Thursday, July 1, 2010


If you don't use a sewing machine, this will be Totally Meaningless to you.

This is a picture of a dart I sewed as  practice for a shirt. As you can see, there are no strings dangling from the end of the dart! Why do I care? Because if I want to make an elegantly shaped item in a sheer fabric, sewing darts in the normal direction, i.e. from the big end toward the point, leaves dangling threads hanging off the point of the dart. These can be seen from the outside of the garment, and look sloppy.

Here's how to do it: thread the machine as usual. Then remove the spool of thread from the top, leaving only the bobbin in place. Using the bobbin thread, thread the machine backwards, starting with the needle, and going through all the thread guides and tension disks. Pull up enough thread from the bobbin to account for the length of the dart you want to sew, plus enough for threading the upper part of the machine. Be sure to remember to put the thread through the needle from the back of the eye toward the front-I forgot this detail the first time I tried it and had to figure out what went wrong.

Begin sewing at the point of the dart, and finish at the big end. Re-thread in this manner for each dart you want to make.

This technique has completely justified every penny I have ever spent on redundant vintage sewing manuals from Goodwill. It has made me feel like a sewing ninja rockstar, no foolin.

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