Patternmaking Dart Manipulation Exercises

One full week of summer break has passed and I’ve been trying to power through as much of my Patternmaking & Design class as I can. It’s a self-paced program and my pace for the last year has been not much faster than a snail. I’m picking up speed and the program finally feels like I can draft independently without constantly relying on my wonderful teacher. Maybe I’m at a turtle’s pace now?

Above is my moulage or “mold” of my measurements which, once it had a perfect fit, I turned into my bodice sloper. The next section of the program is Dart Manipulation. I was able to draft 12 different exercises with 4 different backs in one week and then sewed all of them the following week. I’m pretty excited that I got through a section with the suggested timeline of 4-8 weeks in 2! Ok, I’m not actually done yet. I have to design, draft, and sew two designs of my own, but I’m feeling pretty confident I can do so this week.

The front sloper has 4 darts that can be manipulated into different designs, the back has two darts. All 12 exercises used this sloper and I’m quite impressed with the variety of styles achieved.

High Neck Point Dart – Slash a line from the high neck point to the high bust point and then fold all other darts into it.

Center Front Neck Dart – Slash a line to the high bust point and fold all other darts into it.

French Dart – Slash a seamline to the low bust point from a position lower than the existing side dart. Fold all other darts into it.

Armhole Dart – Slash a line to the high bust point from any point along the armhole. Fold all other darts into it.

Y Dart – Draw a seamline starting at 3″ – 5″ up along center front to the low bust point. Fold all other darts into it.

Diamond – Draw a line from the center front neck and center front waist to the high bust point. Fold all other darts out.

Bust Gathers with Yoke – In my fittings I learned that a lot of the exercises that used the low bust point need some tweaks. You can see on the muslin that on the bottom yoke I pinned out about an inch that would make this pattern more fitted. Gathers also tended to add more volume than anticipated.

Curved Shoulder Darts – Low bust point used.

Horizontal Gathers at Waist Dart – Low bust point used.

Neckline Gathers – High bust point used. Helpful to add finished neck length on to the pattern for gathers.

Rusched Front Panel – High bust point used, move toward center front until directly under the high next point.

Cowl – This one was the most confusing as far as construction went. It also required its own back to be drafted along with it.

Backs – The Shaved Darts back (left) was used for most of the exercises because they were the easiest to knock out. I paired the Transferred Darts back (middle) with the Curved Should Darts front and I honestly can’t remember which exercise I paired the Ignored Darts back (right) with. The Ignored Darts back has a looser fit and requires easing the back shoulder with the front.

2 Replies to “Patternmaking Dart Manipulation Exercises”

  1. This is fascinating! This is so great to follow along on. I’ve been looking at your IG but had to click through to your blog to learn more. You say this is self-paced, are you just working through a book? Mind sharing more details?

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