What is Dart in Sewing – Can I Sew It With Sewing Machine?

Last Updated on May 11, 2023

What is Dart in Sewing? Darts are an integral element in a wide array of sewing projects, including but not limited to dresses, pants, and blouses. They serve the crucial purpose of molding the fabric to mirror the body’s contours, thereby creating a more appealing silhouette. Nonetheless, the task of sewing darts can pose a formidable challenge, particularly if you’re just dipping your toes into the vast sea of sewing.

What is Dart in Sewing
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Fear not, for this comprehensive guide is here to alleviate your worries and arm you with the necessary skills to confidently sew a dart using a sewing machine. We’ll navigate you through the step-by-step process, ensuring that you can master this essential sewing skill.

Regardless of whether you’re a novice just starting out or a seasoned sewist looking to enhance your technique, these tips and tricks are designed to help you attain professional-grade results consistently. So, buckle up, prepare your sewing machine, and let’s set sail on this exciting journey of sewing mastery!

What is a dart in sewing?

In sewing, a dart is a folded and stitched wedge used to shape a piece of fabric, often in clothing, so that it fits the curves of the body more naturally. They serve as a key method of transforming a flat piece of fabric into a shape that aligns with the body’s contours. Darts essentially involve taking a ‘pinch’ of fabric, folding it, and sewing it down to a point.

This creates a tapering fold that can add contour and fit to a garment, and can be used to shape the bust, waist, hip, or other areas as needed. The metaphor of darts being a “dressmaker’s punctuation marks” refers to their role in defining and enhancing the ‘sentence’ of the garment.

Are darts necessary in sewing?

Yes, darts are indeed necessary in sewing, especially when you are creating garments that need to have a particular shape or fit. Darts are folds (tucks coming to a point) and sewn into the fabric to take in ease and provide shape to a garment, especially for a woman’s bust.

They are used in all sorts of clothing to ensure a tailored fit for the wearer. The type of dart used can vary, ranging from simple to more complex, depending on the specific requirements of the garment being sewn.

Do I need to sew darts?

Whether you need to sew darts depends on the specific garment and fit you are trying to achieve. If the garment pattern includes darts, they are likely necessary to provide a proper fit, especially for more fitted or tailored pieces. Darts help to shape the garment to the body’s contours, such as at the bust, waist, and hips.

For example, in a fitted blouse, darts might be used to shape the fabric around the bust and waist for a more flattering and comfortable fit. In a tailored jacket, darts can be used to shape the shoulders, chest, and waist.

However, not all garments require darts. Some patterns, particularly those for looser, more relaxed styles or stretch fabrics, may not include darts. In these cases, the garment is designed to hang more loosely on the body, or the stretch in the fabric allows it to conform to the body’s shape without the need for darts.

Where can I sew darts?

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Darts are sewn into various parts of a garment to give it a specific shape or form. They are usually found in the following areas:

  • Bust: Darts at the bust area help to give shape and contour to a garment, especially in women’s clothing.
  • Waist: Waist darts are common in dresses, blouses, and jackets to create a cinched or fitted look.
  • Back: Back darts, usually found on shirts or blouses, help the garment to fit better around the wearer’s back and eliminate excess fabric.
  • Slacks or Pants: Darts can be found in the waistband or hip area of pants to provide a better fit.

How to sew a dart using a sewing machine?

How do you sew a dart step by step? Here is a step-by-step guide on how to sew a dart using a sewing machine:

