“TO PINCH” A FABRIC Needle, thread, stitches, hems, edges, bias tape… there are so many words that portray the art of sewing! Among these there is also a word of french origin that indicates a pleat to shape your garment: dart. Surely it won’t be unknown to you, but you will probably never have had the opportunity to deepen about the features and the realization of a dart. As said, the word is of french origin and comes from the verb "to pinch”. If there are darts in a garment, then you will see pleats, internally sewn, which give shape to the garment. There are shaped or conical darts and they have different shapes, each able to better adapt to your needs. For example if you have too much fabric in the waist area, the dart at the waist is the solution for you! It’s a straight dart, perfect as a problem solving for your excess of fabric! Another interesting dart is the french one, which goes from the sides of the waist of a garment to fold in the part of the bodice. Now let's see how to realize the darts! First of all you must have everything you need “on hand” to proceed. Below we list everything you need: needle; thread; pins; chalk; ruler; iron. The realization of the darts starts from the paper pattern: to define their size, you have to consider the measure you want to reach and subtract it from the fabric you have cut, then divide the obtained result for the number of darts you want to realize. The first step is to move the dart marks from the paper pattern to your garment, through a chalk to define the dart on the fabric. Take the front of the garment and proceed on the wrong side. "Pinch" the dart, going to fold the "triangle" that is formed with the moving of the dart from the paper pattern to the fabric and pin, both at the extremities and in the center, to have it well fixed. Now, with needle and thread, you can proceed to baste the dart, to realize a temporary seam. As you baste, remove the pins. Once the last stitch is finished, tie a knot and cut out the excess thread with scissors. So you fix the dart before continuing with its final seam. Basting is also useful to complete a more precise process, as well as giving you a first seam to lock the darts. Once you have basted the front part of your garment, take the back and always proceed on the wrong side. Do the same process: "pinch" the dart and pin to fix it. After pinned, proceed basting the dart, removing the pins as you realize your temporary seam. After the last stitch, tie a knot and cut out the excess thread. Now it's time for the final stitching! Whether you are handsewing or sewing by machine, you have to proceed from the widest part of the darts to the narrowest. Realize a final knot, after making the last stitch and cut out the excess thread. Once all the darts have been sewn, the process is completed and you can proceed ironing. Iron it from the wrong side with joined sides, to flatten it. First press on the inside of the dart, then press at the seam line. This is the simplest method to realize a dart and, even if you are a beginner, you won’t find particular difficulties in making it. Now let's see how to realize a french dart, one of the most interesting! Are you ready? As said, the french dart proceeds from the edges of the waist of your garment and folds in the bodice area. So the dart is drawn on the paper pattern towards the central part and the upper part, stopping 4cm below the chest. Transfer the dart on the fabric and close it, placing right to right. The french dart is a wide dart, for which 1cm is left at the extremity for the seam you will realize. Proceed making a seam from the top of the dart, so the edges match perfectly. Your french dart is done, a real touch of style! Aesthetically darts are useful because they allow the garment to join the figure, avoiding fullness of fabric, which is uncomfortable and can make you unsatisfied. Moreover being familiar with darts is also useful to tighten a bought garment, which doesn’t fall perfectly! Over time darts leave room to eclectic, soft and without darts garments. The years that marked their return were the 80s. From then on darts have gained more and more success from year to year. Now that you know how to manage darts, you can perfectly shape your garments and arrange those that you had decided to remove from your wardrobe, tightening them with darts… style and harmony of shapes ensured!