How good are you at Darts?

First of all, one of my dear readers decided she wanted Julie’s pink paisley dress and she bought it from me… so even though it didn’t sell on Ebay…it actually did sell late last night! Thanks again SO much!

Rebecca and I have been on a cleaning and “throwing away” and “giving away” frenzy the last 3 days. We’ve done the hall cedar closet… HUGE change, the closet where the deep freeze is, the space above the hallway to the basement, we cleaned out all my cosmetics and toiletries, we cleaned out the pots and pans and washed and organized the silicone bakeware, the big spoons and spatula’s drawer, we shifted the heavy Nordic Ware baking molds and pans to my buffet and switched out the table linens to another drawer.
We cleaned out all “my” books…and I purged 75…AND 85 magazines… we cleaned out and separated all the cards and letters from the kids to us, went though all their old school papers and art work and had quite a few laughs along the way… Plus…lots, lots more…it’s a good thing… a very good thing!! Our church yard sale is coming up in June and I wanted to make sure we got it ALL out this time. We’ll have LOTS to donate this year. (I found term papers I had written 40 years ago… seriously…in 1976 and syllabus’s from classes in college.) It was very eye opening… and when we get all done, my house will be clutter free… Boy, you should all hire Rebecca…she is quite the workhorse and she won’t let any junk stay! The hardest part was just getting started. She went through some of my powders (White Shoulders and Chantilly) that I had tucked away in a container and said they HAD to go… “but Rebecca, I used these on my honeymoon!” OH MOM… (I hadn’t used them in YEARS!) Silly woman…just holding onto them for some crazy sentimental reasons…

Anyway, while we were emptying a tub of notebooks, I found some more things from when I was in college. My major was Apparel Design and we spent a fair amount of time learning about how garments fit. One of the things we did in a pattern drafting class was learn how to take a basic bodice pattern piece and change it up so that it created different looks… Here’s what I mean…

We would use our basic pattern piece…


…and be asked to make the darts for these 2 looks…


This is how you would change your pattern to create look #6…


…and this is how you would cut your pattern piece and pivot and slide the pieces to make version #7.


If you wanted to make a gusset area in a different color, and have a color block effect, like the looks of this picture…


…your pattern piece would be changed up to look like this…


It’s all just a matter of making cuts and then making sure they fit back together. All the changes you make have to assure that the pattern piece always lays flat on the fabric… When you put the darts together that’s what gives you the curves and the lines in the bodice area.

For this full blousy look…


…your pattern would have to be changed to look like this…


See how when it’s split at the waist and spread out it gives you more fabric to gather up at the waist?

Okay, so how good are you at darts? I’m going to see if you learned something… don’t worry, you won’t be graded… every one gets an A for Attemping!

Darts Number 1. So here is your pattern piece already changed… look it over carefully and see if you can visualize what it will look like when the darts are sewn in.


Now tell me which numbered picture is the correct representation of this dart placement. It’s on this page…


Darts Number 2. Tell me which one it is…



Darts Number 3. It’s on the page below… which one is it?



Okay, now I know these pictures are a bit (quite a bit) out of date… but once you learn how to do the darts you can change up anything and make it just like you want. When I see something in a store, because I know how the garment is constructed, I can visualize in my mind the pattern pieces that were used. It’s just like Julie’s 70’s dress. I didn’t have a pattern in a doll size, so I created one by looking at the dress and visualizing what the pieces would look like. Sometimes it takes a few attempts to get your patterns right, but “tweaking” is just part of the pattern process.

I’ll let everyone comment for a while before I give the answers to you… but I think you’ll get them. I hope you enjoyed this quick summary of how patterns are drafted…

See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne

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  1. Linda Doyle says:

    Darts? At first I thought you meant the game, Darts, that you throw on a dartboard, or maybe Lawn Darts! Couldn’t figure out why you wanted to know how good we were at that! Before I go any farther, I’m not too good, just average, although it’s been quite sometime since playing the lawn variety!!

    Oh, purging—-I did that about 10 years ago, and I got rid of so many things too! I had artificial flowers , Christmas decorations, Easter decorations, and yes, children’s papers from when they were in school. I kept a lot of that, but each child has one box of things now, and that’s it. I have always kept articles and ideas of things I would do “someday”, but someday never seemed to come, and so out they went. Why, just a month ago, decided I was never going to wear my wedding dress again, and my granddaughters showed no interest, so out it went! I kept my crown, but that’s it. After almost 50 years too, but I needed the space for my doll clothes! Sounds crazy, I know!

