understanding darts and making a bra

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understanding darts and making a bra

New postby chickadee on Sat Nov 20, 2010 11:21 pm

I'm quite a beginner when it comes to sewing, especially in the garment area. But, I want to do it right. Currently, I've been four months into trying to make a bra. The garment idea that I'm going for is based on both the top part of an Indian saree and the old-style (Victorian? Renaissance?) undergarments. I'm trying to make a top undergarment that is snug to be my bras. I can't stand the strappy bras any longer---there is not enough support from the top (despite what I hear I don't think any strap below my bust can hold it up...), not enough material to keep my girls up and from falling out, and not enough length below to keep the bra snug and comfortable.

I've tried going from a basic bodice block pattern on burdastyle, and while the basic bodice muslin was a success, I apparently still don't understand darts. I'm pretty much out of muslin material, and each try doesn't get any better. No matter how much I measure, when I put in darts the material doesn't even come close to meeting in the front (I'm going for a front closure design).

I've come across this forum searching for tips, and have come across "basic tips" about darts that I didn't even know about (one said that the dart has to end an inch from the fullness of the curve). I'm learning sewing by myself with no previous generational knowledge, so any basic knowledge tips that you may take for granted I might not even know about. Please can some nice people help me figure out how to draft a more workable pattern, and understand using darts in general? I'm pretty discouraged at this point.

Some basic questions: do darts always have to end at the seam/hemline? Or, would tailoring the line to be angled and then straight help? How do you know how long to make the dart? How do you figure out the direction? How do you know how much? How come my straight lines in the middle (for the two ends pieces in the middle of the chest) end up being angled lines in the end?

Any information would help. I'd really like to understand garment making better.
Pro 31:13 She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.
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Re: understanding darts and making a bra

New postby sewingmom on Sun Nov 21, 2010 9:22 am

As for darts, Darts are to manage fullness and to provide shaping. You can make a double ended dart in the middle of a garment that adds shaping. It is diamond shaped on the pattern. I saw my mom make a horizontal dart in the back of a garment that didn't hang correctly and it fixed the problem.


I have tried to find you some links to go to but these books wold probably be a great asset.

Books....
Lee Ann Burgess deals with tracing an existing bra to make a new pattern. She spends a lot of time addressing proper fit and how to purchase a RTW bra. She also discusses various fabrics for bras. She has a video to accompany her book.
Anne St. Clair has very detailed instructions on bra construction with excellent photos each step of the way.....I even use her book when constructing the Kwik Sew bra.
Beverly Johnson's book has excellent information and addresses the issue of redrafting the cups if you find your pattern has the 'girls' going east and west.
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Re: understanding darts and making a bra

New postby MartySews2 on Sun Nov 21, 2010 10:07 am

Here is an excellent website with information on making lingerie as it was in the early 1900's. http://vintagesewing.info/1940s/42-mpd/mpd-10.html
This website vintagesewing.info has so much information on making garments that I find it invaluable when I'm sewing as it covers everything one could possibly want to know about "how to create a garment". Hope this helps.
Marty ;)

Edited for grammar
Last edited by MartySews2 on Sun Nov 21, 2010 6:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: understanding darts and making a bra

New postby sewingmom on Sun Nov 21, 2010 4:36 pm

Marty, That is a great web site. I would have never thought about putting a horizontal dart at the hip line but there it is in print. It is ok to do.
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Re: understanding darts and making a bra

New postby sewingmom on Sun Nov 21, 2010 5:03 pm

http://sewing.about.com/od/techniques/s ... gdarts.htm

Some more info about darts.................................................................
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Re: understanding darts and making a bra

New postby neefer on Mon Nov 22, 2010 1:07 pm

I highly recommend Fit for Real People.
http://www.amazon.com/Fit-Real-People-C ... 935278656/

The discussion of darts is top notch. It wasn't until I started using this book that I was able to understand darts.
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Re: understanding darts and making a bra

New postby chickadee on Tue Nov 30, 2010 2:55 pm

sewingmom, I'm not sure on the books as I'm going for more of an undergarment snug bodice design rather than ready-to-wear. But, the ideas on darts were great---I didn't think about a diamond shape. I appreciate the link, thanks : )

MartySews2, wow! I've been looking at that vintage sewing site and am so blessed. I love the "older" way of sewing--the emphasis on modesty, quality sewing and seams (instead of a dependence on the machines), frugality on using fabric, etc. Some of the books on there are too advanced for me to even understand what they're saying, but I did come across a couple of simple ones to start with. I'm starting on 1926—The New-Way Course in Fashionable Clothes-Making
and then going on to 1893 School Needlework, A Course of Study in Sewing designed for use in Schools. I hope this will help me get a good foundation in sewing and garment making. That website took a lot of effort. Thanks for recommending it!

neefer, I will take a look at that book if needed after the vintage sewing course. Thanks for the book idea.

Thanks everybody for your help!
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Re: understanding darts and making a bra

New postby ElizabethShepherd on Fri May 10, 2013 9:59 pm

MartySews2 wrote:Here is an excellent website with information on making lingerie as it was in the early 1900's.
This website vintagesewing.info has so much information on making garments that I find it invaluable when I'm sewing as it covers everything one could possibly want to know about "how to create a garment". Hope this helps.
Marty ;)

Edited for grammar


Yaa i need a great web site , which is related with huge information about garments products. But i try to visit your site . it's show me expire.
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Re: understanding darts and making a bra

New postby MartySews2 on Fri May 10, 2013 10:20 pm

Yes, Elizabeth, that site has expired. However, if you google "bra making", you should come up with some information. Here is another site http://www.makebra.com/ There are plenty of YouTube videos as well as other sites with information on garment making. I purchase sewing books and DVDs to help improve my sewing skills as I consider it a good investment.
Marty ;)
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