Dart Manipulation Technique for Women Dress
Lecturer, Dept. of Fashion Design
KCC Women’s College (Affiliated by Khulna University)
A dart is a wedge of fabric that is pinched out of a garment to allow shaping or to remove excess fabric. Darts are needed to turn two-dimensional shapes into three-dimensional shapes and to fit clothes closely to the body.
Different dart locations:
Darts can be located in a number of different places on a bodice to alter its style.
Basic dart manipulation:
The diagram above shows different dart locations. You can practice these dart manipulations as an exercise using either full size or half-scale blocks. By moving these darts around the bust point, you will begin to understand the method.
Follow the step-by-step exercise below:
The basic bodice has two darts. Start by consolidating the two darts into one side seam dart.
- Trace off the front bodice; here the bodice block is made from card, making tracing easier and more accurate.
- Cut up the front waist dart and the side seam dart.
- Close the waist dart, and the side seam dart opens. (Remember not to cut right through; keep a small amount of paper attached to act as a hinge.)
To continue this exercise, trace off the front bodice block onto paper. Draw in the lines to the bust point as shown on the diagram. To manipulate the darts, simply slash to the apex each time, and then close and open the darts in different locations.
Asymmetric darts manipulation:
- To create asymmetric darts, trace off the bodice block fronts, joining the right and left sides at the CF(center front). The full bodice is traced off because the right and left sides are to be different.
- Cut up both waist and side darts to the apexes. Close the bust dart until its edges meet. The waist darts will open.
- Draw in the new dart lines.
- First cut along the long line that passes from left to right.
- Close the right-hand waist dart, and the long dart opens.
- Cut up the shorter dart and close the left-hand waist dart. The short dart opens.
- The pattern development is complete. Trace in new darts and back away from the apex by 4cm (11⁄2in). This is now your pattern plan. Trace this off onto a clean sheet of pattern tracing paper. Now you can add your seam allowance, notches and grain lines.
Changing darts into gathers:
This style has gathering located under the bust instead of the dart. First, repeat the first six steps from ‘Asymmetric darts’, above.