FREE monthly lessons here!

This month’s lesson:

Stitch a perfect bust dart (waist to bust point)

Stitching a dart is easy.
But to have it look perfect, without a pucker at the end, is a small and a very simple trick :)

Read on for instructions of how you can make your dart look perfect!

PHOTO 1:  Here is what well stitched dart should look like (waist to bust point):
Notice in the instructions below that you will not be stitching a straight line, rather the stitch will be curved in the end to make the fit a little closer to the body under the bust.
Well stitched dart









PHOTO 2:  Here is what badly stitched darts look like (with pucker on the end):

Badly stitched dart

 How will you get your dart to look like the first photo above (Photo 1)?
Below, take a look at the photo, and then read the description just below the photo.
Last step
This is what your stitch line should look like.
Notice a straight stitch parallel to the fold at the beginning, and then a semi-circle in the end.

Apologies for the thread colour which isn’t showing very well.
I will use a darker thread next time.


Step 1

STEP 1:  
– Place pins at all important locations:
1:  where the dart begins (where you will pinch the fabric to form a dart, at the waist)
2:  the very end of the dart (at the bust)
3:  1/2″ before the end of the dart
4:  About 3″ to 3 1/2″ before end of dart #3 (larger bust use 3 1/2, smaller bust use 3)
Step 2
– Fold the fabric in half, so that the two pins on the edge of the fabric overlap and so that the fold crosses the last pin where the end of the dart will be
– Take out the pin #2 and repin it so that it passes horizontally through both of the fabric layers
– Do the same for the bottom two pins #2 and pin #3
If you are a beginner and if it helps, use chalk and a ruler to draw the line that would resemble the stitch line shown in the photo what your stitch line should look like.
It is a straight line parallel to the fold of the fabric from pins #1 to pin #4, and then a semi-circle from pin #4 to pin #2.
I haven’t done that, and have instead opted to go by the eye.

Step 3

 STEP 3:
– Place the folded fabric under the machine
– Folded part of fabric on the right side, and raw edges on the left side
– The two top pins #1 is where you will start stitching the dart
– Take out the two pins and mark with a pencil or snip into the fabric where the pins were

Step 4

 STEP 4:
– Start the stitching by doing a back stitch first
– Back stitch is stitching 3 stitches, then pressing the reverse button to stitch 3 stitches backwards to where you began at raw part of fabric, and then continue to stitch
– Continue stitching PARALLEL to the fold of the fabric, meaning there should be same distance from your stitch to fold of fabric where you began and keep the same distance from the fold as you keep stitching
Step 5
– Look behind the machine to see that your stitch is good and there are no tangles of thread
– You will see a long hanging thread which you will cut off at the base

Step 6

 STEP 6:
– Cut off the thread to the base so nothing is hanging loose

Step 5

– Continue stitching a straight line parallel to the fold of the fabric, but see the next photo for instructions before you reach the pin #4

Step 8

– As you approach the pin #4, pull the pin slightly out so that you don’t stitch over it

Step 9

 STEP 9:
– 1/4″ before you reach the pin start angling the fabric, as you prepare to stitch the semi circle towards the second last pin #3

Step 10

 Step 10:
– Take a look at where the second last pin (Pink) is
– You will stitch a semi circle from where you are now towards the second last pin:  meaning a curved line with the curve bulging out the right side
– This is NOT a straight line, and is one of the important parts of getting a fitted dart for the bust (see the very first photo of what this dart will end up looking like)
– please see below photo:
Continue to next step now
Step 11
STEP 11:
– You are stitching a curved line towards the second last pin #3 (in Pink here)
Step 12
STEP 12:
– As you approach the 2nd last pin, you will pull that pin out ever so slightly
– You should be 1/16″ or 1 to 2 millimeters away from the fold of the fabric once you reach the second last pin
Step 13
STEP 13:
– from the second last pin #3 to the last pin #2, you will stitch a STRAIGHT line right on top of the fold 1/16″ or 1 to 2 millimeters away from the fold of the fabric
– Make sure that the space from stitch line to fold at pin #3 does not get wider as you stitch towards the last pin #2
– The space should only be getting smaller without running off the fabric until you reach the last pin

