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Dove blouse tutorial: How to sew french darts

How to sew French darts // Tutorial by Megan Nielsen Patterns shown on the Dove Blouse sewing pattern

I love french darts. I think they are so flattering and add some visual interest beyond the standard side dart we see in most blouses. But I know the French darts can be a little intimidating as the construction is slightly different than your standard dart – and includes cutting. Does anyone else get a little nervous about cutting sometimes? It has a feeling of permanency to it – like if you make a mistake you can’t come back from it.

But honesty – it’s not as scary as all that. I promise. After this tutorial, you should feel super confident to tackle your own french darts, like those in my Dove blouse sewing pattern.

How to sew French darts // Tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary // Dove blouse sewalong

Even though we are talking about French darts today – I think it’s worth mentioning, that for any V-neck blouse like Dove, the very first thing you should do is stabilize the neckline to prevent it from stretching out whilst you sew. I actually forgot to do this right away (tsk tsk!) so half of some of the photos in this tutorial will include staystitching, and some won’t. So first up – staystitch just under ¼” (6mm) from the raw edge around the Front neckline and Back neckline to prevent them from stretching out during sewing.

How to sew French darts // Tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary // Dove blouse sewalong

After cutting out the blouse and along the dart cut lines on the pattern, I recommend marking the dart point with a pencil or washable fabric marker. An easy way to do this is to use an Awl or pointy pencil to push through the dart point marked on the paper pattern. Then lay the paper pattern on the wrong side of the cut fabric and mark the dart point with a pencil or washable fabric marker.

How to sew French darts // Tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary // Dove blouse sewalong
How to sew French darts // Tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary // Dove blouse sewalong
How to sew French darts // Tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary // Dove blouse sewalong

Line up the raw edges of the darts on the front of the blouse and pin carefully along the length of the dart all the way to the dart point which you previously marked with a pencil. Sew ¼” (0.6cm) from the raw edge along the dart tapering into the dart point. Leave your threads loose at the dart point and tie them off rather than backstitching.

How to sew French darts // Tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary // Dove blouse sewalong

Finish the raw edges of the darts by your preferred method. This may include overlocking, zig-zagging, or hand overcasting.

For this blouse, I used a narrow and short zig-zag stitch. That is my preferred method as it’s easier to control how much fabric you take in the stitches.

How to sew French darts // Tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary // Dove blouse sewalong

Press the darts down towards the waistline and you’re ready to sew the rest of the blouse!

How to sew French darts // Tutorial on Megan Nielsen Design Diary // Dove blouse sewalong

We absolutely love seeing what you make, so don’t forget to tag your creations with #MNdove and @megannielsenpatterns if sharing on social media.

Happy sewing!


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About Author

Meg is the Founder and Creative Director of Megan Nielsen Patterns, and is constantly dreaming up ideas for new sewing patterns and ways to make your sewing journey more enjoyable! She gets really excited about design details and is always trying to add way too many variations to our patterns.

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bcwestblog
6 years ago

Thank you for showing me French Darts. I hope this isn’t a silly question but wouldn’t it be easier to finish the cut dart edges first before sewing the seam?

stitchedupsam
stitchedupsam
6 years ago

Thank you for this. I’m a pretty experienced sewer and while I love the look of French darts I have never sewn them before. I can’t wait to make Dove, I just need to choose some fabric.

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[…] Following the release of the Dove pattern, Megan Nielsen shows us how to sew french darts. […]

Nancy
Nancy
5 years ago

Megan…I, also, have never done a French dart. Question: are we really supposed to cut through that line and sew almost to the apex? Seems we have always been told to stay 1-2″ away from apex! Also, because I am bustier (but still fit within your measurements) I am slightly concerned. Let me know!!