Pattern Drafting 101 - How to Draft Out Darts

Have you ever had a pattern that you love but find that you really don't need the dart? Or have you ever wanted to take a pattern designed to be sewn in woven cloth and draft out the darts so it can be sewn with stretch knits?

In this post and video tutorial, I'll show you how I draft out the darts in order to achieve a specific design using my Fair Fit pattern from our Fair Fit Method courses. This pattern drafting tutorial applies to not just Fair Fit patterns, but any sewing pattern where you would like the darts eliminated from the design.

The Fair Fit Method  - Pattern Drafting 101 - How to Draft Out Darts

Custom Design

A lot of the time when you are wanting to change up the look of a pattern you have in your stash, you will need to use some pattern drafting techniques to make the pattern work with the idea you have in mind. Sometimes that means eliminating design lines on a pattern, adding or subtracting ease, and adding or subtracting darts.

In my practice, I find that I am often having to move or eliminate darts when I am adapting a pattern to the design I have intended. Especially when I am transitioning a pattern designed for woven material into a pattern designed to work for knitwear. 

Now that I have a process to eliminate darts quickly and easily, I am undaunted when it comes time to draft them out. In the video below, I show you my process and provide a quick outline of what I'm demonstrating in this post.

The process I'm demonstrating:

For pattern pieces with 2 or more darts:

  1. Trace the pattern and the darts.

  2. Connect the darts by drawing a line connecting apex to apex.

  3. Cut along the lines.

  4. Shift the piece of the pattern so that the dart you want to eliminate is closed, and the side dart gets a little bigger.

  5. Retrace the pattern piece and use your rulers to tidy up the lines.

For pattern pieces with only 1 dart:

  1. Trace the pattern and the dart.

  2. Designate a place on the side of the piece. This is usually in the armhole at the point of the armhole notch.

  3. Cut along the lines.

  4. Shift the piece of the pattern so that the dart you want to eliminate is closed, and the side of the piece or the armhole gets a little bigger.

  5. Retrace the pattern piece and use your rulers to tidy up the lines.

The Fair Fit Method  - Pattern Drafting 101 - How to Draft Out Darts

Now you know a little bit more about pattern drafting, and I hope you use this post and video to customize your own patterns. Try to find a pattern to customize this week with this method and give it a shot. For those of you who are following along, and for Fair Fit Method students who are using this series to customize your Fair Fit pattern, I'll be back next week to teach you how to eliminate seams from a pattern to create more minimal style lines.

If you want to create your own custom self sewn clothes and like this way of learning, I want to invite you to check out my signature online courses, the Fair Fit Method. It is a series of online sewing and fashion design courses that will teach you how to create custom clothing for yourself that adapts to your personal shape and style. Using the Fair Fit pattern and the 6 core areas of focus - design, pattern, draping, check fit, sewing, and customization, you can create your own artistically and intentionally designed wardrobe using the step by step videos in each course. To learn more and read the full course descriptions visit the full website here: 

The Fair Fit Method  - Pattern Drafting 101 - How to Draft Out Darts
The Fair Fit Method  - Pattern Drafting 101 - How to Draft Out Darts