Sewing Cafe

Patterns, Tutorials and Works in Progress from the Sewing Studio of Lynne Williams

Sunday, November 28, 2010

MadMen: Sewing Darts and altering for a sway back

 Sewing darts is an important skill to learn and perfect for dressmaking.  After all  almost all garments have them in one form or another.  The dress pattern selected for this Mad Men sew along has 10 darts altogether.  Here you can see how to pin them properly. 

I begin by folding the dart, right sides together and matching the stitch lines.  I place my first pin at the very end/apex of the dart and pin along the stitch line being sure to stab the pin through the front to the back being very careful that the stitch line matches up. 

Since you sew a dart from the cut edge to the apex, you want to place your pins with the point heading towards the cut edge and the leg of the dart to your right.  This way when you start to sew the pins are easy to remove as you approach them.
During my fitting I pinched out some excess under the dart to provide a better shape for my bodice.  In this picture I am transfering those markings by using dressmakers carbon and a tracing wheel.  I will only use the carbon on the muslin, as it might leave color in my final fabric.  I will repeat this on my tissue/pattern as well.

One of my figure issues/pattern adjustments is for a slight sway back.  While trying on my muslin I noticed that the side seam pitches forward.  To correct this I pinch out a fold of  skirt fabric horizontally just below my waist until the side seam hangs at a right angle to the floor.  Once I take the garment off I measure the fold.  The fold tells me how much to remove/lower at my center back waist line.  I then mark the amount, 1/2" and fold my dart over the corner of a table so that I can draw a smooth line from center back to side seam.  I use my Fashion Ruler for this, as you can see and draw in and cut my new back skirt waist. 

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