    OK, your quiz, I hope I am fully awake, and since I am the first one here, not making a fool of myself, but both bodice @1 and 2 are from illustration #1 and the 3rd one is #3. We’ll see how awake I am when you give us the answers!

    • Linda Doyle says:

      After rereading my comment, I want to make it a bit more clear. The first bodice is from illustration #1, then bodice #2, from the second batch of illustrations, also #1, or maybe #5?? I can’t figure out too well, since the necklines are different from the pattern, and the 3rd bodice is from illustration #3. And now I’m all mixed up!!!

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Linda,
      I laughed at your first paragraph…yes my title was supposed to “intrigue” you enough to open up my post and see what it was all about. I see you figured it out!

      Rebecca got up this morning and we have been weeding out again today. This girl never stops! Today it was all about my bedroom… the closet, my drawers, my bookshelf in there, my shoes, my purses, and a few tubs in there…. now we have moved on and are purging my recipes. I do have to admit I’m a bit of a clipper of recipes… but thanks to her I have weeded out gobs and gobs of them. It’s starting to show in my house and it’s a great feeling! I’m loving it. She wants to start in my sewing room next… I told her I HAVE to get some sewing done… and I certainly can’t let her be in my sewing room alone…she’d have it stripped down to nothing!
      The correct answers to the darts are:
      Dart Number 1 is from illustration 1.
      Dart Number 2 is from illustration 5.
      I just realized I made a mistake… Dart number 3 is from the same group of bodices as the first ones pictured… it’s bodice # 4… OOPS! I just corrected and edited my post so no one else will be confused… (except me…that’s what happens when you do your post at midnight!)
      You did very well Linda! Thanks for playing along!
      Blessings, Jeanne

  2. Susette says:

    Dart 1: Illustration 1. Dart 2: Illustration 5. Dart 3: Bottom Part of Illustration 6. ?

    Thanks for the inspiration to keep cleaning out. Books and magazines went last week to the library for sale and a lot about Japan to my grandson who will be majoring in Global Studies. I’ll start on the cosmetics and bathroom drawers today. I found a place to donate all those clothes from when I was working. They give, not sell, the clothes to handicapped people who are going to work. I don’t give to Goodwill anymore since I found out that it is a franchise operation and all profits from sales go to the owners. The charity part comes in only in that they hire handicapped people at minimum wage. I know challenged is the right word but that’s the word they used. I need a Rebecca!

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Susette,
      I made a mistake on giving you the choices for the last bodice. It was from the first picture and dart # 3 is from illustration 4. My mistake! Sorry about that. I’ve corrected it in my post now…
      You got them all right, 1, 5 for the first two.
      Rebecca and I are back at it today…doing my bedroom and now recipes…oh dear! I have more recipes than I could make in 3 lifetimes… all on little snippets of paper, or torn out of magazines or from the newspaper. Silly woman I am…but things are looking good. Rebecca is wanting this house in ship shape for when my sister comes next month. Rebecca said this will be the only time we’ll take Cindy on a tour of my house and open up every closet and drawer and show every book shelf and nook and cranny! It will be fun to show off all my clean and neat places! It’s very freeing to do this…
      Thanks so much,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  3. Paula F. says:

    It is such a good feeling when purging. The things that are hard to part with usually include memories. What I do is write things in a file on my computer – as an example for you: write down the very story of finding the powders (what type too) in a container and how you told Rebecca, the day you two sorted out many places in your home, and how you used those special powders on your honeymoon.
    I also write remembrances in this file from childhood on…that way, some day, my children will have stories about their mom they maybe didn’t know about. I wish I had written more stories my parents told us because now, if some hadn’t been written down, it’s difficult to remember the stories accurately.
    You are saving the memory but not the item. Unless it’s really special and you have someone to hand the item down to.
    I can only sew on buttons but I guess in this order on the darts: 1, 2 and 5 in that order.

