One of the things that should be particularly carefully avoided is the taking of wedged shaped darts out of patterns. This has the effect of upsetting the balance of a coat or causing unwanted distortions. On a lounge coat the classic example is deepening the front dart in the mistaken belief that this will create a more fitted and waisted effect. Instead it just causes ugly distortions around the chest. On a body coat, the removal of wedge shaped darts from a pattern at the waist will cause coats to gape at the front rather than add waist suppression.
There are a couple of ways of adding darts to a pattern. This is one method, that involves opening up a cut with a fold. It is easier to grasp when you see it being applied to a body coat. In this example we are going to insert a dart at the waist that is marked F to the number 37:
1. Draw in PLAIN straight lines where the finished dart will go on the pattern from F to 37
2. Make a PLAIN cut along the line going from F to 37. Do NOT remove a wedge shaped dart from the pattern.
3. Fold the pattern at B to C. The fold should extend as far as the number 37
4. Folding the pattern at B through to C will cause the cut made at F to 37 to open up forming the dart marked F to G and H.
In this above example, you can see the fold at B through C will also cause the neck seam dart from D to the number 31 to open up to form the dart 31 to D and A.
The alternative technique is to cut the paper pattern to open up the cut. This is how you do it:
Again do NOT cut out wedge shaped darts from the waist. Only make a straight, plain cut in the waist. Then insert horizontal cuts at the top of the dart and open the cuts out where it says "sperren" (open out). This will open up the dart.
The same principle can be applied to lounge coats. You cannot do this with a conventional front dart. There are two ways you can enlarge the front dart's contribution to it giving the chest shape.
1. Make a Cut Across the Pocket
Cut the pattern along the side pocket. Extend the underarm seam down to the bottom of the hem. The forepart will look like this:
Now make a fold in the paper pattern at the armscye at the letter "A". Fold the pattern as indicated by the arrows. This will cause the front dart to open up, in a manner similar to the example of the body coat. Remember you must give back to the armscye what you have removed by forming a fold, otherwise the chest and armscye will be narrowed too much.
There is an alternative way of going about things:
2. Extension of the front dart down to the base of the coat
If you wish to enlarge this dart beyond about 3/8" (1cm) at the base of the coat then you should insert a fold into the paper pattern at the front of the armscye. This will cause this dart to open up further. However, you must give back to the armscye at the underarm seam, the amount you have taken away by adding the fold.
Adding in Darts to a Paper Pattern
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