It's my final week here in Spain, and I thought I better get some blogging done before the boyfriend and I take off for the next adventure on this very long journey home. Although you can get from London to Sydney in roughly 24 hours (a disgusting amount of time to be cooped up on a plane and in airport waiting lounges), we decided to take the journey at a much more leisurely pace... Around about 8 weeks!
Once upon a time, it did take months to get from London to Sydney, which although very exhausting, must have made the transition from one continent to another, much more gradual, and probably much less of a shock to the system. I decided to try this technique, so I wouldn't feel like I had just been wrenched out of my lovely London life, and then dumped, blinking in the bright sunshine outside the airport in Sydney, wondering "What just happened? Did I ever even leave?"
I had grand plans of taking full advantage of my new found free time here in Spain, by blogging and sewing as much as my heart desired, but turns own there are much more exciting things to do here! I finally have a bit of free time (while the rest of the household enjoys a siesta), and am taking advantage of this time to get back on top of the topic of darts.
Last week I updated the tutorial about how to eliminate a dart, using the pivot technique. So it is now time to update this tutorial.
If you don't already now, darts are used to shape a pattern to the contours of the body. If you are drafting a pattern from the basic bodice, you may want to move or eliminate the darts all together, to change the fit of your garment or to make your design more interesting.
There are two common methods for eliminating darts - the pivot technique and the cut and spread technique - I use them both, depending on the pattern I am making. When drafting directly from the bodice block I prefer to use the pivot technique (so I don't have to trace my block, or cut into it), while if I am making changes to a commercial pattern, I tend to use this technique - although it really is up to you which method you prefer.
This tutorial outlines how to transfer the fullness of a dart to another area of a pattern (in this case creating more of an A-line silhouette).
For this tutorial you will need:
Take the pattern you will be altering (trace a copy if you would like to keep the original - being sure to copy all pattern markings).
Although it's called "eliminating a dart," what it really means is that we will be transferring the fullness from the dart into another area of the pattern. It is most common to transfer this fullness to the hemline, to create a more A-line silhouette (even if it is only a minor change).
Draw a line, parallel to the grainline, from the tip of the dart (dart point) to the hem of the pattern. This will be your "Cut Line" and where the fullness from the dart will be relocated to.
Focus on the lower arm of your dart (if the dart is vertical and doesn't have a "lower dart arm" focus on the arm furthest from the centre front or centre back).
It's much easier to explain the next couple of steps with photos...
Take a pair of scissors and cut along the lower dart arm until you 1-2mm from the dart point.
Next, cut along the "Cut Line" - up from the hemline - until you are 1-2mm from the dart point.
Be careful to ensure you have a couple of millimeters between the two cuts. This will create a "hinge" that will allow movement, but will also keep the two pieces together. If you accidentally cut all the way through, do not fret, just grab your trusty masking tape and make a masking tape hinge.
As you can see, you will now be able to move the lower quarter of the pattern (and if you can't, you will need to cut further into the dart point, until you do get the movement you need).
Take the part of the pattern that is attached by the hinge, and move the piece so that the lower dart arm lines up with the upper dart arm. You will see that this causes the pattern to open at the hemline. Use tape to secure the dart closed.
You will see that you have now eliminated the dart by relocating the volume to the hemline.
Take some pattern paper (this is a great time to use all those scraps you have lying around) and fill the gap. Tape it in place.
Moving the dart will sometimes slightly skew the seam it lies on. Use a ruler to redraw the seam (in this case the side seam).
Redraw the hemline as a smooth curve.
And that's it... You no longer have a dart!