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Paula,
      Yes, as much as I love to hold on to things, I’m starting to see how when things are neater and not so cluttered, it’s much easier on your eyes and so much easier to find things. I may have to take a picture of my sewing room as it looks right now…it’s pretty bad and then show what it looks like when we are done… I’m starting to think this is going to be a very good thing!
      Your ideas of writing down things sounds like a very neat thing to do… Boy would I have the stories to write!
      Of all the things, I can’t believe I made a mistake in giving you the choices to pick your answers from. I’ve corrected my post but actually the darts are from illustrations 1, 5, and 4… but you got 1 out of 3… I still give you an A!
      Blessings, Jeanne

  4. Love to hear of your cleaning and purging. If only Rebecca lived here in CA, I’d hire her. Need someone like her for support. She sounds so much like my daughter who is busy with her three little ones and always says “throw it out!”
    I believe the patterns are 1,5,6! You’re stretching my brain a bit for so early here in the morning. 🙂

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Joy,
      Yes, we are still at our cleaning…it was a lot to do and I’m taking full advantage of Rebecca while she still wants to help me and before Summer School starts.
      I told her about what you said and she just smiled….
      I made a mistake Joy, when I gave you all the pages with the bodices on them… I mistakenly told you Dart #3 was from a page that it wasn’t from. The correct answer for Dart #3 was actually from illustration 4. I’ve corrected my post to make it right now… Sorry about that. Nothing like giving a quiz but not having the right answers for you to choose from… The correct answers are now 1, 5 and 4.
      Thanks, Jeanne

  5. Carolyn says:

    I’ve been working a lot of hours and haven’t been able to comment on any posts lately, but I wanted to let you know I am still alive and still reading your posts, albeit a little late. I remember taking a pattern drafting class and really enjoying it, although I don’t see much for myself anymore.

    I go through frenzies of decluttering and purging, and it helps so much when you have someone to help you. My friend Alan usually comes over to help, and he’s also a slave driver! But, I get so much more done with him pushing me, and I really appreciate the extra help.

  6. Jeanne W says:

    HI Carolyn,
    Your friend Alan, sounds a lot like Rebecca… she is a real helper and my house hasn’t looked this good, since we moved in 12 years ago. I’m sure of it. It’s going to be very nice when it’s all done and back in order and then cleaned up! Yay…I’m so excited!
    Thanks so much Carolyn…I’m glad you enjoying reading my posts…
    Blessings, Jeanne

  7. Marilyn says:

    Clone Rebecca and rent out the clones on Etsy. Or we can clone my cousin Leslie, who helps people who are retiring or downsizing choose what to keep and takes the rest to places where they can be used or sold for the profit of the original owners. Lovely woman. I understand people mistake her and her partner for nuns — a small but useful order.

    I guessed the darts correctly. I’m quite pleased with myself. Of course it was easier this evening, after everything was rearranged.

    I’ve been less pleased with myself because recently I’ve been finding clothes and even shoes that I’d forgotten about. I had cancer a couple of years ago, and I must have ordered some shoes just before that and then not worn them because of the flood we had just before my diagnosis. I had also ordered some knit tops for fall. (I wash things before I wear them because one of my sisters says that stains wash out easier if the garment is pre-washed. Has anyone else noticed that?) Everything was set aside while I did chemo and radiation and I forgot all about them. Two days ago when I was cleaning I found a bag of ironing. There were new but badly wrinkled tops and underneath — three shoeboxes. I won’t need new shoes this fall. Cleaning does pay. Keep up the inspiration, Jeanne and all my fellow cleaners. Also — thanks to Susette for the Goodwill information. I checked out the Salvation Army on Wikipedia, and it sounds like an admirable alternative.

    • Jeanne W says:

      HI Marilyn,
      Yes, Rebecca is good at what she does, and even though it’s painful at the time, it seems like she does help me make the right decisions… Yesterday it was going through the fabrics time and at first I wanted to rebel, but I knew she was right again, so I listened. Now I have this huge pile of fabrics to sell… that’s a good thing…

      Congrats on getting the darts right! It was just a fun little thing to share and do together…

      Don’t feel bad about your shoes and clothes that you just found… I too, found a pair of shoes in my closet with the tags hanging from them… Rebecca said, in a sort of sarcastic voice, “Clearly these were your favorites!” :o)
      It sounds like cleaning in the dark recesses of our closets was good for both of us this time!
      Thanks Marilyn,
      Blessings, Jeanne

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