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September 08, 2017 3 min read

So you decided you want to learn about patternmaking. It is a wonderful choice, especially if you have a great desire to make a career in fashion design. However, the path to learning involves a few things that you need to discover, and one of them is related to the use of darts and seams in patternmaking.

Basics about Darts

Darts are used to fit fabric to our bodies. Every garment that you do is made from a garment, and every pattern is made from a sloper. The sloper is actually a basic pattern made as based on a set of custom measurements, which are made from the body of an individual, or a dress form.You will use this sloper to create various patterns and designs. Basically, each sloper has a minimum of one dart.

You can control the darts in a sloper, by moving or changing them to create a completely new design or style. You can let the darts as they are, or use them to create various gathers, pleats, tucks, and seams. Darts play the most important role in turning a basic sloper into a pattern that has a completely different style or design.

There are two methods that you can use to manipulate or move darts:

  • The slash/spread method. In this method, you slash or cut the pattern and spread or move a small section of it to close a dart and form another one.
  • The pivot method. In this method, you need to trace the pattern and pivot it

Although you can move darts to create new designs and styles, you can also combine darts ones with others.

There are no specific rules to follow when talking about darts. You are not necessarily required to have a shoulder dart, waist dart or another type of dart. It only depends on you to decide if you need darts for your pattern, and what type of darts you want to use. Also, you can keep them, move or combine them as you consider it appropriately, to get the style you need or want for your pattern.

Seams in patternmaking

When it comes to patternmaking, darts can be used to create seams or style lines, yet this is not a must. You are not always required to change a dart into a seam when you want to add seams in patternmaking.

You need to analyze the style you want to create from the sloper. For this analyze, you need to use the three C’s, which are: compare, consider, compose. So let’s see what they mean.

  • Are the darts the same in the design, as in your sloper? To get the answer to this question, you need to check if it has any shoulder, waist or other darts.
  • If you find out that the darts are not the same, then you need to check whether they have been moved, closed, combined or changed to another design element, such as gathers, pleats, tucks, seams or others alike.
  • Make your plan of action. Think about where you want to start and what you should do first. For this last step, which is to compose, we’ll show you an example of a plan of action:
  1. Close the dart that will be crossed by the new seam line.
  2. Draw in your seam or style line.
  3. Cut the pattern apart on the yoke line.
  4. Add any additional style features to your pattern piece. For this step, you need to move or close the remaining dart, when it is needed.

In the end

Remember that the path to success involves a lot of work. So what you need to do is practice everything you learn, prior to getting the desired result.