How to sew a dart

These essential shaping tucks are frequently used to shape the bust area of a garment. Find out how to tackle them with our step by step guide to how to sew a dart.

How to sew a dart

Darts are a dressmaker’s best friend! They’re little tucks and nips that help to shape the bust of your garments, helping them to fit your curves. While sewing a straight line might sound like an easy feat for a beginner sewist, stitching darts can be a tricky challenge due to the importance of these bust shaping tucks. When you’re learning how to stitch a dart, stitching precisely is important if you want the garment to fit nicely around the bust area. Your stitching line must be straight, and it’s important to make the dart as smooth as possible so that it’s barely visible when worn.

Let’s do it! How to stitch a dart


You Will Need

  • Fabric marker (We've used tailor's chalk)
  • Needle
  • Thread
  • Iron (For pressing)
  • Sewing machine

Total time:

Preparing the dart

Step 1

Mark the darts on the wrong side (WS) of the fabric using tailor’s chalk. Mark the point of the dart with a tailor’s tack if desired. Thread a needle with a length of thread, 20cm (8in) is plenty, and pass the needle through the tip of the dart, leaving thread tails on each side.

How to sew a dart step 1

Step 2

Fold the dart along the centre so that the dart leg markings align and right sides (RS) of the fabric are facing. Lightly press to secure the fold, then pin along the side of the dart to hold it all in place as you sew. Quickly check that the dart legs are aligned before you begin.

How to sew a dart step 2

Stitching the dart

Step 1

Stitch along the dart legs from the raw edge of the fabric to the tip of the dart – it is important to work in this direction on both darts. Stitch with a 3mm stitch length as this is small enough to hold the fabric together but also not so short that it would be difficult to unpick if you made a mistake. At the end of the dart leave a thread tail approximately 10cm (4in) long. Tie the thread tails together in a double knot which sits against the dart tip and then trim the excess thread.

How to sew a dart step 3

Step 2

Working on the WS of the fabric. Press the dart down towards the hem.

How to sew a dart step 4

We hope you found our How to stitch a dart tutorial handy! For more tips and advice to boost your sewing game, head to our How to Sew section for more handy tutorials for dressmaking and home sewing.