In the previous page we mentioned Dart Equivalents, and showed that gathers, pleats and tucks fell into this category.
What does "Dart Equivalent" mean?
Darts are used to create shaping over the contours of the body. The nature of a dart means that it finishes somewhere within the inside of the garment piece in a point. Dart Equivalents use the value of the dart in other ways to create shaping without ending up with a dart point. Dart equivalents are:
- design lines
In the image below the dress to the left uses darts to do the shaping, the dress to the right has a princess styleline which is a dart equivalent - this means that the dart has been incorported into the princess styleline. The shaping is the same on both of these garments, but the dart has been subsituted by the design line. (In this case the design has changed a little as the dress to the left has a waist seam while the princess line dress does not).
Any dart can be subsituted with gathers, tucks or pleats, but substituting a dart with a design line is a little more complex; the design line must go from one edge of the pattern piece to the other and go near or through the Bust Point.
Professional patternmakers need to know read dart equivalences from a flat (though they will also have a specification sheet that will specify those dart equivalences), know how to create that dart eqivalent on the pattern from the working block, and how to correctly mark dart equivalents on the pattern pieces (e.g. what a pleat looks like on a pattern as opposed to a dart). Professional patternmakers need to create patterns that other people will use, and as those other people need to be able to read the pattern in order to create the garment correctly, they need to be very precise with how the patterns are marked.
Of course as a home-sewer-patternmaker, you don't have other people to worry about, but it still helps to do things in a logical and consistent manner so that when you come back months later you can read your own pattern.