La Sylphide Sewalong: Darts!
We're back with the next installment of the La Sylphide Sewalong!
Today is another easy post - I wanted to be sure to give you guys enough time to get your pattern/fabric/muslin ready, so these last couple of posts have been pretty simple to allow for quick catch-up. Don't get toooo comfortable, though - after this, we are ramping up into full gear! You have been warned :)
In this post, we will mark and sew the darts for our dress/top. Those of you sewing the skirt, you've got the week off!
There are a couple of different ways to mark your darts. The way they are drawn (or rather, not drawn) on the pattern pieces is very minimalistic - just a dart point, and two notches for the legs. Of course, you can connect the legs to the points and draw a line to trace over with a tracing wheel and wax paper (this is exactly what I did for my top, made with cotton voile, ha), but with slippery fabrics such as silk georgette, the fabric is too slinky and delicate to take the kind of abuse that comes from one of those rotary markers.
Start by clipping your notch legs, then mark the dart point. Remove the pattern paper from your cut piece. Using a ruler, connect the dart point to one dart leg notch and draw a straight line between them. I like to use my marking wax - it's soft enough so it doesn't damage the delicate fabric, and it's one of those special fancy markers that disappears when you iron it. Yes!
Repeat for the other dart leg.
Or you can do what I did here and use that tracing wheel with waxed paper :) Whatever works!
Now, time to sew those darts up.
Start by putting a pin at the very tip of the dart.
Now fold the dart in half, right sides together, so that the pin/tip is exactly on the fold, and the notches for the dart legs are matched.
Now pin along the dart line you marked, checking both sides to ensure that things are staying in place.
Starting at the bottom of the dart, sew along the dart line, pulling out pins as you go, and narrowing to a taper as directed by the marking.
When you get to the tip of the dart, there should be a thread left between your needle and the edge of the fabric. Stop with the needle in the down position...
.... Then lift the presser foot and pivot the fabric around so the dart is facing toward you.
Lower the presser foot and sew back down the fold of the dart. Be very careful at the beginning and do not sew outside the dart stitching lines. Go about halfway down the dart and then backstitch as usual.
What you'll end up with is a very precise dart, with no weird bubbling at the point (usually caused by backstitching, or tying a knot, which tends to look a bit, er, nippy). I left my thread tail intact so you could see where the stitching line ended, but please, guys, trim your thread tails ;)
Sew your front and back darts, pressing them to the center of each piece. Also, go ahead and sew your shoulder seams and finish the edges - for my voile, I just serged the edges together. For the georgette, I used French Seams.
That's all for today! See y'all next week!