Creating Style Darts, Using Slash and Spread Technique

Updated: Feb 11

In this mini lesson we'll go over how to use darts as style enhancements. Although we may be more familiar with them being used just for fit, they can be very effective for creating interesting lines of design.

There are at least 9 types of darts

This diagram depicts the various places of darts can be applied. Each having its own name.

  1. Center Front Neck

  2. Mid Neck

  3. Mid Shoulder

  4. Shoulder

  5. Mid armhole

  6. Straight

  7. French

  8. Center Waist

  9. Center Front Bust





For the sake of this demonstration, we will create a center front waist dart, using the slash and spread technique.


Material required;

  • 1/2 Pattern blocks

  • Pattern paper or tracing paper

  • Pencil

  • Eraser

  • Tape

  • Ruler (clear grid ruler)

(Optional but helpful)

  • Awl

  • Muslin 1/2 a yard

  • Colored pencil

  • Scissors (paper and fabric)

  • Glue stick

  • French curve

  • Dressmaking pins

  • Pattern weights




To start I will use a 1/2 scale "working pattern" ( a working pattern is what is used as a base to trace the base pattern pattern shape, it is not used to cut into but instead saved for future uses)



Design Analysis; Identifying where the dart is located. The waist dart is located to the center front waist.


Figure 1

  • Trace the charted pattern. Mark the center front waist dart.Label legs A & B.

  • Draw a slash line from center waist to bust point.












Figure 2

  • Slash pattern from center front to waist (make sure you do not cut into the waist point)















Figure 3

  • Close dart legs A & B. Tape

  • Place pattern on paper. Retrace.

  • Center dart point 5/8 inches from bust point (1/4 on the 1/2 scale dress form)

  • Draw dart legs to dart point













Figure 4

  • Add seams to pattern or muslin as shown

  • Complete pattern using general pattern information

  • Test fit (using muslin, cut on fold adding 1 inch extension at front)

  • Seam allowance for 1/2 scale dress form; in place of 1/2 = 1/4. in place of 1/4 neckline= 1/8

  • 1/8 seam allowance in new dart.
















There you have it! A gorgeous style dart using the slash and spread technique.

To learn how to expertly mark, trace and sew darts head LAIDIECLOTH U, and see my Pattern courses.


Pattern making Advanced- Creating the 4 basic block patterns for dressmaking

Patterns- Reading and assembling a dress from a store bought pattern.


To purchase your very own 1/2 scale pattern blocks head here.


Thinking about doing more than just viewing fashion design from the sidelines? Are you ready to start off the new year with some new skills to transform your goals? Or perhaps you just want to enhance a few skills. Then enrolling in LAIDIECLOTH U, is just what you are looking for! This interactive fashion design school is designed with fashion lovers in mind teaching you the skills you need to become a skilled dressmaker.


Enrollment is free, and there are a variety of courses to choose from.

Bonus Info

To help you get started I'm offering a free resource guide, 19 Books to Kickstart your Fashion Business. Get the titles of books used by the pro's! There is also my Fashion Template Shop, to purchase traceable fashion figures & helpful documents for your dressmaking business.



Jasmine Terry-Ankobil owner and operator of LAIDIECLOTH fashion house, where I create custom designs and perform alterations for formal occasions. As well as my ready to wear shop. & Online Couture Sewing School LAIDIECLOTH U. Please feel free to share this article and/or visit my site www.laidiecloth.com




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