How to transfer dart lines to fabric


One of the most common ways to transform a flat piece of fabric is to add darts. You’ll see them on patterns at the bust, waistline of the bodice, and bottoms. But, to get them just right (straight without puckers), it’s important you take the time to transfer the pattern marks perfectly to your fabric. Here’s the easiest way I’ve found to get the job done quick.


Step One:

Lay your pattern piece out on the fabric with the WRONG side of the fabric facing up. You’ll be pinching the fabric with the right sides together so making the marks on the wrong side of the fabric makes it easier to match up the dots and sew along the pattern lines. If you’ve cut two pieces for that pattern, lay them with right sides together and you can mark the darts at the same time.

Step Two:

Put pins through the marking points on each layer — the pattern piece and each of the pieces of fabric — one, two, four…whatever. Marking points for darts usually only consist of small dots. But, you can use this technique to transfer other marks like squares, triangles, and large dots as well. 

Step Three:

With the pins still in the fabric, pull back the pattern piece careful to not pull the pin out of the fabric. You’ll mark the pins closest to the edges first, then remove those pins and keep peeling back the pattern piece until you’ve gotten to all the pins. 

Step Four:

Use your favorite marking tool to draw little dots at the exact point where the pin is inserted into the fabric. For the second piece of fabric, just flip the entire thing over and mark all the points where the pins have come through the fabric. 

Step Five:

Use a straight edge to draw a line from the inner point to the outer point using the pattern piece as a guide. For darts, you’ll be making triangles. You’ll have a single inner point and two outer points. Just connect the dots. 

Step Six:

Tada! Perfect dart lines.

Almost everything I make uses darts, so it’s great to have a go-to technique I can rely on to ensure I get the perfect every time.

Let me know if you’d like tips on actually sewing darts. I’d love to make a YouTube video to show you how if you guys want!


This post brought to you as a part of the 2013 National Sewing Month Series!


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