Pop quiz #462 pt.2

After being roundly trounced by visitors who complained -legitimately- about my failure to mark the dart as creating a source of confusion in the first post, I return to provide some clarity. Let that be a lesson to me. I need to go back a little further, providing more groundwork if I expect people to have a more productive encounter in the experience. So lash me silly -although I still take exception to the tailors in our midst who claim a horizontal dart in the pocket set down area is “common”. If the source material illustrating this feature was published circa 1890-1930, I respectfully disagree it is “common” :) particularly when I said this was a typical scenario, not an extenuating condition (adjusting for a corpulent figure). Confusion aside, Julie Knox provided the correct response to the quiz which was:

At this point (after reading the comment that yes, there is a vertical dart there) I assume it must be something about the slash ….I would expect the upper left edge of the slash to angle upward from the lower end of the dart toward the side seam, so that it ends up horizontal after the dart is closed. The way it looks now – the upper and lower edges of the slash will overlap when you close the dart

The summary response is illustrated below. Compare the two sketches. On the left is the original. To the right, the red area represents the area that should be cut away to form the chest dart correctly (the dart is marked now). Following this, I’ll illustrate the process with full scale patterns, step by step so you can follow along.


Below is my example from a place I once worked. This piece is what was left over after the marker was cut (from the marker itself). If you’re new around here, this is not what a real pattern piece (hard copy) looks like. And yes I made this pattern. Yes, I knew better. No, I did not have the power to change it. Just because you’re hired as the pattern maker does not mean they will let you do your job the way it should be done. There are legions of pattern makers who could commiserate with similar examples citing chapter and verse. Unfortunately, “it” is not a problem unless your boss says it is and worse, you’re labeled Not A Team Player. Play your cards right and they’ll even write you up for it. You could say I got my revenge in the end by writing about it but I didn’t. They went under. Everybody loses then.

Ignore the tape on the corner of the pocket. I don’t know why it’s there. Please note that the end (or beginning of the dart) isn’t marked which explains why I didn’t mark the dart in my example either. Below is a close up of the critical area.

Folding over the excess from the jog seam on the left side (below), this is equivalent to the dart allowance. As it happens, it’s 3/4″ total. Folding up the dart makes it 3/8″ which all the machines in this plant were set to which explains why it’s not notched.

Below I’ve folded the dart into shape. The dart is formed just forward of the midway point of the pocket slash. I could explain exactly how this point is found but it’d take a long time, just know it’s not arbitrary. Similarly, the end of the dart isn’t marked (another long story). If you sew a thousand of these every day for twenty years, you’re good at knowing where those points lie in relation to the needle as the goods are aligned.

I don’t think you can see this readily (below) but the goods on the left side of the dart are now hanging below the pocket slash. Bad bad.

In the photo below, I’ve marked off the disparity in pencil. this is what needs to be cut away. If not, well, it’s just a big mess. You have a wonk there and it messes up the side panel too which in turn, affects the back.

Below the area has been corrected. Now both sides of the pocket slash are aligned correctly.

Below the dart has been unfolded so you can see what that area, left of the dart above the pocket slash, should look like.

Below is the full piece overview. This is a relatively small dart, if it were deeper, the effect would be more pronounced.

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