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Topstitched Darts,Three Ways

Learn three ways to dress up your darts with topstitching, by Haley Glenn.


Topstitching is a great way to add interest to a garment. Its effect can range from subtle to striking and—best of all—it can be done for the price of a spool of thread!

Typically, topstitching is reserved for seams, but why limit yourself? You can also apply this detail to darts. In this article, I’ll walk you through three techniques to upgrade your darts with topstitching.

Four tricks for better topstitching

  • Match the weight of your fabric to the weight of your thread. Light and medium-weight fabric work well with all-purpose thread, while heavyweight fabrics are better with topstitching thread.
  • Use all-purpose thread in your bobbin, even when you are sewing with topstitching thread.
  • Use the right needle. Topstitching needles will help you the create a more accurate line.
  • Use a longer stitch length. On medium-weight fabrics try using a stitch length of 3 and on heavyweight fabrics use a stitch length of 4.

Angled topstitching

Use this technique for small darts that provide minimal shaping.


01 | Start by sewing and pressing your dart.


02 | Using a hand-sewing needle and thread, sew a running stitch 1/4” away from the edge of the dart uptake. This will help stabilize the dart as you sew and serve as a reference line as you stitch.

03 | Switch your upper thread to topstitching thread.


04 | Beginning just beyond the tip of your dart, topstitch approximately 1/8” outside the running stitch created in the previous step, being careful to catch all layers. Backstitch within the seam allowance.


05 | On the wrong side of the dart, carefully pull the topstitching thread from the first stitch toward the wrong side. Secure with a knot. Press.


06 | Remove the basting stitch.


Edgestitched

Use this technique for both small and large darts.


01 | Start by sewing and pressing your dart.

02 | Switch your upper thread to topstitching thread.


03 | Beginning just beyond the tip of your dart, edgestitch, being careful to catch all layers. Backstitch within the seam allowance.


04 | On the wrong side of the dart, carefully pull the topstitching thread from the first stitch toward the wrong side. Secure with a knot. Press.


Squared-off

Use this technique for both small and large darts.


01 | Start by sewing and pressing your dart.


02 | Using a water-soluble marketing tool, draw a line 1/4” away and parallel to the dart. Draw a second line, perpendicular to the first, connecting the first line and the dart.

03 | Switch your upper thread to topstitching thread.


04 | Beginning just beyond the tip of your dart, topstitch along the drawn line, being careful to catch all layers. Backstitch within the seam allowance.


05 | On the wrong side of the dart, carefully pull the topstitching thread from the first stitch toward the wrong side. Secure with a knot. Press.


Beckett
Samson
Blake

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