Step 14

Step 14:
– As you reach the last pin, slightly pull the pin out so that you know where you should end your stitch
Please read the next instruction before moving on

Step 15

STEP 15:
– as you reach the last pin, pull the pin out and place it inside the fabric on the left side
– the pin must be placed in the same horizontal level where it originally was before you took it out (this will ensure that both of your bust darts left and right are finished on the same level)
– continue stitching towards the pin LEVEL at fold edge of fabric

Step 16

STEP 16:
– as you reach the level, you should now have run off smoothly off the fold of the fabric
– do not pivot/turn the fabric and run off the folded edge, this should have been a smooth running off the fabric as you reached the last pin level (see next photo)

Step 17

STEP 17:
– pull the fabric out from under the machine so that you can see at least 8″ of thread between the fabric and the machine

Step 18

STEP 18:
– Cut the thread so that you have at least 5″ hanging from the fabric (see next photo)

Step 19

STEP 19:
– This is what you should have
– We do not back stitch at the end of the dart because you will not get a clean finish.  Instead we will make a knot. (see next photo)

Step 20

STEP 20:
– Make a loose knot
– If you do not know how to make a loose knot, take a look at the photo again
– Place the thread into a circular shape
– Thread goes from the right side, then away from you, then to the left, then towards you and finally the end of the thread towards the right
– the Loose end of the thread should be placed underneath the circular thread, not over the top


 STEP 21:
– You will pull the thread so that the knot slides to the bottom of the thread is where the fold of the fabric is
– How do you do this:
– Hold the loop of the thread (circular thread) with your left hand’s  fore finger and the first finger next to it [not the thumb].
– With your right hand you will hold the loose thread end
– Now, at the same time, spread apart your two fingers on the left hand from each other, and at the same time pull the thread end in your right hand.
– This should automatically force the knot to reach the bottom of the thread at the end of the fabric.

Step 22

STEP 22:
– While the knot is tight and next to the fold of the fabric, before letting go of the tension place your left forefinger on top of the knot to keep it in place while you pull the loose end with your right hand

Step 23

STEP 23:
– You now have a small knot perfectly next to the fold of the fabric.
– Repeat the knot so that you end up with two knots on top of each other

Step 24

STEP 24:
– Cut off the remainder of the loose thread so that only 1/4″ or 6 millimeters is left sticking out

And this is what your stitched dart should look like:
Last step

Here is a close-up of the semi-circle:
Previous Lessons:

– Drafting Basic Bodice
– Sleeve Rules-of-thumb
– Eliminating gaping for deep/low necklines
– Ease Allowance rule-of-thumb
– Developing angled Darts

12 responses to “FREE monthly lessons here!

  1. Hi, I’m a beginner and I had trouble making darts for like 8 hours, but your tutorial helped me the most, so thanks! Would it be possible to send me all the previous previous lessons? I can’t find them. Thanks so much!

    • Hi G G,

      Happy to hear that this tutorial has helped you :D
      We post only one tutorial at a time, but keep following and watching out for new tutorials and new courses being offered.

      Dubai In Design (DID)

  2. Dear,
    I have studied till 10th grade, I am very much interested in fashion designing.i have basic knowledge of stitching I want to learn the whole process.please guide me

    Thank you

    • Dear Sameera,

      Wonderful to see such enthusiasm.
      We love to encourage creativity and support those who love to learn and progress, whether they are beginners or professionals.

      As you have basic sewing skills, the best option for you would be to take the pattern drafting for beginners, next.
      You will learn how to draft basic blocks and patterns in your own or anyone else’s body measurements.

      You can then proceed and stitch these patterns together to get the idea of the basic fit and style.

      The pattern drafting course will allow you to become more creative and versatile with your garments and designing.

      We will send you a more detailed email. Please check, and let us know if you have any questions.

      Dubai In Design (DID)

  3. I was struggling for a while with my darts but after having followed your excellent method in stitching darts, I was able to do the same on my skirt. Success! Thanks Tsufa. Your intricate explications and details makes stitching seem so much easier :D looking forward to more lessons!

  4. can u plsmail me all the mentioned earlier mails

  5. can u post me the earlier lessons

    • Dear Greta,

      Which lesson are you interested in specific?
      The older lessons have been taken off the site, but we can send you the information by email.

      Dubai In Design (DID)

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