Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Tutorial Tuesdays: Releasing Darts

The next several Tutorial Tuesdays combined with this dress top will turn you into the ULTIMATE Modcloth  dress hacker!

When sewing (especially with woven--non stretchy-- fabrics) you will run into pesky little things called darts.

And oh buddy are they important! They can make or break the fit of a garment and can be converted into release (as in today's post) pin-tucks, pleats, gathers and seam lines. Whew!

On a women's sloper/block (pictured above) pattern piece, there are typically two darts (the one pictured only has one) one at the waist (shown) and another coming from the side to the bust. These darts must be fitted to each individual for a perfectly tailored fit...

Lucky for us, a lot of popular styles today are over-sized and drapey.

So using the thrifty dress from a past Thursday, 

lets talk about releasing darts.

The top for this dress pattern can be found (for free!) on the burdastyle  website. 

I made several changes to the pattern based upon personal opinions of modesty (sleeves and length) and (at the time) personal distaste for zippers.

As you can see in the outline of the dress, there is a jabott of sorts that I also omitted. 

To avoid putting in a zipper, while still using a woven fabric, I converted the waist darts to release. What this means is simply, instead of sewing the darts closed, I left them unsewn. 

Referring back to the top picture of the front sloper, you can see the sew line on the dart. Just don't sew it, you rebel you. 

Since converting the darts to release made the top too big at the waist, I gathered in the excess fabric to the skirt with an elastic encased in the seams. (Darts released and gathered)

With these little steps I was able to create a dress that can still fit over the head and bust without installing a zipper in the equation. Easy peasy, and now you're a pro. Even if you don't have your own slopers/blocks (which most people don't) you can still easily manipulate any commercial pattern (as I did with the Coffee date dress) into whatever you like.

With todays tutorial (if you can really call it that, it was so easy) you can recreate dresses similiar to these:

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