Hmmm...What's a French Dart?

Glenda Sparling

Posted on October 20 2021

Sometimes seamstresses get confused about exactly what a French Dart is.  Research states it quite simply.  A regular dart is straight.  A French dart is slightly curved.  Also, a French dart usually begins near the waist line or a little above or below, but typically, it is a long, curved dart as shown in the following illustration.

Sure-Fit Designs French Dart

A student a had once chose to change the bust-fitting dart into a French Dart for her Tank Top project.

Sure-Fit Designs French Dart

You'll find complete directions for designing this French Dart on page 25 of the Dress Kit Instruction Book.

Sure-Fit Designs French Dart

Notice that the bulk of the fabric for the folded part of the dart has been removed and that you end up with a cutting line that curves up toward the dart tip.

Sure-Fit Designs French Dart

When stitching this dart, you may want to add a stay tape, like a narrow clear elastic/plastic tape, since you are stitching the bias of the fabric and this will prevent the dart from stretching out of shape as you sew.  Make sure to press this dart over a tailor's ham.  And if the fabric frays a lot, you can always serge/overlock the raw edge of the seam allowance.

         Sure-Fit Designs French DartSure-Fit Designs French Dart

Everything about this tank top fit so nicely when she was finished.  Well done!


Happy designing and sewing! 
Glenda the Good Stitch
Sure-Fit Designs Glenda the Good Stitch


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1 comment

  • Zee : July 11, 2022

    What body type does this dart look best on? When would you use this type of dart vs a bust dart or a contour dart?

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