How to Sew a Dart

A dart is a method used in sewing to add shape to a garment. Darts are often used on the busts of dresses and blouses, skirts and to minimize gaping at sleeve openings.

There are a few parts of a dart that are important to understand before sewing them into your garment.




Anatomy of a Dart

The punch hole is typically about a half an inch away from the dart tip.

The legs are what creates the shape and guides you in straight line to the dart tip.

The dart tip is the end of your dart.

Lastly, an element that should be on most patterns (but is easy to add if it is not on yours) is the punch hole. The punch hole lets the person sewing know the dart tip is coming.

Marking the Dart

To start, identify where your legs and dart tip are by placing your pattern over your fabric.

With chalk, mark where the legs start and where the dart tip is. Also mark the punch hole if your pattern has one.

If you pattern does not have a punch hole, make one a half an inch directly below the dart tip.

Now, using a ruler and chalk, connect the bottom of each leg to the dart tip.

True and Pin the Dart

This is called truing the dart.

Now, fold the fabric with right sides facing so that the legs are lined up.

Make sure the pins are going through the leg lines on both sides of the fabric.

Pin horizontally at the dart tip and then up the leg from the bottom towards the dart tip.


Bring your garment to the sewing machine and start at the bottom of the leg sewing in the direction of the dart tip.

Use a regular straight stitch and back stitch ONLY at the beginning.

When you reach where you marked the punch hole STOP.

Reduce your stitch length all the way and rotate your garment ever so slightly so that the needle reaches the edge of the fabric ¼ inch away from the dart tip and then surfs the edge for the next ¼ inch until your reach the dart tip and the machine stitches off the edge completely.

Since you will not be back stitching, pull a little more thread than usual when removing the garment from the machine and tie off the ends with a knot before clipping the thread down.


With an iron, press the dart to the side your pattern indicates. Use a rounded edge like of a tailor ham or the end of the ironing board at the dart tip for the best results.

Learn about other sewing techniques!