After making my emerald shift dress I found I was left with about 70cm of fabric, so I thought while the sewing machine is still threaded up with green thread, I would put this remainder to good use by making a camisole top – the #101 top from Burda 12/2006 to be exact!
This style features an empire line seam with bust darts, and I thought I would share with you a technique that comes in handy sometimes when you are sewing darts in sheer fabrics.
In the above photo the dart on the right is a normal dart, but through the sheer fabric you can see the dart fold which is rather ugly. In some fabrics such you are able to trim this away, but this chiffon frays too much for that. Often you are able to enclose the dart fold within your interlining, but what if you don’t want to use interlining or you need to keep the dart free of it?
The answer lies in the dart on the left which is french seamed. It still has the neat appearance of a trimmed dart, but is far stronger and will not fray – so you can breathe easy!
I have used this method many times now, and still haven’t seen it documented anywhere else. It is so simple, maybe some books think it is not worth documenting, but I think it is – so here goes:
Fold your fabric as you normally would for a dart, but with wrong sides together. Here I have lined up the dart notches, and marked the dart point with a pin so you can see it clearly.
Imagine your usual stitching line, and stitch within your dart allowance 7mm (a good 1/4″) away from this line. You will find that you end your stitching some distance before the dart point, and you needn’t worry about tapering the point at this stage.
Trim away the excess fabric at 3mm (1/8″)
Press the allowance to one side.
Refold your fabric along your stitching so it lays right sides together, and encloses the trimmed dart allowance. Then stitch your dart along the normal stitching line – at first this will be 6mm (1/4″) from your first line of stitching, and then it will taper to zero at the dart point.
Once you have stitched your dart, lay it flat like this and check to make sure your stitching line tapers to the folded line in a smooth curve, with no wiggly or pointy bits!
Press your dart as usual, and now sit back and admire your lovely work!
I hope this helps you in your sewing 🙂