The quick and easy way to sew darts

April 15, 2016 6 Comments

The quick and easy way to sew darts

April 15, 2016 6 Comments


There are tons of advice on sewing the perfect dart and I think it is mostly up to personal preferences. But I want to share my preferred method for sewing darts that is also super quick – with minimal marking and prep work. This method works best for straight darts, for curved ones I often have to rely on some kind of line marking.

Instead of using tracing paper or thread tacks I just mark the darts using an awl and a pair of scissors. First step is to punch a hole at the end(s) of the dart.

Then make holes on both sides of the dart, somewhere in the middle.

The quick and easy way to sew darts

If you make a single straight dart also clip the ends with a scissor. This is all the marking you need!

The quick and easy way to sew darts

This is how it should look like. You will use the holes as a guide and sew outside them. [I accentuated the holes in Photoshop so that they would show up in the photo, they are more discreet in real life]

The quick and easy way to sew darts

Fold the dart in the middle and put pins in the corresponding notches (holes). You will not sew over the needles, they are just a guide and will be removed during the sewing process. I

This part requires a little practice and you need to use some eye balling here and aim for an even diagonal line. I like to make the stitch length shorter when I’m approaching the end and then I just sew a few small stitches and let them catch the fold of the fabric. You can also do a tiny pivot with the needle to sew the last few stitches. I never ever back stitch as it will make the dart ends bulky. The seam ends just below the lower hole.

The quick and easy way to sew dartsThe quick and easy way to sew darts

Instead I do three knots at the end. That will suffice.

The quick and easy way to sew darts

Now a little pressing and then you’re done! This dart may not be flawless since I used an vintage bed linen that is so firmly woven that it almost repels the needle. But the dart looks good enough in my book anyway!

The quick and easy way to sew darts

Other tutorials that involves an awl
How to mark pleats with an awl
Making many buttonholes quickly
Doing rivets on jeans

Johanna Lundström

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  • G April 15, 2016 at 5:55 pm

    This is also how I do them to help in the eyeballing part, I will pull the thread, then sew the first stitches and make a ball with the loose thread on the imaginery sewing line, which I then follow with the sewing foot. Does that make sense to you?

    • Johanna April 16, 2016 at 7:03 am

      I think I understand, roughly at least 🙂 Using the thread strands sounds like a really smart idea to help with the eye balling. I will definitely try this!

  • Ann April 16, 2016 at 1:15 am

    Hello! The awl doesn't damage the fabric? It looks like such a serious tool, I would be afraid it would inflict serious damage…but not really? Are you able to get the holes to close up later? Is it a special sewing awl, or did you get it at a hardware store?

    Sorry to have so many questions — I appreciate your patience!

    • Johanna April 16, 2016 at 7:08 am

      The awl in the photo is a sewing awl and I also use a thicker one that I bought in a hardware store. Yes there might be a hole, but mostly it pulls the threads apart just like a regular needle would. After washing most of the hole will disappear, but a little dot might remain, but since it is well hidden inside the garment I don't mind it. Also I should note that I had to accentuate the holes while editing photos because they weren't visible enough

  • jo April 16, 2016 at 9:14 pm

    Doesn't that leave a hole at the end of the dart? Do you have to sew it longer to go around the hole at the point?

    • Johanna April 17, 2016 at 10:05 am

      Yes exactly, I sew the end of the dart a few millimeters longer than than the hole. The awl leaves just a little hole so no problem to sewing close around it!

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