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How to Baste Darts By Hand

It's a quick way to ensure dart legs align before sewing

A hallmark of a well-sewn garment is smoothly sewn, even, symmetrical darts. Learn how to baste darts by hand to get the best results.

This hand-basting method is quick, easy, and precise. First, mark the dart legs on the fabric’s right side with a marker that leaves removable lines, such as an air-erasable or FriXion pen. Then thread a hand-sewing needle with thread that contrasts with the fabric and the thread in the sewing machine. This makes it easier to remove the basting once the darts are sewn by machine.

Baste darts with hand stitching

Working from the fabric’s right side, sew long stitches along the dart legs, alternating from side to side to create a ladder of stitches on the fabric’s right side. On the wrong side, the stitches look like typical long basting stitches. Pull the thread ends at the dart point and the opposite ends. This closes the dart, and leaves a line of running stitches to follow as you permanently sew the dart by machine.

This reader tip was provided by Leona Butchart of Lac Du Bonnet, Manitoba, Canada. It was published in Threads #118 (April/May 2005).

Learn more tips for great-looking darts

“How to Sew a Dart”

“Sew Elegant and Professional-Looking Darts”


Previous: How to Mark a Dart Accurately on Fabric Next: Mark Double-Ended Darts Accurately for Fine Sewing


  1. PointPatou | | #1

    I always mark and baste my darts, but I always use chalk on the wrong side of the fabric. I baste right inside the marked lines and stitch on the lines.

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