The bodice of this garment has three parallel darts in the shoulder of the half-block.
Figure 1 shows the block being used on the left (1-Dart Block), and the pattern that will be created (Style 33) on the right.
Note: The actual pattern would need seam allowance or cutting instructions added; this has not been done here we are just covering the theory of manipulating darts.
In this example, I am using a non-standard block (non-standard for this website). Using the 1-Dart Block, I have pivoted the full value of the waist dart into the shoulder seam, but I did this on cardboard, so that it is easy to trace. If I had just pivoted the dart into the shoulder using paper, it would be difficult to use for the purposes of this exercise.
This block has the darts running to the Bust Point, rather than finishing at a Dart Point. This is because the block is being used solely to create patterns, and the Dart Point is not required.
Instructions (Style-33) - Figure 1
Note that in the instructions, color is used for emphasis, so it can be seen more easily, particularly in the current step. You will be using a hard (4H-6H pencil).
In this exercise, we will not be pivoting on different points. This is because we are creating parallel darts, and by it's very nature, the three darts cannot be pointing towards the same point. See the page on Complex Dart Manipulation if you have not already done so (if you click on the link, it will open in a new window).
- Draw a circle, with the Bust Point at the centre, with a radius of 1 inch (2.54 cm). This means the diameter of the circle will be 2-inches.
- Draw a line from one side of the circle (Pivot Point 1, where the arrow tip touches the pink circle) to the waist.
- Draw a parallel line to the first line, from the other side of the circle (Pivot Point #2, where the pink arrow tip touches the pink circle) to the waist.
- Draw a third parallel line in the centre, running from the Bust Point to the waist.
Since the darts are parallel, the distance between the two dart lines are the same at the top (2 inches, the diameter of the circle) and the bottom (2 inches at the waist).
Instructions (Style-33) - Figure 2
- Measure the waist dart width from A to D.
- Divide this number by three and mark these third-points (in the image they are marked with black stars).
- Draw lines from the Bust Point (also marked PP2) through these marks to the edge of the block (i.e. to points B and point C).
Instructions (Style-33) - Figure 3
- Extend dart leg A out onto the paper for some distance (as indicated by the green arrow).
- Trace the block from new dart line E in a clockwise direction, until you reach dart leg A at the waist.
- Mark the Bust Point AND Pivot Point #1 AND Pivot Point #2 on the paper underneath by piercing holes through the cardboard with an awl (do this before you start pivoting).
Instructions (Style-33) - Figure 4
- Hold down the block at Pivot Point #1, and turn the block in an anti-clockwise direction to close one-third of the waist dart. I.e. turn it until point B reaches the green arrow.
- Trace the block from point E to F (in-between first and second parallel dart lines).
Instructions (Style-33) - Figure 5
- Holding the block at Pivot Point #2 this time, pivot the second third of the waist dart closed; i.e. until point C reaches the green arrow.
- Trace the block from point F to point G (between the second and third parallel dart legs).
Instructions (Style-33) - Figure 6
- Holding the block at Pivot Point #3 this time, pivot the remainder of the waist dart closed; i.e. until point D reaches the green arrow.
- Finish tracing the block from point G to D.
Instructions (Style-33) - Figure 7
You can lift up the block and put it aside.
- Draw the dart legs to PP1, PP2 (the Bust Point), and PP3.
- The waist line may need a little adjustment; true if necessary.
Instructions (Style-33) - Figure 8
- Finish off the darts, remembering that the Dart Point stops some distance before the Bust (Pivot) Points.
- Of course, if this was a pattern, you would need to add seam allowance, cutting instructions, grainline, label the pattern piece, etc.
See the explanation on Complex Dart Manipulation if you have not already done so (if you click on this link, it will open the page in a new window).
If you are unsure about how to finish off the dart, see the pages on Finishing off Darts, which gives a few step-by-step examples.