Monday, December 29, 2014

How to Place Vertical or Horizontal Darts

McCalls Sewing Pattern - M2718

In a recent class I was asked how to go about placing vertical darts. I was taught this method in my pattern drafting classes. The classes I took were for individual customized patterns either for the student or for private clients. Factory standard sizing usually quotes measurements by size, spaced proportionally in thirds across the bodice measurement.  As an example, a size 36 would have the centre of each dart placed 6 inches in from each side seam, leaving 6 inches across the centre front section. Dart legs are then placed around those 1/3 centre points. 

When creating a customized pattern the vertical darts should be aligned with the middle of each breast, and end about an inch below the apex. Horizontal bust darts are also placed in the middle, and end at the same distance from the apex. If back darts are required the same rules are used, using the point of the wearer's shoulder blade as the apex. These darts are located by draping. A flat piece of fabric is placed on the body and the excess fabric is pinned out. For further clarification google "you tube pattern draping". You can watch the videos if this concept is one you are not familiar with.

In knitting we often have to fudge placement due to stitch pattern constrictions. The fabric we are creating is stretchy so we can get away with this. With woven fabric it is much more difficult to change the end point of a dart without impacting fit, however sewers do have the ability to move the starting point of the dart as long as they keep the apex aligned correctly. 

What are the differences between short row darts and vertical darts?

Short row darts are unique to knitting. They are created by working partial rows to increase the length of the knitting in a specific area of the fabric. They are worked horizontally, adding a small area of knitting which creates a bump in the knitting which corresponds to your bumps.

Vertical darts similar to sewing darts which are placed on the front of blouses and jackets. They can both add and remove width across the garment. They remove stitches above the hip to emphasize the waist shaping and then add stitches back in to accommodate the curve of the bust. If you don't require waist shaping you can choose to work the increase section only.

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