Garment Construction

Use This Simple Hack to Perfectly Match Dart Legs Every Time

Are you tired of trying to match dart legs, thinking there must be a simpler way? Most patterns will tell you to match them by “folding in half,” but this is easier said than done! Thankfully, there’s a better answer.

If you are new or a pro at sewing darts, read on to discover an amazing tip that will speed up the process and allow you to sew perfectly accurate darts every time! 

Polka Dot Dress with Darts

Retro Polka Dot Dress via Craftsy member Miss Cara

FREE Guide: Fitting Fundamentals for Sewers

Fitting Fundamentals for Sewers

Learn fitting fundamentals for sewing breathtaking projects that flatter any body style!Get My FREE Guide»

This simple technique can be used to match any type of dart. It works especially well when your pattern calls for double pointed darts, which can be very time-consuming to match by eye.

Your secret weapon? All you need is a needle and thread!

Needle and Thread

How to perfectly match dart legs

Step 1:

Place the dart markings on the right side of the fabric with a removable marking device as shown on your pattern piece.

Thread a hand sewing needle with a long single thread. There is no need to knot the end. You can use regular or heavier weight thread.

Hand Basting to Match Dart Legs

Step 2: 

With the right side of the fabric up, insert the needle down at the point and bring it back up about 1/4″ to 3/8″ up the left dart leg. Pull the stitch through, leaving a 2-3″ thread tail at the point. 

Hand Baste to Match Dart Legs

Step 3:

Take another stitch directly across the dart along the other dart leg.

Hand Baste to Match Dart Legs

Step 4:

Continue this pattern with 1/4″ to 3/8″ stitches, alternating sides until you reach the top of the dart. Keep a single thread throughout this basting process.

Hand Basting Fabric to Match Dart Legs
Hand Basting Thread on Dart Lines

Make sure your stitches follow the marked lines, the more accurate you are the better your dart will look once it is sewn.

Hand Baste to Match Dart Legs

Step 5:

When you reach the top of the dart, be sure to finish stitching about 1/8″ from the raw edges to get the best possible results. 

Tightening Basting to Match Dart LegsTightened Basting to Match Dart Legs

Step 6:

Hold the thread tail (near the point) in one hand and pull the needle end of the thread tightly to draw the dart legs together. Done. Your dart is perfectly matched!

Basting Stitches to Match Dart Legs

Step 7:

Now, finish by machine stitching the dart. Fold your fabric in half, right sides together. There is no need to press the folded edge. Mark the point of your dart to remind you where to stop sewing.

Machine Sewing a Dart

Step 8:

Begin stitching your dart at the raw fabric edges. Backstitch to secure the threads and continue stitching along the basted lines that mark your dart legs. 

When you are about a 1/2″ from the point, shorten your stitch length significantly and slowly stitch off the folded fabric edge at the point. Remove your fabric from the machine, leaving long thread tails. 

Basted and Machine Sewn Dart

Step 9:

Tie the thread tails at the dart point in a careful knot. Make sure not to tie the threads too tightly. This can cause gathers to form at the point of your dart.

Single Point Dart Stitching Close Up

Step 10:

Remove the basting thread. Press your dart carefully.

Finished Single Point Dart

Tips for sewing a double point dart

Hand sew the basting stitches twice. Begin at each point and end at the center of the dart.

To finish, machine stitch from the cebter of the dart to the dart point twice, once in each direction. It may be helpful to clip the centre of the dart to reduce tension on the fabric.

Shirt with dart details

Shirt with dart details via Craftsy member praisewat7892139

You might also enjoy our post on the secrets to sewing perfect darts.

FREE Guide: Fitting Fundamentals for Sewers

Fitting Fundamentals for Sewers

Learn fitting fundamentals for sewing breathtaking projects that flatter any body style!Get My FREE Guide»

19 Comments

ria favoreel

Thank you very much! I’ve been sewing for many years now and matching dart lines has always been a nightmare. Cannot wait to put these tips into practice on my next project!

Reply
Sherri Sylvester

I’m so glad you can use this information Ria! Thanks so much for taking the time to let me know! 🙂

Reply
Sewer

It’s never a good idea to mark the right side of the fabric unless absolutely necessary. The method I use:

–Chalk the dart legs (also called “arms” by some) on the wrong side.
–Match the legs from the wrong side with a pin, pinning from the bottom. Insert the pin from one side across the dart and check that both legs have been pierced. Then use a pin to pin baste along the dart leg.
–Baste the dart just inside the leg.
–Position the garment so that the fullness is outside the harp.
–Sew on the dart leg from the seam allowance to the vanishing point.
–Put the last 2 to 3 stitches on the fold.
–Finish as desired (tying off threads, hand tacking).
–Remove basting.

Takes more time to write out than to execute.

Reply
Sherri Sylvester

Thanks for your explanation Sewer. You’re right, I have used that method as well and it is very quick! If desired, you could use the method above by marking on the wrong side, then stitch the same pattern, checking the markings as you go.

Reply
Nikii B.

Great post! Can’t wait to try this method for darts. Seems very simple!
Thank you

Reply
Sherri Sylvester

So glad you like it Nikii! It produces a super-accurate match. I love it most for double-pointed darts. 🙂

Reply
Ebi Poweigha

Wow! This is an awesome tip.

Reply
Sherri | Thread Riding Hood

So glad you like it Ebi! Let me know how it works out for you! 🙂

Reply
Carol

Great method. Hopefully I’ll remember to try this on my next dart. lol

Reply
Serenity

This method is far superior to pinning. No shifting whatsoever. No pin marks. Great for all types of fabrics compared to pinning. I’m totally loving this golden nugget of advise. Trust the old tried and true method called Basting because it always wins. The time taken to baste is equivalent to pinning only one is left with superior results. thank you oodles.

Reply
DIAN

Thanks so much for the tip. Cant wait to try it.

Reply
Mary

I love this idea will be using it on my next project.

Reply
sumith walpola

Thanks so much for the tip.

Reply
Madeline

Oh, this looks like so much fun! I must admit, I’ve never enjoyed sewing darts. No matter how much I pin and eyeball them they always end up shifting! I am dying to try this but by marking it from the wrong side. Are there any other ways you could suggest matching dart legs that might be faster? Thank you!!!

Reply
Sherri | Thread Riding Hood

Hi Madeline, To be honest, I’m not sure I can recommend anything that is faster and this accurate. Most quicker ways are also a bit less exact. I’ll let you know if I run into anything though! Sherri

Reply
Jean

You could get a watercolor pencil (not red). The color is soluble and will wash out, but test it first. Jean

Reply
Onyinye

Wow! thanks for this wonderful tips. I’ve particularly steered clear of double pointed darts and panel all of my patterns. I’d most definitely give this a try. Thanks once more

Reply
Lori

Thank you so much for the tip.

Reply
Glenda Conrady

Who thought of this method? I love it and can’t wait to try it.

Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Leave a Reply