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Fine-tune the Shape with Darts | Video

Darts are a powerful asset that will allow you to create the exact shape you want in a garment.

Using darts to fine-tune the shape and fit of a garment starts with understanding the anatomy of a dart and how it works. Former Threads editors Judith Neukam and Stephani L. Miller explain both. Then they demonstrate how to theoretically lengthen, shorten, rotate, and move darts to improve a garment’s shape and fit around your body’s unique curves, whether at the bust, hips, derriere, or shoulders.

This video is part of Teach Yourself to Sew, Season 5. The series provides you with what you need to know before cutting your fabric. Good planning is fundamental and that’s what you’ll learn to do. Follow along as former Threads editors walk you through lessons on how to take and chart your measurements, find the right pattern size, check the pattern against your body before you start, and establish your preferred fit. These lessons are designed to turn beginners into discriminating sewers.

This detailed tutorial is one video in the comprehensive Teach Yourself to Sew series.

Teach Yourself to Sew

Judith got her first taste of sewing when she took the free lessons that came with her mother’s sewing machine purchase. Judith was 9 at the time. Soon after, she was sewing her own clothes and feeding her passion for the craft. In her Teach Yourself to Sew series, Judith shares her enduring love of sewing and her invaluable years of sewing experience.

Getting started

She starts with discussing the equipment and the essential sewing notions for anyone who sews. You’ll learn about shopping for fabrics, choosing patterns (including selecting the correct size), and planning the perfect pattern layout. From machine-sewing simple seams to inserting zippers and stitching buttonholes, Judith demonstrates the key steps to making a custom garment.

Discover methods for clean-finishing seam allowances and applying facings so…

Previous: Make a Test Garment | Video Next: How to True Seams | Video


  1. User avater
    Joyree | | #1

    That was a sad demonstration for a new seamstress of how to rotate a dart. One would think they were to draw a circle around the apex, and then cut a line to the edge of the circle. It could have been done much better on a pattern piece with a demo of how it makes funny seam shapes, especially in a french dart, and an explanation that sometimes, you need to cut out the fullness in a huge dart.

  2. carolfresia | | #2

    This is meant to be a conceptual introduction to darts, rather than an in-depth explanation of how to manipulate them. That is typically considered a more advanced technique.

    For more information on moving darts, take a look at these posts:


    Carol Fresia
    Threads Senior Technical Editor

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