On the Mend: Darts

Taking in clothes can be tricky. Just like when you’re looking for clothes to fit, you want certain body parts accentuated and others you’d prefer to hide. For me, the latter has always been my stomach. Fortunately, there is a super simple way to take in clothes and still give your midsection room to breathe: darts.

Darts are great for a multitude of reasons. They’re slanted, so they can bring in the chest portion of a garment without bringing in the midsection. They’re under the arm, so really easy to hide, and since they’re such a small fix, you don’t have to cut anything. It’ll stay stable longer, and if you need to take it out again for the next wearer, all it would take would be a couple of minutes and a seam ripper.

Emma's "before" pic in the dress

I worked on a dress this weekend where darts were the perfect fix. I own a few of these A-Line dresses. They’re flattering on a lot of shapes and sizes, and perfectly in my comfort zone as they accentuate everything above the waist, and nothing underneath it.

This one had become a couple of sizes too big, and honestly, I could still wear it, I just didn’t feel confident in it anymore. It had become a little lose in the arms and across the chest. Darts fix both of those issues.

First, I need to figure out how much I needed to take in. I did this, very scientifically, by pinching the inside of the dress until I got the fit I wanted, and measuring how much was pinched. For this dress, in was two inches on each side.

Line down the side of the dress

So, I turned the dress inside out, and marked in an inch on both sides (It’ll add up to two with the doubled fabric). Then, I took my straight edge, and drew a line at a slight diagonal down to the waist of the dress. This length changes from garment to garment. It’s essentially the point where I don’t want the garment to be any tighter.

Sewing machine foot and needle, sewing on dress

Just two seams down those lines, and the fix is done!

Emma's "after" pic in the dress

It’s harder to see on the full picture, but here’s a close-up of the underarm.

Even that little amount makes the dress fit perfectly, and you can’t even see the fix or excess seam allowance inside. Now, I can wear this dress with more confidence.

What are some great fixes you’ve had for your dresses? Let me know in the comments!

3 thoughts on “On the Mend: Darts

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