Darts are the Magical Cure All

Darts really are the cure all for most fitting ills.  The problem is where to put them and what’s right and what’s not.

That falls into two categories….where to put dart to get the best fit, and where to put dart for the best look.

This spring shot from Christian Dior  gives us some more ideas.  (I know why do we have to have nude women on the runway – I’ve forgotten and the shock value has worn off so now the come-hither look of this has lost all it’s appeal – too bad).  Anyway, this spring shot has some interesting takes on the dart placement.

Here’s the front to show how the “darts” are working

Now here’s a sketch up of the top

There’s some things we can do to make this more classic, although it’s got some great classic bones.

First, the fullness around the under-bust and bust area has to be fitted.  The designer, although not Raf Simons, (who will be taking over the helm at Dior, looks very much like his work) could get away with the full blouse with the thin belted waistband (part of the old Dior “The Look” look), and the containment on the upper sleeve and armhole.  Although too this works cause it’s on a thin model and it’s a sheer fabric.  We’re going to put it on a regular person and put a beautiful camisole or other undergarment and it will have a great look, with the same line.  But just so you know why this works the way it’s designed now, and why it won’t work on regular figures as it is now.

OK – left the right side as original and left side altered.

  • I didn’t see a side seam, but just in case there isn’t one, we’re putting one in.  This will fit the torso or upper waist area.
  • The pink dart has now changed shape a little…we’ve made the underarm sort of gusset-ish shaped and then made a princess seam that will curve close (if not right on) the bust point.
  • I’ve taken off the cuff/sleeve band
  • Thinned out the ruffle on the sleeve (this could really be thinned out some more and shortened)

And with these small changes, we have a really neat top for a dress or blouse.  This sort of blouse is very cool for that belted look that is so hot right now.

Here’s a croquis I made for myself.  What this told me while I was drawing it up is that the peplum (for me) has to be a little shorter than what’s on the model on the Dior floor (duh!  I’m a lot shorter).  It also verified that 3/4 length sleeve and making it a little less full, but some fullness is fine.  It’s also a cute flippy look, and is totally age appropriate.  This is that whole new look that is trending on the runways in Europe and headed toward the good ol’ USA real fast.

This makes for a very interesting exercise (and of course you end up with a great blouse/top as a result) in dart placement and manipulation for not only fitting purposes but also as a design element.


1 Comment
  1. Actually it is a “princess seam” only it has a point – IOW, the waist dart and the FBA meet at a point on the bust point and that’s what makes the great fit here. But you can get the same effect with the two separate seams (FBA & waist dart). It’s an older technique/style that I just haven’t seen in a while and a great technique for fitting.

    This can be a little difficult to do, cause it could actually be a completely separate piece and inserting a corner can be difficult. The way to execute this technique so it looks profession is exact marking. I like to do a basting stitch at the seam allowance and that marks exactly where the corner is. In this case where the fabric is so delicate, a basting stitch may distort the marking, so you’ll have to use something like dressmaker’s carbon or dressmaker’s paper (I found some here). Both of these are an excellent way to ensure that you not only get the fit you want but that corner is crisp and elegant when you finish.

    Part of the fun of couture is seeing a very delicate and difficult technique like this done to perfection on a delicate fabric. It sort of inspires us to be a little better.

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