Monday, November 14, 2011

Whatever happened to curved darts?

Looking through my 60's vintage patterns, I noticed that a lot of the dresses had those curved darts down the front.  I've also noticed that the waist measurement of all these patterns is a lot less than today's standard waist measurement for the same bust and hip measurements.  This got me wondering whether that was why we never see these darts on contemporary patterns; that maybe they just are not necessary anymore.  So I decided to make up one of these patterns to test this out and chose Simplicity 8882 for this purpose.  I added 6cm to the waist and 4cm to the hips to bring the measurements up to date for a pretty standard Australian size 12 (92cm bust)

Well, the darts are great.  The dress looks better on a real body than it does on my dummy. Sorry I dont have a photo to show you.  I can see how the darts contribute to making a lovely silhouette and I really cant understand why contemporary patterns have stopped using them.  I reckon this Asos shift dress would be much improved with them.  The fabric kind of just hangs like it is waiting to be stitched into a curved dart.

So, looks like curved darts are still good even on bodies that dont have the classic hour glass figure that women were supposed to have in the 60's (and before).  Having solved that puzzle I can merrily go on and make up more patterns from my vintage collection.
Here's what the back view of the made up Simplicity 8882 looks like

Project Details
Pattern: Simplicity 8882 (c. 1969),  view 5
Fabric: 1.8m Annamoa  medium weight cotton fabric from IKEA plus 30cm pink and white spot lighter weight cotton for facings from my stash
Notions: 50cm invisible zip


  1. Stunning dress. Will you be at the bendigo handmade christmas market?

  2. Hi Sharon,
    I wont be at the Bendigo Christmas market but I do hope to come to some markets at Bendigo next year.
    best wishes,