I’ll admit it, I can be a lazy seamstress. I’m often more intent on realising my vision, than I am with using couture methods. That doesn’t mean I don’t want to sew like a couturier. I do! But it doesn’t happen very often.
I’m also completely self-taught. Over time, I’ve learnt many traditional ways of doing things, but I’ve also made up my own way of doing things. I’m not always sure if the way I do things is the way that everybody else does.
This, for example, is the way I mark darts. I’m pretty sure if it is the conventional way of doing it (given that tailor’s tacks and chalk are what you hear most about in books), but I find my way of making darts to be a very quick, simple, and precise way, particularly when dealing with slippery silks that morph into all kinds of shapes as soon as you move them. So this is how I do it.
1. Take your pattern piece, still pinned with the fabric. If it is a slippery fabric like silk, don’t move it at all. You can see the dart marked on the paper. The fabric is pinned beneath it.
4. Now to mark the dart apex. Open up the fabric layers of fabric carefully. You will see where the pin has come through the wrong side of each fabric piece.
Place a tiny mark on each piece of fabric where the pin is coming through. If you are worried about marking your special fabric, you can also place this tiny mark a few mm below the pin, so that you sew over it when making the dart.
See all my little purple marks, transferred perfectly from the pattern paper to the fabric. If you wanted to, you could now chalk up the rest of the dart lines, before pinning them together evenly for stitching.
5. Now sew your darts.
6. Don’t backstitch at the apex, and remember to leave long thread tails that you can tie off by hand. And you’re done! Easy, perfect darts!