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skirt sloper darts

Maggy | Posted in Fitting on

When making a skirt sloper, how does one determine the correct length of the front and back darts?


  1. jjgg | | #1

    it is best to pin the darts while you have the skirt on.Generally speaking though, someone with a flat belly (and or buttocks) will need longer darts than someone with a very rounded belly and / or buttocks

    1. Maggy | | #2

      Thanks, that worked out well.

      Still on the subject of darts, do you recommend slightly slanting the back dart closest to the side seam, or leaving it straight, like the dart closest to the center back seam?  I have come across both methods in various patternmaking textbooks, but have found no further explanation about instances when one would use a straight or slanted dart.

      1. starzoe | | #3

        Different body types need different locations for darts (and gathering) to fit and look neat.My advice would be to try the skirt on, without darts sewn, and then move the dart spaces around, pinning or basting in place. You can do this yourself for the front but it would be faster if you had another person to help with the back. You also need a full-length mirror.Skirt darts should point toward the highest spot of the body (tummy or backside) and should end not on, but before that spot. Really, the best way for a good fit is to move things around for your personal fit. Sometimes a little gathering looks better than a dart, depends again on your body shape.

      2. Teaf5 | | #4

        Most darts are parallel to the grain line so that the fabric falls more naturally. Also, a slanted dart in a skirt might distort any pattern or grain that you have. If you're making two darts on each side (necessary only for very rounded backsides), making them parallel to each other and the center back seam would look best.

      3. jjgg | | #5

        it doesn't really matter. What ever looks good, sometimes the slanted darts (slant both) can be 'slimming' looking.Generally, one of the darts should be at the 'princess' line. also, if you are adding a bodice to this to make a dress (with a sewn waist line) these darts need to match up at the waist line seam.Sometimes, one of the darts can be moved to the side seam (ie. take the dart out of the side seam and have only one dart to sew.)One poster did mention that if there is a pattern (plaid, stripe etc,) a slanted dart can look bad.There are no dart police out there, what suits your body type is wahts right

        1. Maggy | | #6

          Thanks to all of you for your great advice on the skirt sloper darts. That certainly was a wealth of information.

          Pin fitting the darts with the skirt on was definitely the best way of determining the correct position and length of the darts.  It toook a bit of fiddling, but my skirt sloper now has a fabulous fit and is totally comfortable to wear as is, although I now have the exciting option of making many different designs from this well fitting one.

          Sure hope that somewhere down the road I will also be able to offer some sort of constructive help to someone.


          1. Cathie | | #7

            This is very helpful. I am about to make a sloper/skirt, and was very perplexed re: darts. As I am very curvy, I decided to once and for all learn how to fit myself, and, then I can move on to those more complex, and lovely skirts/dresses. I have a creative hubby to help with back pinning, and a mentor-like sewing friend, some 10 miles away. Thanks!

          2. jjgg | | #8

            One more comment about darts, if you have a very large belly or rear, sometimes putting in 3 smaller darts will fit better than 2

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