  • Identify the Dart on the Pattern: Place your pattern over your fabric. With chalk, mark where the legs (the lines creating the shape of the dart) start, where the dart tip is, and where the punch hole is (if your pattern has one). The punch hole is typically found at the end of the dart and signifies the end point of the dart sewing.
  • Draw the Dart: Use a ruler and chalk to draw lines connecting the bottom of each leg to the dart tip. If your pattern does not have a punch hole, create one half an inch directly below the dart tip.
  • Fold and Pin the Fabric: Fold your fabric with right sides facing each other so that the legs of the dart align. Pin horizontally at the dart tip and then up the leg from the bottom towards the dart tip, ensuring that the pins go through the leg lines on both sides of the fabric.
  • Sewing the Dart: Start sewing at the bottom of the leg, moving in the direction of the dart tip. Use a regular straight stitch and backstitch only at the beginning to secure the thread. When you reach the punch hole, stop and reduce your stitch length to the smallest possible.
  • Finishing the Dart: When you reach the dart tip, let the machine stitch off the fabric completely. Do not backstitch at the dart tip; instead, pull a little more thread than usual when removing the garment from the machine. Tie off the thread ends with a knot before clipping them down.
  • Press the Dart: Finally, press the dart in the direction indicated by your pattern. Use a rounded edge, like a tailor ham or the end of an ironing board, at the dart tip for best results.

Remember, darts are often used on the busts of dresses and blouses, skirts, and to minimize gapping at sleeve openings. They add shape and fitting to your garment.

What stitch length for sewing darts?

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The stitch length for sewing darts can be broken down into two parts:

  1. For the majority of the dart, a medium stitch length of 2.5 should be used. You should sew along the marked line, removing the pins as you go.
  2. When you reach approximately 1 inch (or 2.5 cm) from the end of the dart, you should decrease your stitch length to 1.0-1.5. This shorter stitch length towards the end of the dart will help create a smoother finish, reduce puckering, and also make the dart stronger.

What is used to press the dart in sewing?

A pressing ham is used to press the dart in sewing. This tool helps maintain the shape of the fabric and prevent it from being flattened again.

Can I hand sew darts?

Yes, you can hand sew darts. The instructions you provided outline the steps for preparing a dart for sewing by hand.

Here is a more detailed process to hand sew darts:

  • Begin by transferring your dart markings from your pattern to your fabric. This usually involves marking the dart legs (the two lines that form the triangle of the dart) and the dart apex (the pointy end of the dart).
  • Sew a broad basting stitch manually along each leg of the dart as marked, making sure to leave a lengthy thread loop after each stitch on both sides of your fabric. Essentially, this serves as a provisional stitch, securing the dart’s position temporarily.
  • When it comes to pressing darts, the appropriate direction can vary depending on the garment and fabric. However, as a general rule, darts are typically pressed either towards the center of the garment or downwards. If you’re a beginner, take your time and proceed with caution as you learn this essential sewing technique.
  • Then, fold the fabric right sides together so that the two legs of the dart line up, and pin them together.
  • Start sewing from the widest part of the dart (the edge of the fabric), following the basting stitches towards the apex. As you get close to the apex, your stitches should become smaller to taper off and avoid a bubble at the tip of the dart.
  • Once you’ve reached the apex with your sewing, do not backstitch. Instead, leave a long thread tail and tie it off by hand to prevent the end of the dart from puckering.
  • Finally, remove the basting stitches and press the dart. The direction you press can depend on the garment and the fabric, but generally, darts are pressed towards the center of the garment or downwards.

Remember to take your time, especially if you’re new to sewing darts. It might take a bit of practice to get them looking neat and even.

What are the two types of darts?

The two basic types of darts, especially in the context of sewing and clothing, are:

  • Single-Pointed Dart: This type of dart is wide at one end and narrows at the other. It takes on a V shape when completed.
  • Double-Pointed Dart: This dart is pointed and tapered at both ends.

Video: How to Sew a Dart

Master the Art of Sewing Darts with OnlineFabricStore! Explore this comprehensive tutorial on how to sew a dart flawlessly. Add more shape and style to your sewing projects today!


In conclusion, darts in sewing are fundamental tools that create shape and form in your garments, transforming flat fabric into three-dimensional pieces that hug the contours of the body.

They are most commonly found at the bust and waist areas in women’s clothing but can be used anywhere a more tailored fit is desired. From single-pointed darts that offer a simple tapered shape to double-pointed darts that provide more intricate shaping, these are invaluable techniques in the realm of sewing.

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