How to Sew Darts

A dart adds dimension and shape to a flat piece of fabric, allowing the piece to mold to the body at the bust, waist, hips, or elbows. Different styles of darts are positioned in different areas of the garment, depending on the shaping needed. The single-pointed waist dart is the most common style.

  • Mark a single-pointed dart using your pattern as a guide. Fold the dart down the center, right sides together, matching the stitching lines. Pin.
  • Begin stitching at the wide end, backstitching at the start. Continue stitching toward the point, removing pins as you stitch.
  • Taper your stitching so the last two or three stitches are directly on the fold. Do not backstitch at the point. Leave long thread tails.
  • Press the dart flat up to the point. Then working with a tailor’s ham, press the dart to one side (as indicated in your pattern instructions). Do not press over the point.