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Princess Seams...How to make a Princess Seam & How to Sew Curved Fabric Pieces

 

     When shaping a garment, one might use Princess Seams. Princess seams are very similar to sewing curves.  Instead of using darts to shape the bodice or body of a garment one might consider Princess seams.  Seaming two pieces of fabric together with opposite curves will produce the shaping necessary to follow the line of the figure.  If it is done as one long seam on a dress, this would be a princess -style dress.

      When dress making, sewing curves are more difficult to do than sewing a straight line. Today, many patterns, especially princess type dresses and coats, have curves in the body section of the garment. Curves in patterns have taken the place of darts on some patterns, giving a more shapely appearance and fit to the garment against the body. Finding sewing patterns today with this type of fit will not be a problem.  If done correctly, the garment is fitted to the curves of the body nicely and look classy.

     Curves are more difficult to handle and pin than a straight edge especially ones with a larger degree of curve. When sewing curves it is best to raise your pressure foot once in a while to make sewing easier (Make sure your needle is in the fabric.)

    Difficulties will be when you need to pin and sew 2 opposite curves together, one outward curve, and one inward curve.  Be careful and make sure the inward curve does not "slip" away from the seam.  The edges must stay together. Plenty of clipping and pressing must be done to obtain the shaping necessary to follow the line of the figure.

 
This is a difficult seam to do, however if done correctly, it looks beautiful and fits very nicely.

To get the right effect of a princess seam, it is important that the fitting lines match exactly.  Place the pieces right sides together.

Pin stitching lines together with pins at right angels to the seam first from the top and then from the bottom, using  more pins where the pattern curves in for better shaping.

You may have to ease stitch if the fit is too tight.  If your pattern calls for ease stitch make sure you do not omit that step.

Once it has been sewn, snip the inward curves so that the seam will press flat. You may want to snip out small Vs to reduce bulk. Press seams open.

Once sewn, snip the inward curves so that the seam will press flat. On heavier fabrics cut V's so that seams will not be bulky. This is the pretty side, notice the nice curve that will fit the person's upper body nicely on this 1700's gown that is being made.

 

 
 

Here is a photo of the finished gown that Jessica made with Princess seams. This gown is a replica of a gown from the "Jane Austin" period. Notice the Perfect fit shaping Jessica's body.

 

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