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September 12, 2017 3 min read

In patternmaking, one of the essential things that you need to know is how to move darts, without cutting and slashing your pattern. This is very easy to do, and it helps you create design lines on your pattern. So if you need to move darts, then you are in the right place. Continue reading and you’ll learn everything you need to know in order to get the best results.

Things you need for moving the darts on your pattern

Nothing can be done without the appropriate tools, and moving darts on your pattern isn’t an exception from this rule. So here are the tools that you need:

  • Bodice pattern piece
  • Pencil and eraser
  • Tracing paper
  • Ruler
  • Tracing wheel
  • Awl

How to do it

So now that you got everything ready, you can start the actual process of moving the darts on your pattern.

  1. Trace your original pattern
  • Get your bodice front pattern piece. If you don’t want to mark your original pattern piece, then you need to start by tracing off a copy of it. For a better stability, you can draw the copy onto a piece of cardboard.
  • Look for the bust point on your pattern and mark it for reference. If there is no bust point marked on the pattern, then you need to hold the pattern piece on yourself or on the dress form you use for your creations, to mark with a pen the fullest point of your bust.
  • Draw a circle around the marked bust point.
  1. Position your new dart
  • Take your pattern piece and draw on it a line where you would like your dart to go. The line needs to start from your pattern piece’s edge and finish at the bust point.
  • Place the pattern piece on a large piece of tracing paper. Mark the bust point on the tracing paper.
  1. Close off the original darts

It is now time to remove the original darts and create your new ones.

  • When you get to your first dart, mark a notch at the first dart leg. Use the awl and place it at the apex of your dart, then pivot your pattern piece until the first and the second leg of the dart are lined up.
  • Continue this process until you get to the next dart and then repeat.
  • When you finished and you don’t have any more darts on your pattern, you go on with tracing until you get to your dart line that is drawn on the pattern piece.
  1. Complete the new dart
  • Now you need to remove the pattern piece from the tracing paper. You will see a big open gape, and this is the new dart.
  • Take the pencil and ruler and draw in your darts legs that go all the way to your bust point.
  • Mark at the edge of the bust circle, while you ensure that the mark is centered between the two openings.
  • Starting from the new apex, draw your two dart legs to the openings on the pattern piece. Now, this is your new dart. Use the ruler to make sure that the two dart legs are exactly the same length.
  • Carefully fold one dart leg to meet the other one, as this will close off the dart.
  • If you traced correctly, then the two dart legs should meet and form a single, continuous line. Now use the tracing wheel to trace over the dart edge where is folded under the bulk of the paper.
  • Open up the pattern piece. You’ll see the dots that your tracing wheel left on your pattern. This is the finished shape of your dart. Take the pencil and trace over it.
  • Add your seam allowance to the pattern piece.
Once you finished all these steps, you have a new bodice with your measurements. The only thing that differs is the dart, which is now in a different spot.