Why Do My Darts Look Like Crap?

I’m working on MariaDemark’s Edith blouse. It’s a 50s-style fitted, button-up blouse with kimono sleeves. This blouse is a dart-lover’s dream – two big bust darts and two big fish-eye darts on the front that almost meet at the bust apex, and two small ones on the back shoulders.

Normally, darts don’t phase me. Some people are afraid of them. What’s the big deal? Beats me.

Until…

The darts on the right look pretty good. The darts on the left look awful – a C- in Home Ec at best. I ripped them out and resewed them. Same deal. What’s happening here? Does anyone have tips for how to get darts symmetrical?

The fabric is a poly crepe (this is a wearable muslin). It takes a press well and is easy to sew, but it seems to be fighting with me at the point. Do I need to cut a new left bodice and start over?

Author: shoes15

I live in Connecticut, USA with my husband and my dog, in an old house outfitted with a sewing room, a garden, an orchard, and a big liquor cabinet.

8 thoughts on “Why Do My Darts Look Like Crap?”

  1. I wonder if the fabric isn’t shifting when you sew the dart, resulting in the waviness. Do you use alot of pins and markings for them? Did you reduce the stitch-length before the tip of the darts? Do you stitch the fish eyes from the middle out or from tip to tip? (I recently delved into making better darts, because mine were crappy. Those are the tips that helped me the most!)

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  2. Crêpe can be quite deceptive: it is not easy to sew because it slides worse than satin when you’re not looking. I think this is what is happening here too. I recommend unpicking the bad dart, ironing flat the material, basting it with quite small stitches to prevent sliding, and then sewing it. That should do it.

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  3. How strange and what a shame when one side looks so great. I was going to say maybe it’s slipped but there’s some advice already on this so I’ll just wish you luck with it. ☺

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  4. I mark the dart with chalk and pin. I shorten the stitch toward the end and take a couple of stitches right on the fold. I also sewed the fish-eyes as you say. You might be right about shiftiness – another commenter said the same. Maybe I will baste and try again.

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  5. I tried it and it didn’t work out. I think the fabric is warped somehow from repeatedly trying to get these darts right. I need to cut a new left bodice front. Oh boo. Your advice is great and I will use it on a fresh piece to see how it works. Thanks again for the help.

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  6. Oh that’s a shame it didn’t work. 😦 May be that dart just happens to lie “against the grain” somehow? Or may be the bodice is cut slightly off the grain so that the angle of the two darts is different? Crêpe is not an easy fabric, it is usually quite hard to tell exactly how the grain runs.

    Another thing to try – and I think it will be good on this semi-sheer material – is to cut away the darts and make them into narrow seams, either overlocked or French seams. This is a common thing to do on sheer blouses.

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