Thursday, June 12, 2008

playing with paper dolls



Ever wondered how to change an armhole princess seam to a shoulder princess seam?

I've been asked to show this on the Coat Sewalong, and since my skills at Photoshop/Paint, et al are limited, I got out a guidesheet from a pattern - the sketches of the pieces on those are to scale.

(did you know that? If you want to make clothes for those little 1/8 scale mannequins all you need to do is photocopy and enlarge the sketches from the guidesheet. I digress)

Anyway, I scanned the guidesheet of a pattern with an armhole princess seam, then enlarged the scan.
Then I printed up a couple of copies, and got out my pen, scissors and tape and went to town.

Instructions:
  1. cut off your seam allowances - they'll get in the way of your alteration and be confusing. Before you do this - mark all your notches through the seam line. (Why do the pattern companies mark the notches at the edge of the seam allowance instead of on the seamline? Not very accurate. I digress again)
  2. Draw a line on the Front from the center of the shoulder to the lower notch point of the princess seam.
  3. Keeping your grain lines Parallel - this is important - match your hemline and your lower notches. Tape together at those points.
  4. Carefully cut along the line you've drawn from the shoulder to the join at the notches.
  5. Pivot the outside shoulder line over to the side front.
  6. This guidesheet didn't need it - but if you have a bit of ease between the notches you will probably need to slash the pattern piece to the top notch and spread it - again creating the ease you will need in the princess seam. I've drawn a line on the picture where this will happen, which may show if you click on the pic and make it larger, but may not.
  7. cut apart where you've taped your pieces together, add seam allowances again, and you're good to go.
Easy peasy.


The sleeve alteration - not so easy peasy.
I realized, when I went to show this - that's it's been a long long time since I've done it properly. It's so easy to pull a 2 piece sleeve from a different pattern from the same company - check the sleeve cap for the angle of ease and run a tape along the armscye to make sure it fits - that I would ask myself: why spend the hour or two (or three) involved in redrafting the sleeve.
So, I ask you, do you really want to see it? Or are you also content to pull a 2 pc sleeve from another pattern?

16 comments:

Mardel said...

As no stranger to "frankenpatterns", I think it is easier to just pull a 2-piece sleeve from another pattern and work from that.

Gwen said...

Wow, that is so cool! Thanks for the illustration and instructions! :)

Tany said...

I know it's easier to pull a two piece sleeve out of some other pattern with the same armhole shape but, as a study case, I'd love to see the process of modifying the sleeve (I do have a book or two that address this but I mean showing it to the world ;) )

I've done the modification illustrated at least once, with good results! Changing dart placement is not difficult at all, once you undertsand its principles.

sewsy said...

Hey Marji! What Gwen said. And yes, I'm with Tany. I'd love to see it illustrated, as well. You're very talented, girl!

Nancy K said...

Since this was at my instigation, I need to say a public thank you. Is it really necessary to have ease in a princess seam? I have sewn them without and found that these are much easier to fit, especially in a fabric that doesn't ease well, ie my B'berry fabric for the raincoat. I think that

Nancy K said...

Woops, that last sentence fragment didn't delete.

Lisa said...

Hi, Marji,
First- way cool boat!!!!!
Second - I have already pulled out a different Vogue pattern to cut the two piece sleeve. I have measured both armhole seams for the two sleeve patterns and they are very close to the same size.

It would be excellent to see how you do make a one piece to a two piece sleeve, but not necessary.

:)

Anonymous said...

"Yes, yes, oh yes, often", is the answer to your opening question. Armhole princess seams are the only such seam on Bernina My Label, (which, BTW I love), so "Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou!! OllieV from the UK.

Carrie K said...

Excellent instruction, Marji!

Vicki said...

I would love to see it, but completely understand that you have better things to do and are giving us so much already. I can live with my one piece sleeve for my coat.

sdBev said...

Great article. I've passed on so many patterns because of the princess seam placement.

Also would love to see, if you ever have time, how to turn those 1/8 patterns into full size.

Ann_B said...

Thanks Marji, that is a neat pattern alteration. Like sdbev said, I've passed up nicely styled patterns because they were an armhole princess style. Now, we have a real alternative

Sigrid said...

Great explanation. Thanks Marji.

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