Wild Ginger Wiki

Anatomy of the Dart

Darts - Ugh! Nobody seems to like them. When I first started sewing, at the age of five, I made “dresses” for my Barbie dolls. They consisted of a rectangle of fabric with a holes cut for the head and arms.

anatomy of the dart

anatomy of the dart

To show off Barbie's figure, I needed to add darts. But, at the time I knew nothing about darts.

anatomy of the dart

So...what exactly are darts?

What you many not realize is that many seams in a garment are some type of "dart". Side seams, shoulder seams, and sleeve underarm seams are also "darts". Any seam that is changing the garment from a larger circumference to a smaller circumference is in effect darting that area of the garment.

anatomy of the dart

Also Darts

What are dart equivalents?

If you are not a fan of the lowly dart, it can be converted from a triangular shaped fold of fabric to other design devices known as dart equivalents.

anatomy of the dart

Darts Equivalents

Why use darts?

Darts are really not that difficult to understand but they are essential to the styling and fit of any garment. A few key terms will help you to better understand the concept of darts so that you can use them more effectively in all of the garments you design and fit.

How are darts formed?

What are dart points?

What is the dart angle and why should you care?

(Warning: a little scary geometry here.)

What is dart uptake?

How are darts placed?

anatomy of the dart

Dart Locations

anatomy of the dart

Side bodice dart rotated to new locations – dart angles are exactly the same

What are working darts versus design darts?

There are two types of darts to know - working darts and design darts.

The following table provides a guideline for placement of the bust dart point in relation to the bust apex.

anatomy of the dart

What is trueing a dart?

The wide end of the dart must be shaped such that when the dart is folded and stitched, the stitching lines for the dart end match those of the seam line it folds into. This shaping of the dart end is called trueing the dart. The following guidelines can be used to determine which way to fold and stitch the dart.

anatomy of the dart

anatomy of the dart

Directions for Folding Darts

So, now you know all you need to know about darts. Go forth, design, and do not fear the dart!

anatomy of the dart

Oh! the possibilities!

For more inspiring dart ideas, check out my Anatomy and the Dart Pinterest Board