I'm a sewing enthusiast in Beacon, New York, with a love of all things retro. This site is all about tutorials, tips, inspiration, and lots of spirited discussion about sewing as it relates to fashion history, pop culture, body image, and gender. My first book, Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing, is now out from STC Craft/Melanie Falick Books! Also look for my line "Patterns by Gertie" from Butterick.
Ready to sew? Your first step is to sew your darts. I thought I'd give you a little post on how I sew mine, in case you need some pointers.
First, I clip the end of my dart legs. This helps me line up the dart lines more accurately.
Next, I fold the dart in half and mark the very tip of it with a pin. (Note: you won't be able to see my chalk tracing lines on the fabric; I did it in a very pale yellow so it wouldn't show through. But you'll get the point.)
Match up the clipped ends of the dart and pin.
Next, I put a couple pins through the actual dart line itself, parallel to the fold.
Make sure they go through the dart line on the opposite side for a perfect match.
It's worth noting that there are several ways to pin a dart and several ways to secure a dart. You can:
1. Leave long-ish thread tails and tie them in a knot.
2. Start decreasing your stitch length toward the end of the dart, til you're down to about .5 mm. These super short stitches will be extra secure.
3. You can also tack within the body of the dart. (This is how I do mine.) Sew to the end of the dart as per usual. When you get to the end, lift up your presser foot and pull the garment piece toward you an inch or so, pulling out a bit of thread from the machine. Next, anchor your needle within the body of the dart and make a few stitches. This machine tacking will not be visible from the outside since it's inside the body of the dart. I learned this technique from a Threads video, so have a watch if you'd like to see it in action.
And press! Press your bust darts down and your waist darts toward the center of the garment piece. Repeat on the two back pieces.