Sewing Tutorial: How to Insert a Shoulder Dart

Sewing Tutorial: How to Insert a Shoulder Dart

If you have protruding shoulder blades or a rounded back you may find that garments never fit properly in these areas. They can feel tight across the back and you also may notice that the armholes gape at the back. Our simple tutorial for adding a shoulder dart can make the world of difference giving you a more comfortable and flattering fit in this area and eliminate those gaping back armholes too.


Hi everyone and welcome to the Sew Essential vlog. I'm here today to show you a tutorial on how to insert a shoulder dart.

This technique is a great way to fix the problems you may experience if you have protruding shoulder blades or a rounded back. It creates extra ease in this area so the garment fits and hangs better.

I'll be using my trusty Palmer and Pletsch Complete Guide to Fitting book, my Sew Easy quilters ruler, Burda tissue paper, felt tips and scotch tape.

You can find all the products I mention on our site and the link to our site is below.

Adding the Shoulder Dart

Take your back bodice pattern piece and fold it in half at the shoulder, creasing the pattern paper. This will give you the position for the dart so that it is pointing at your shoulder blade.

Mark a line 4" from the edge of the pattern piece along the crease.

Mark a point 3 1/4" from the seam allowance or stitching line.

You will now need to draw the dart legs. Most people will need about a 1/2" wide dart.

To create a 1/2" wide dart mark a point 1/4" away from the first dart line you drew on each side. Draw two lines to join these dots to the point 3 1/4" from the shoulder edge.

Matching the Front and Back Bodice Pieces

Now you need to increase the width of the back shoulder piece so it matches the front bodice piece once the dart has been sewn.

The easiest way to do this is to place the pattern piece on top of a piece of tissue paper and trace the shape of the armhole onto the tissue marking the notches.

Rotate the pattern piece away from the line you have drawn, keeping it in position at the notches, until it is 1/2" away from your drawn line at the top.

Stick the pattern piece to the tissue with scotch tape and cut around the drawn line.

The front and back bodice pieces will now match after you have sewn the dart you added.

I hope you've enjoyed the tutorial today, this is an adjustment that has made the world of difference to me. Never have I known such comfort and good fit in this area!

Shopping List

Have fun sewing!


For more tips and tricks on how to make sewing easy you can follow our blog via Bloglovin and receive updates via email each time a new post is added.

Follow us on Facebook Twitter and Instagram for news, tutorials, special offers, sales and more


© 2019 Sew Essential. All Rights Reserved.