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Finishing darts
How do you typically treat the raw edges?
christik
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Date: 3/4/13 2:08 PM

Okay, I've pretty much avoided using patterns with darts. On those few patterns I've sewn with darts, I've never been comfortable with how you finish the raw dart edges. Do you overcast them, bind them, use another method, or just leave them unfinished? Then, there is the related question about opening up a dart: you sew the dart, make any final fitting adjustments, slit open the dart, trim the seam allowances, and press. I've never seen anyone address how they finish the raw edges of the slit dart (even with unlined garments). So, what's the general consensus? I can't be the only one that is confused by this topic!


Kristi

PetitePear
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Date: 3/4/13 2:48 PM

I've never had to slit open my dart. Any reason why you can't finish them like any other seams?

christik
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In reply to PetitePear <<


Date: 3/4/13 3:14 PM

When you slice open a dart or have a dart that is not folded, I would expect you'd get a lot of bulk from, say, serging it, not to mention it would not look very professional inside. I can't see using binding, again due to bulk. I guess I am looking for how to have a low bulk, clean finish. The only method I can think of to finish the edge here would be to hand overcast it. But, since I haven't seen it addressed, I'm wondering if some people just leave the raw edge raw.

OTOH, I may also be making a mountain out of a molehill. It is just one of those things that I've wondered about for a long time.

happytobehere
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Date: 3/4/13 3:50 PM

In fifty plus years of sewing, I've hardly ever sliced open a dart. Do your pattern instructions tell you to do so?

missticky2
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Date: 3/4/13 4:13 PM

Kristi, that's an interesting question and one I've never thought about. I guess these days, any darts I've done have just been folded ones. But, I do seem to remember many years ago, having patterns where the dart was actually cut out and you had to bring the two raw edges together. I have no idea what the patterns were now. And that was back in the very early days of my sewing when finishing off seams wasn't all that important to me (glad to say that's changed..lol) so I never would have finished off those raw edges back then. I'm not sure what I would do now either. As you say, anything you do is going to add bulk. I'm interested to see what others say too

Janice

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PattyE
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Date: 3/4/13 4:40 PM

You shouldn't have to slit open your darts unless there is specific instruction to do so for some construction reason.
As for finishing the raw dart edges are you referring to the seam allowance edge where the dart originates?

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christik
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Date: 3/4/13 6:09 PM

General background: I was looking at the other recent dart posts on PR which linked to Gertie's Blog post on French Darts. This also reminded me of a UFO that I have from New Look 6945, which has vertical waist darts and are approximately 7 inches long and open (kind of like the pattern designer slashed the darts in the pattern). The dart finishing issue is why it is a UFO. I've come across the recommendation to open darts in other places, too.

So, I just pulled out 'The Vogue Sewing Book - Revised Edition' from 1975 (page 224 ). They recommend overcasting darts on sheers. However, they have a separate paragraph which states "deep darts or darts in medium to heavy fabrics should be slashed 1/2" to 1" from the point and pressed open." No mention of finishing the fabric for medium to heavy fabric.

Just for kicks I also pulled out 'Singer - The Complete Photo Guide to Sewing' (2005). Page 113 indicates "Wide darts and darts in bulky fabrics should be slashed open on the fold line and trimmed to 5/8 inch or less. Slash to within 1/2inch of point. Press dart open and press point flat." The next step show the dart being pressed open, and it is not overcasted. I think the fabric is a wool of some type.

For what it's worth, I usually use medium weight cottons and other natural fibers. I rarely sew sheers.

LuceLu
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Date: 3/4/13 6:32 PM

Aren't french darts pretty much on the bias and don't require finishing? I guess one could hand finish with some fine thread if you wanted to.

Nancy K
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Date: 3/4/13 7:41 PM

Most of the time you don't slit the dart. You press as sewn and then press to one side, usually towards the cf or cb which is why you've never seen anyone talk about finishing the edges. In thick coating you might slit the dart and in that case the lining is covering it and then you don't need to finish the edges. In a couture garment the dart is balanced with a piece of self fabric or lining material.

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christik
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Date: 3/5/13 7:03 PM

Thanks everyone!

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