Manipulating design through the manipulation of darts

- - Pattern Making

Darts – they are an essential part of getting the right fit in a garment. When you begin with flat fabric and work to mold it to the human form, determining how, where and why to place darts becomes a very valuable skill as a designer. Fortunately, this process in not arbitrary. We know that fabric has to be formed around the bust at the waist and hips if it is to fit the human form properly. There is a method to creating a basic block, of course, but what happens when you are ready to branch out in terms of design? How do you change up the standard formula? This is what our dart manipulation series is all about.

Our latest video will show you how to transfer your front shoulder dart to a single waist dart on your bodice sloper. We will demonstrate how to easily move the dart and then how to true the bodice to accommodate a single waist dart. As before mentioned, learning the steps of how to shift darts will open up many interesting design possibilities for you to explore.

When you are ready to try a different method, try pivoting a front shoulder dart to a side bust dart using the video below.

Finally, try transferring the excess fabric at the bust to a center front waist dart.

For added dart manipulation inspiration, take a look here and do not hesitate to share your own designs with us.

Header images: Rodarte SS 2013 from

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Kara Laricks is a regular contributor to the University of Fashion. She’s also a New York based women's wear and accessories designer. As the first winner of NBC's Fashion Star, Kara has designed collections for H&M, Macy's and Saks Fifth Avenue. Her masculine meets feminine line, Kara Laricks, debuted at New York Fashion Week in 2012 and her S/S 2013 collection sold exclusively at Saks Fifth Avenue. Kara's designs have been featured on the Today Show and HBO's True Blood as well as covered in Women's Wear Daily and on Kara holds Master's degrees in both Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Kansas and in Fashion Design from the Academy of Art in San Francisco. An educator turned designer, Kara is dedicated to supporting emerging designers and inspiring others to follow where dreams lead.