03 November 2014

Pattern Fundamentals - Gape Darts

Last Saturday we swapped our regular #PatternPuzzle for some #PatternFundamentals.  The focus of the conversation was GAPE DARTS and how to use them in your pattern making to get a better result in your first toile of new designs.  You may know them as contouring darts as suggested by Alexandria of In-House Patterns.


The first question for fans was do you know what a gape dart is?
And do you know when to use them?  All the pattern making instruction has been moved to the website blog.  Join me there! :)






Let me know if you have any questions about gape darts or any other fitting issues with your toile.
Enjoy :)
www.studiofaro.com


Addendum:  Fans have found a text book reference for gape darts from Helen Joseph Armstrong.  This is a great pattern making book for anyone learning to cut patterns.  Thanks to everyone for pointing the way to yet more resources for making better patterns.  :)

29 comments:

  1. Where was information like this when I started struggling with wider/deeper necklines and sleeveless styles a few years ago...
    I recognized those styles as requiring gape darts because I learned that the hard way... And I think it is quite telling that there is no clear term for them in so many languages even though any experienced pattern maker/ seamstress knows they are needed...

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    1. Thanks Lauriana, I also learnt the hard way. However being a freelance pattern maker it is my job to get the sample pattern as close to good as possible in the first toile/sample. There is no room for pinning out gape darts after the fact. :)

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  2. This information is absolute gold. I struggled with neckline gape and all sorts of fitting problems until I decided to teach myself pattern making with the aim of drafting my own patterns and solving fitting problems. When I read about contouring in Armstrong it helped enormously but I still want to learn more about this. The info you're providing is invaluable to anyone sewing or drafting clothing.

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    1. Hi Blacey, thanks so much, I'm going to find that contouring reference in Armstrong and share. That is a great pattern making book. :)

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  3. This information is super. But when I make these paterns for jersey I don't need it when usen the bias of the same fabric. I make the Bias 10 % shorter then the paterns are. So it gathers a little bit. And the bias will not ruffle. Don't know if use the right words. My technical terms for sewing in English is poor.

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    1. Thanks for the compliment and I totally understand what you are saying. It is very acceptable to use the bind trim to ease the extra fabric into place in the armhole or neckline if it is gaping slightly. When I am making patterns for industry I am never sure who is sewing so I have to make them more exact. I do have a few pattern making moves for jersey that I will be able to share in a future #PatternFundamentals post. :)

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  4. This is fabulous information for those of us learning to draft. Thanks

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  5. Interesting. Yesterday I made a tank top out of a short sleeve top pattern. I just left the sleeves off and bound the armhole. So I should have put a gaping dart in the armhole? Where does it go? To the side bust dart?

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    1. Hi Vicki thx for dropping by. :) Yes the gape dart will be in approx. the middle of your armhole (like our diagram) and will transfer into the side seam dart. This will make the side seam dart bigger but that's ok. So much depends on the pattern you are using as they are all different fittings. Does your armhole seem loose or gape open at all?

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    2. At the moment the armhole is too far into my arm. Need to trim back the front in particular. Also need a sloping shoulder adj, forward shoulder and small FBA. LOL. The top is very wearable but I can do better :)

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    3. Hi Vicki, it sounds like your armhole may be ok as it is. When you trim it out, if you find you have any gaping, you can use the binding for the armhole to tighten it up. That is by applying the binding with some tension (pull) so the armhole fabric eases slightly in the gape area. Let me know if this all sounds like gibberish or not. Happy to answer any number of questions. :)

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  6. I always wondered if there was something wrong with the way I put a top together, in that I had to go back in and add what I can now call a gape dart (mostly an ease in the lower front armscye). I will look at Armstrong again regarding contouring, but yes, this is golden. Thanks so much!

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    1. Hi SJ Kurtz, thx for dropping by. It's one of those things you see in so many first toiles/muslins and learning by experience seems to be the only way. I am also going to check out the Armstrong reference and share. :)

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  7. In RundschauSchnittkonstruktion I see ththem often indicated in pattern-drafts. Those yearbooks are in German so I don't know if it is so feasible as a source for you

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    1. Thanks for dropping by and yes I agree the german pattern making books are so technically strong. Often the diagram is enough to understand but of course a translation would be magnificent. Please let me know if you ever come across any. :)

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  8. This truly excellent advice! Adding gape darts in the first draft can really help getting the right fit with one less muslin!

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    1. Yes it saves so much time in fitting and altering the pattern. Also makes first sample look great - very satisfying. :)

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  9. couldn't the armhole gape dart be taken as a deeper angle at the shoulder?

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    1. I'm thinking probably not. Messing with the shoulder line is usually for adjusting the angle or shape of the shoulder. The armhole gaping (& gape dart) is mostly located in the deepest part of the armhole curve (see Armstrong illustration added to the end of the post above). So this is where we have to deal with it. Hope I've made it understandable. Let me know if you have any questions. :)

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    2. The bust dart is needed to take into account any difference in length at the side seam due to centre front being longer to go over the bust i.e shoulder to waist is greater at the centre of the body than at the side. The shoulder dart does act as a 'dart' and may reduce the gape - it depends on the cup size. This is really well explained by patternmaker Peggy Sagers in this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6WfaXCuY34

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    3. Hi Donna. Thanks for your comments. I believe anonymous is referring to the angle of the shoulder line being altered rather that the dart. Thanks for the video reference. :)

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  10. OK, it's late at night & I'm being a bit thick. I can't understand this bit...

    "Cut through the new dart position to the bust point. then fold closed the bust dart and both gape darts. Add paper behind the new dart space and fold out to get the correct shape on the outside edge."

    Are the 2 gape darts being pivoted into the existing bust dart? Or is something funky going on? If I close all 3 darts, wouldn't I get a mountain over the apex? Are you suppose to smoosh / overlap at the apex? }:-I ???

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    1. It is possible that when all three darts are together in the underarm position that it may be a large dart. If so it can be split into two dart positions depending on your style.
      I'm not sure I totally understand what you mean by smoothing but at a guess I think your referring to the shape and sewing of the finished dart. First thing is that although you pivot all darts on the bust point (apex) your sewn dart ends 3cm away from your bust point (makes softer shape). The sewing of large darts is quite a skill and even after several decades I can still mess it up. The secret is to make sure that the stitch line moves closer to the fold when you get to the apex end of the dart. Hope this helps. :) Feel free to send more questions.

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  12. I have the feeling tht there is bound to be accommodated more gapedart(s) when the garment is for someone with bigger cupsizes. What is your idea

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    1. Yes I agree there must be more in the gape darts for larger cup sizes. I think that you could consider a relationship between dart sizes and the amount of gape darting. You could say the larger the dart the greater the gape darting. The majority of my work is for industry sizes 8 & 10 with approx. B-C cup. So the measurements offered in the post are for that fitting. Sometimes I consider to double the dart size on any seams near the outside edge of the cup and of course depending on the style.

      Hahaha this is great. :)x More nerdy pattern conversations.

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  13. Now you've explained what I really should be doing to stop neckline gaping. I haven't been transferring the gaping to the dart. Thanks again Anita.

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    1. My pleasure Maria! :) It is these subtle moves that really make a difference in our pattern making.

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