As you become a more advanced dressmaker,, you may find yourself working with specialty fabrics that either heavily decorative, laced or flimsy and difficult-to-handle in the sewing process. These fabrics require a more unique approach to transferring marking from pattern to fabric, especially when transferring dart lines. In this instance, conventional marking techniques such as tracing paper and tracing wheel, or drawing the lines with a fabric pencil (or tailors chalk) will not work as the lines may not clearly imprint on the fabric's surface, they may also damage the more vulnerable fabric structure. Luckily, there are some unique tailoring techniques you can use requiring a bit of quick hand stitching- regular tailor tacks and and simplified tailor tacks are two of these essential transfer techniques.
Use regular tailor tacks when transferring darts to one or two fabric layers that cannot be marked by traditional means like tracing paper or fabric pencil. Here's an easy way to transfer drat lines to two fabric layers simultaneously using regular tailor tacks:
1. As with all dart transfer techniques, the tacks are applied before the pattern is separated form the fabric layers underneath. Make sure all layers remain smooth and flat in the transfer process. Start by piercing the paper pattern at key points along the dart lines. These pin perforations should be wide enough to see the fabric underneath but not so large that they disrupt the dart line.s
2. Using a double thread hand sewing needle (double threaded for maximum visibility), insert a stitch through the perforation, catching the two fabric layers only. Pull the thread through and leave about 1.5-2" of loose thread at the end.
3. Next, insert the needle back through the same areas, again, catching the two layers of fabric. Pull the thread through until 2-3" loop is formed (shown above). Cut the thread, leaving another excess of 1.5-2" .
4. Continue the stitching and looping process at each perforation applied in Step 1 above. these loop stitches should only be inserted through the fabric layers and not the pattern. If you find that you need to enlarge the pierced area to insert the stitches more comfortably, you can certainly do so as long as the pattern is not too damaged in the process.
5. At this point, unpin and carefully separate the pattern from the fabric layers underneath. Keep the fabric as flat and smooth as possible in the process.
6. To transfer the tailor tacks to both fabric layers simultaneously, carefully pull the two fabric layers apart such that the loops pull thorough between the two layers. As you pull, cut the threads down center to fully separate the two fabric layers. It is important that you separate the layers very gently, holding down each tack if it appears to be pulling too much.
As a result, you should have the general shape of the dart marked on each fabric layer using tailor tacks. For a more precise marking, you can replace the tacks with hand basting. The beauty of tailor tacks is that they are very easy to remove when longer needed. On the other hand, you should be carefully not to pull accidentally pull then out as the garment gowns through the construction process.