Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Pencil Skirt Part Two: Making Darts

This is part two of "How To Sew a Pencil Skirt"
For the introduction and supplies go here
For Part One: Drafting and Cutting go here

Now that your fabric is cut out, you need to make your darts. There are lots of great tutorials on how to sew darts like this one by Coletterie and this one by Shwin and Shwin so read over their posts if my explanation doesn't make sense.


 First you need to draw your dart lines onto the fabric using tailor's chalk or a disappearing ink fabric marker. There are many ways to do this. I use a cheating method that my sewing teacher would probably frown upon. But it works, and I really hate sewing tailor tacks.
To transfer the darts zuzzy style, we are going to fold one side of the pattern piece over with the other side still pinned down. I drew the dart in yellow to make it easier to see. The dotted line is where we are going to fold the pattern. As you can see, we will fold the pattern right along the left dart line.
 With your pattern piece folded, draw your dart line. (I put a pin where the dart ended so I would know where to stop)
 
Now, fold the pattern piece back in place. move your pins to the other side of the pattern piece. Next, fold your pattern along the right dart line...
... and draw in your line.
 You have just transferred your dart markings! Repeat this until all four darts have been drawn onto the fabric.

Now with your darts drawn on your fabric, you are ready to sew them up. To get them ready to sew, you first need to fold the dart through the center. To get the dart lined up, I like to push a few pins down through the right dart line, and up through the left..


...then slide the fabric together along the pin...

...until it the dart lines are perfectly matched up!
  
Then pin the fold together...
and sew along the dart line.

(Now, I must admit here that the "correct way" to sew a dart is from the top down. As you can see I am sewing from the bottom up. Don't tell my old sewing teacher)

When you sew this seam, DO NOT back stitch at the bottom of the dart (the skinniest part/the point of the triangle) instead after you have sewn the seam tie a knot with the threads by hand. This will ensure that you do not get a lump at the bottom of the dart.
 
Here is the dart all sewn up... it needs to be ironed.
(see I do own an iron!)

because the dart makes the skirt curved, it is best to use a tailor's ham if you want the dart ironed perfectly. (You can buy one from JoAnns for $10-- $6 if you use a 40% coupon)

After you have sewn all four darts in your skirt, keep that iron out because you will need it for the next step: fusing and sewing the facing

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