Sewing Darts in Doll Clothes
Sewing darts is really easy, once you know how. Just follow the instructions here to sew a perfect dart every time.
What makes a perfect dart?
- The tip of the dart should end just before the bust point. If it goes exactly to the bust point, it is too long and won’t look right.
- You shouldn’t have a dimple at the end of the dart. It should end smoothly and unobtrusively.
Even though doll clothes are much smaller than clothes for people, you should be able to get good results when you sew a dart. Poorly fitted doll clothes look no better on dolls than poorly fitted clothes do on people.
Here are two methods to sew a standard dart:
Mark the dart carefully. You can do this by making a small clip on the edge of the seam allowance for each dart leg. Mark the tip of the dart with chalk or a tailor’s tack. Draw in the dart seam if you wish.
Fold over the dart carefully, matching up each dart leg exactly. Pin securely, with the pins out of the way of the sewing line.
Begin to sew the dart at the edge of the seam allowance and continue. A few stitches from the point, shorten your stitch length. When you are about one stitch from the point, where your sewing will run off the fabric, stop, rotate the fabric slightly and continue sewing a small distance parallel to the fabric—you don’t have to go very far. See Diagram One. Tie off the thread ends with an overhand knot.
This is the best method to avoid a dimple at the dart point and is the method I learned in school.
Mark the dart as I said above. Fold over the dart and pin securely, with the pins out of way of your sewing.
Begin to sew the dart at the edge of the seam allowance and continue. A few stitches from the point, shorten your stitch length. When you are about one stitch from the point, where your sewing will run off the fabric, stop, rotate the fabric slightly. Instead of continuing parallel as above, turn the fabric so you can sew parallel to edge, but into the dart. See Diagram Two. Sew a short distance and back-stitch or tie off the threads, as above.
Both these methods will give you a great dart. Which you choose depends on your personal preference and how small the dart or the doll clothes are.
And by the way, sewing darts this way will also work wonderfully on people-sized clothes, too.
How To Sew a Double-Ended Dart
Double-ended darts are usually found at the waistlines of sheath dresses. They supply shaping in the waist area. This shaping is especially important
in doll clothes because a doll’s waist is so much smaller than a person’s waist.
Sewing darts at the waist is no more difficult than a regular dart. You sew a double-ended dart as if it were two single darts.
Start in the middle of the dart, and back-stitch once or twice—not too much or the dart seam will be bulky. Stitch to the narrow end of the dart and finish it using either Method One or Method two, whichever you prefer. Fasten off the dart.
Begin again in the middle of the dart, only this time, sew the dart in the other direction. Sew the dart using the method you prefer and tie off the ends.
Clip the middle of the dart so it will lie flat.
Sewing a double-ended dart is really no harder than sewing a regular dart!
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