Thanks for all of your clicks and comments, it seems that I am not the only one to love a dart. This simple wedge that creates shape deserves some simple attention to work efficiently. Both sides must be the same length (of course I hear you exclaim) unless there is a good reason otherwise. I had a tailoring tutor, Mr Tony Holland, way back, who used to make his hip dart straight on one side and curved on the other! (Any comments from you Tailors out there?) Then there is the dart point or apex. The position of the sew point might not be the same position as the pivot point, as it is often moved back a couple of cm. To transfer a dart, the correct pivot point has to be used. I came across this error quite a lot when sending comments to a supplier. The request to re-position a dart often had quite unforeseen, and detrimental consequences. On close examination it was simply that the dart had not been extended to the pivot point before transferring to the new position. And if only the drill hole was marked on the pattern the outcome was even more strange. Pivot point, get to know the pivot point.
Darts get a poor press. It saddens me when I hear someone say 'I don't like darts, can we get rid of them?' Of course you can remove a dart, and modern stretch fabrics will stretch around the body where the unyielding wovens wouldn't. But I like darts, they are the shape makers and are what create the beautiful flow that skims the body rather than dragging across it. Even on my jersey block I have a dart. Sometimes I ignore it but more often I find its just what's need to enhance an otherwise flat and unflattering sample. You may not see the dart, its probably been incorporated into a seam or style detail, but the suppression is there, quietly doing its job. Knowing how to remove a wedge of fabric and transfer it into the construction of the garment is an endless fascination to me. Its the basis of 'fitting' a garment. Just a pinch here, just a nip there. Knowing how to use a dart effectively must surely be the basis of pattern cutting.