I’m so excited to let you all know that the Darling Ranges sewing pattern is now available as an instant download PDF! Not only that, but i’ve spent a lot of time over the last year updating the pattern to include a new variation! I’ve been dying to tell you!
You girls know how much i love pattern variations, and as i kept making the Darling Ranges over the years, i kept thinking how much i’d love to wear it as a blouse. The pattern as it stood didn’t really work very well for a blouse, and once i get an idea in my head its really really impossible to make it go away. Since i was planning on releasing the pattern as a PDF, i decided to take that opportunity to add the variations i wanted and make a few little changes!
I’m really excited :) I love this pattern, and i love that it’s even more versatile now – yay! You can still create all the variations i’ve shared on Design Diary before (full list of variations and tutorials i’ve shared here), but now you can also create a dartless blouse and dartless tunic or dress. Completely awesome right?
If you bought the original paper pattern with side dart in the past – never fear! It’s really simple to alter the pattern to create the same variations (or you can email us at email@example.com and we’ll send you an updated PDF version of the pattern!). I’ll go over the alterations quick, and also go over some of the sewing instructions for the new versions.
// ALTERING THE ORIGINAL PATTERN //
The main change to the new version is actually to the bust dart – the bust dart position has been moved from the side to the waist. As much as I loved the side darts, a waist dart allows for more variations in the pattern, is easier to alter, and is flattering on a wider range of people. If you have the original pattern making this change is super easy – just follow this tutorial: How to transfer bust dart location.
Then (once the dart is at the waistline) if you want to create the dartless tunic or blouse from the original pattern, all you need to do is extend the pattern pieces at the centre front and side seam, like below. Voila! I recommend extending by 10″/25.4cm for a blouse, 15″/38.1cm for a tunic and 23″/58.4cm for a dress.
So easy right?
The sewing instructions are actually pretty much the same for all versions. The neckline, placket, sleeves, etc are all constructed the same way. But I thought I’d go over a few things….
// VERSION 3: DARTLESS DRESS //
Version 3 is a loose, dartless dress with pockets. So you can skip the darts and gathers, and start with sewing the pockets and side seams. It’s technically the same exact technique as we went over with V1, but I’ll go over it again here…
Start by finishing the raw edges of all four of your pocket pieces. You can use a serger/overlock, zig zag stitch, pinking shears, or binding.
Next we lay our pockets on our skirt pieces. One of the problems I first had when I started learning about pockets was that I kept having alignment issues. I’d put one piece of the pocket up too high, the other too low and they wouldn’t match. Or I’d accidentally sew them to the wrong side. UGH. Here’s an easy way to avoid that. Lay out all the skirt pieces with the right sides facing upwards, and so that the side seams are aligned. This way you can keep an eye on whether everything is placed correctly. Then position your pockets on the side seams, with their right sides facing downwards, and so that the pockets match up with each other and so that the top edge of the pocket lines up with the notches on the pattern pieces. Then pin and sew in place 1/2? from the raw edge.
Neaten the raw edge of the side seam.
Press the pockets open so that the right sides are all facing outwards – and then understitch.
Now lay your back dress piece with right sides facing upwards and pockets sticking out to the sides, and then lay the front dress pieces on top with right sides facing downwards. Match up the side seams and the pockets, then pin. Sew down the side seams till you reach the pocket, and sew 5/8? beyond the edge of the pocket, then sew around of the curve of the pocket, then back down the side seams.
So this next step is special to V3, not included in V1 instructions. It’s completely optional, but I think it gives it a pretty cool look!
Press your pockets towards the front pieces and pin in place. Topstitch around the pocket edge, so that the stitching is visible from the outside. Isn’t that a neat detail?!
Instead of using elastic in the sleeve like instructed for V1 (which you can still do here too, if you want!) V2 and V3 show looser, non-elastic sleeves.
Simply turn up 1/2”, and then turn up another 1/2”. Pin, and sew close to the edge. The same goes for the hemline, which you can see below in V2!
// VERSION 2: DARTLESS BLOUSE //
Version 2 blouse is suuuupper super simple. Seriously. No darts, no pockets, no ties, nothing crazy.
You just got to sew up the side seams and shoulder seams.
And finish the raw edges of those seams.
The hem on V2 and V3 is slightly different than V1. Instead of a large turn up, we are going to do a smaller one.
Turn up by 1/2”….
… then turn up another 1/2”, pin, and sew close to the edge.
// LOOKING FOR MORE TUTORIALS? //
Here’s the full list of Darling Ranges tutorials:
- Project preparation
- Pattern alterations: full bust adjustment
- Pattern alterations: small bust adjustment
- Pattern alterations: lengthen the bodice
- Pattern alterations: raise the neckline
- Pattern alterations: rounded neckline
- Pattern alterations: fishtail hem
- Pattern alterations: add darts to the back bodice pattern piece
- Sewing & construction: Bodice & darts
- Sewing & construction: Skirt & pockets
- Sewing & construction: Attaching the skirt & bodice
- Sewing & construction: Placket & Neckline
- Sewing & construction: Sleeveless version
- Sewing & construction: Attaching the sleeves
- Sewing & construction: Hemming
- Sewing & construction: Ties & beltloops
- Sewing & construction: Closures
- Sewing and Construction: Sleeveless variation
- Sewing and Construction: Dartless Versions (V2 &V3)
Don’t have the Darling Ranges sewing pattern yet? Get it in store here! We absolutely love seeing what you make, so don’t forget to tag your creations with #MNdarlingranges and @megannielsenpatterns if sharing on social media.