Friday, October 14, 2011

This is how I draw and sew a bag dart

Today I'm going to show you an easy and primitive way to draw a bag dart. First of all, you must understand the purpose of a bag dart. It is to create volume so the bag won't look flat.

Two things to consider:
- size of dart
- position of dart

The size of your bag dart needs to be relative to the size of your bag. How pointy or long you want it is best decided by using a paper pattern and pinning it till you get what you want.

The position of your bag dart is best where the side seam meets the bottom.

Here's a demo on 2 of my bag patterns:

How To Draw A Bag Dart

Crescent bag pattern

All you need is a paper pattern, compass and a ruler. For this pattern, I want a dart with a width of 1" and the sides are 2" each. Note: The 2 sloping sides are always equal.

First, using the compass, mark 1" on the curved line where you want your dart to be.

Measure 2" with the compass and from one point of the dart width, draw an arc.

Use the compass to draw another arc from other point of the dart width. The 2 arcs must meet. From this meeting point, draw your sloping lines to each point of the dart width to form a triangle-ish shape.

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Recessed Zipper Shoulder Bag Pattern

I pulled this pattern from my recessed zipper shoulder bag tute. I wrote this tute in 2009 - blast from the past!

Because the side and bottom are not a continuous curved line, the width is marked differently. From the lowest point of the pattern on the right, mark 1.5" - one on the bottom and one on the side. From these, mark 1.75" arc. Where the arcs meet, draw 2 lines to each point of the dart width.

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How To Sew A Bag Dart

There are 2 ways which I have used to sew bag darts.

Cut Out Method

For this method, I cut the dart out of the pattern. Important to note that for this method, the size of the dart is minus the seam allowance.

To sew the dart, right side together, match the sloping sides of the dart. Sew dart starting from the widest part. Backstitch at both ends. I usually use a 0.25" seam allowance.

Old School Method

This is the method I usually use. Important to note that for this method, the size of the dart includes the seam allowance because you are sewing on the dart lines.

The dart lines are transferred to the fabric. I use a dressmaker's coloured pencil to mark the lines. Right side together, match the dart lines. Use a pin to match the lines. Sew on the dart lines starting from the widest part. Backstitch at both ends.

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- If you find your dart points are bulky after sewing, you can omit the backstitch at the pointy end and knot the thread manually.

- To reduce bulk for matching darts, iron darts seam in opposite directions.

I hope this is helpful to you. Leave a comment if you have any questions.


Little Blue Mouse said...

Thanks for this, I forgot all about using a compass to get equal sides.

Sharon said...

how do you figure the size of the dart? As you make it bigger does it double the volume like the bag bottom width? Thanks for your tutes!!

Sharon said...

how do you know how big to make it, is there a rule like double the dart or anything? Thanks for your tutes!!!

jane p said...

I don't know the mathematical formula for dart size. I usually eyeball the dart size by pinning the paper pattern. For me, it's not just about the depth, it's also about the aesthetic aspect. (does it look artifically pointy?) For pouches, I don't go over 1" dart width. For larger bags, I can go from 1.25" to 2". As for the sloping sides for larger bags, I try not to go over 3". If wanting volume is a big issue, I would seriously consider using pleats or a bag gusset. A bag dart can only do so much.

Carmen said...

I had a brain fart and couldn't remember how to sew a dart. Thank you for the tutorial and reminder! :)

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