Date: 4/5/13 3:03 PM
Since you will be learning something new, I suggest doing this in a very hands on way.
* General Approach- Work from a fitting muslin and then translate it to your pattern. After you've become familiar with the process, you may be able to work more directly. With practice, you can skip the muslin phase and drape the tissue pattern on a dress form or yourself to pin fit the dart. The most direct is if you are very familiar and want a basic look; you can do the pattern work immediately on paper. However, you get the best control with designing on your body or dress form.
* How to- Make a muslin with extra width for the seam allowances where the gathers are. Do not stitch in the gathers. Try on the garment and mark the area you want to aim the dart towards- your bust point, hip crest and so on. Grasp the seam line where the gathers should be. Pinch it in to the depth of the dart you need to get the fit you want. You can keep working with the fold and move it to the left or right, angle it and position it for design as well as fit. Pin the dart starting at its widest point and taper to the tinier end point. Consider if your dart should be straight or cupped for you. Take off the garment leaving the the pins in; with pencil or pen mark where each pin enters the cloth and exits. When you remove the pins, the lines may jog a bit. Use a ruler or french curve to smooth them. Fold the dart so the stitch lines match; mark the seam allowance with the pointed angle of the fold that ends on the cut edge. This way, when you sew, the fold will be stitched into the seam and not be too short. Transfer all your marks and shapes to your pattern.
I always fit as I sew- making the garment up to the key fit points like a dart. I'd pin fit to see if my patternmaking cooperates with the actual fabric on me.
Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them. Andy Rooney
Pfonzie- my honey Pfaff Creative Performance and Pfaff Passport, Bernina 930 and 830, Evolution and Enlighten sergers