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How to Rotate Darts

In this video, learn how to move darts on a bodice.

Posted in: Tutorials & Techniques, Fitting • January 1, 2022

Darts add shaping, but they are also a design detail. If you don’t like the placement of a dart on a pattern, it’s easy to change. If you don’t like a dart on your pattern, you can move it to any location along the perimeter of your pattern to the bust point. It can come from the waist, side seam, shoulder, armhole, neckline—anywhere you want.

Let's Rotate a Dart!

Step 01: Remove seam allowances from the pattern. Whenever you are patternmaking, you work without seam allowance. This will help keep your pattern hacks accurate, too!

Step 02: Find your bust apex, which is usually 1-2” above the dart point. Draw a line through the center of your dart, extending 2” past the point. Mark this as your apex.

Step 03: Connect your bust apex to the ends of each of your dart legs. Decide where you want your new dart to be! We’re rotating a waist dart to the shoulder in this example.

Step 04: Make a point where you’d like your dart to sit. Draw a line connecting your bust apex to your new dart location. Cut out the wedge you drew from your first two lines, discard it.

Step 05: Cut along the line from your new dart location to the bust apex, but not through it, leaving a tiny paper hinge.

Step 06: With this hinge, you can close your original dart and open a dart at the new location. Tape your original dart closed.

Step 07: Now you need to plot the dart and back it away from your apex. Place some paper under your new dart and tape in place.

Step 08: Find the center of your dart opening. Draw a line from here to about 2” away from the apex.

Step 09: Then, redraw the dart legs, connecting to the new dart tip.

Step 10: Now it’s time to true your dart. Fold your dart along the dart legs as if you were sewing it. You want your dart uptake to fold toward the center of your garment.

Step 11: Take a needle-point tracing wheel and trace along the new seamline, or use your scissors to cut along the new seamline.

Step 12:
The last step is adding seam allowance and cutting out your new pattern. Now your dart is exactly where you want it to be!

Put your new skills to the test. Try sewing:

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