Thursday, December 15, 2011

PMK, darts vs no darts

Before, I mentioned that I generally choose the DARTED silhouette instead of using the NO DART choice, even when I plan to sew no darts. Here, I hope to show you why.

Below, I have superimposed two patterns...each using the identical measurements and settings EXCEPT, the RED one chose a SIDE DART and the blue/green one used NO DART.

With both pattern sets aligned at the shoulders, you can see that the front pattern is almost the same, with or without the dart.

But look at the back patterns. The no-dart pattern (in green) has a shorter back armhole depth than the darted one (in red).
But that isn't all...look at the overall length of the back patterns.

When I align the pattern sets, matching at the waist and hem, you can easily see that the back pattern of the NO DART set (green) is actually LONGER than the one that uses a dart (red), even though BOTH pattern sets were made using identical measurements!
PMK shortens the back length when a 'dart' is chosen.
I have adjusted my BACK length measurement to be longer than 'real' so that when it is shortened to use with the darted pattern, it will still be adequate.
Of course, this was NOT discovered before I sewed that last 'dud' I mentioned before...

I had assumed the overall back length of my newly-sewn top would be just the same length as the back of the previously sewn knit tops if I used the same measurement!

But no, that isn't the case when darts are chosen for one pattern but not the other.

But as I said, this is a recent discovery... sigh.

But to me, the real issue with the no-dart choice *is* the change to the upper back...that raised back armhole level. The upper back is now shorter from the underarm level up to neck.
My no-dart garments will pull to the back, trying to borrow fabric from the front. This happens because the back armhole height is too short...the distance from underarm level to the back neck on the pattern was reduced.

Also look at the sleeve. The shortened back armhole creates a sleeve with a smaller back half. This contributes to the "pulling-to-the-back" and a general feeling of tightness. When the back armhole is smaller, the back of the sleeve is smaller...there is less fabric there.

Also, this narrower sleeve's cap height would need to be made shorter to maintain the same bicep measurement across the sleeve as on the darted one...and that lowered cap height can introduce pulls that might not be there if the darted bodice were chosen. In the example above, I did NOT change the cap height on the sleeve...and you can see that the two sleeves are NOT the same width.

But here, below, you can see what happens when I change the cap height on the DARTLESS top...reducing the cap height by 0.25" so that the bicep width on the sleeve is nearly the same as before. The patterns are aligned at the front underarm point (because the front armhole on both patterns is nearly the same, I choose that as my point of alignment for comparison).

Anyway, THAT is why I choose to use the DARTED silhouette, even when I plan to sew NO darts! YMMV.

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