How to sew shoulder darts in a raglan sleeve


Yesterday we finally started sewing our Rushcutters! We assembled the lower part of the dress, but before we can go any further, we need to get our sleeves started.

The shoulder dart

The darts are slightly different, depending on what size pattern you cut.


For sizes A - F, the dart looks like this.


While for sizes G - K, the centre of the dart has been cut out - this is to minimise bulk in the dart.

When complete, both versions will look the same on the right side of the sleeve.

Sewing the dart  (sizes A - F only)


Take your sleeve and, with right sides together, fold along the centre of the dart, matching up the notches at the neckline and ensuring that the dart point is at the centre of the fold. Press and pin in place.


Stitch the dart from top to bottom, stitching 15mm (5/8in) beyond the dart point. I generally stitch darts by eye, but if this is not for you, then you can mark the stitching line on your fabric with a fabric pen, tailors chalk, or even with a line of hand stitching (if your fabric is delicate).

Sewing the dart  (sizes G - K only)


For the open dart, you can either stitch the dart and then just finish the raw edge of the dart (with overlocking or a zig-zag stitch) or, if you are using a light to midweight fabric, I would suggest using a french seam, to get a really nice clean finish.

To do this, fold the sleeve with wrong sides together, along the centre of the dart. Match the notches at the neckline, and check that the dart point is at the centre of the fold. Press and pin along the raw edge.


Stitch along the raw edge with a 6mm (1/4in) seam allowance. 


Trim back the seam allowance by 2-3mm (1/16in). This step is really important, because you want this edge to be hidden cleanly in the next seam you sew.


Open the sleeve and press the seam allowance towards the front of the sleeve.


With right sides together this time, re-fold the dart, matching the darts at the neckline, and also checking that the dart point is at the centre of the fold. Press and pin in place.


Stitch the dart, from top to bottom, using a 6mm (1/4in) seam allowance, stitching 15mm (5/8in) beyond the dart point.

Repeat process for the other sleeve. And that's it, shoulder darts are done!

Tomorrow we will continue assembling the top section of the Rushcutter (View A).

Do you have any special tricks you use for sewing darts?

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