now I know and the next one I make will be even better!

      1. sewelegant | | #6

        I happened to be reading your discussion and was thinking... darts are usually on the bias so it shouldn't fray and then at the end you mention it is a 40 year old pattern... AHA.  I do remember back then when almost all my darts were cut open because that's what the directions said to do!  Over the years methods and techniques, never mind fabrics, have changed alot.  Back then I did have a lot of frayed seams, but that was just the norm so didn't worry about it.  The clothes still seemed to outlast my desire to wear them and were still in good shape to pass on.  So many of our modern fabrics are sheer and fragile so this technique of cutting open the dart would not seem to be appropriate and you would have to consider that before following the written directions exactly.

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