Saturday, November 15, 2008

Not lost, and I haven't fallen in,

My sewing mojo is slightly intact, however my blogging mojo has just deserted me for a bit.

Anyway, I was just about to write out this on Pattern Review for Sondra, who lives across the state from me, when I thought that instead I could put it here. This way at least I'll know where to find it when someone asks again.
So, I bring you a boring tutorial, and not much else in the way of blog content.

Changing an armhole princess seam to a shoulder princess seam.

The Front:
Before starting, cut all seam allowances away from your pattern. You need to match seamlines, not seam allowance lines. You'll need to remember to add your seam allowances back on after finishing your refashioning.

Choose a point on the shoulder that you want your princess seam to terminate. This may be the center of the shoulder, it may be as close to the armscye as 1" away. It should be at a place where the vertical seams will be pleasing on both the front and the back.

Draw a line from the bust point to the shoulder, shown here in red.
Cut along that line, and rotate it to the side front.
I was working here with scaled up drawings from a layout, you'll notice that the armscye doesn't quite match up. In reality, the same treatment that is shown below for the back piece will probably be necessary for the front. Read on.

The Back
Mark the same place on the shoulder as the front- it is important that the princess seams line up.
This is Sondra's back pattern, that she's trying to convert to a shoulder princess seam.
Notice that the way she's got these put together to photograph that the underarm seamlines line up, but the notches along the sidefront seam do not.
This is what I wrote to Sondra earlier:
Shaping with Princess seam is created by easing one longer seam into the shorter one.
On the front, where you're used to seeing that side front curve away drastically from the CF piece, the side front seamline is actually longer, and it is a combination of stitching the inside curve to the outside curve, and easing in the extra fabric along the outside curve, that gives you the room you need for the rounder parts underneath.

On the back, you can easily see by the fact that the notches aren't matching up here, that your side back between the notch and the underarm is longer than the CB piece.
That length does need to be there to allow for the ease - it's not a 1x1 correspondence or else you'd just be able to take a flat piece of fabric and draw curved lines on them, cut them apart, then sew back together. There isn't much curve to the back due to body shaping, but some ease is still desirable for shaping over the shoulderblades.
So, what you're going to have to do is cut the back apart in a way to transfer the length to the vertical seam.

1. Draw your new princess line.

2. Cut apart the back along the new seamline. Make sure that the notch mark is still clearly visible on the Center back section.

3. Match the notches of the piece you cut away and the side front, and tape together.
Draw a line from the side back either where the new section starts to curve away from original side back, or at a point just below the shoulder blade if the curve isn't evident.

4. Cut along that line and move the top of the new side back section up so that your armscye seamlines match.
(Sondra's armscye has a v weird shape here, almost as if that seam allowance hadn't been cut off. In reality that line should be a smooth curve. Sondra, did you not cut off the seam allowances on both the side back seams and the armscye?)

Meanwhile I'm back in the sewing room when I'm not working. Hopefully soon I'll have a load of garments to show off.


Rhoto said...

You are a very giving person, Marji!
Soft hug,
Rhonda in Montreal (PR)

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

Thanks so much for the clear tutorial on changing the seaming...I'm always looking for shoulder princess seams because I believe you can fit them so much better than armhole princess seams. Now I don't have to look so hard because I have the instructions bookmarked! Thanks!

DeeAnn said...

Always so informative, I learn so much about shaping, fitting, etc. reading your custom sewing expperiences. Thanks so much Marji! Your creations are so beautiful you inspire me to dust off the machine and give it another go. Maybe :)

Kristine said...

Thanks for sharing with all of us! This is definitely something that will be bookmarked for the future!

vespabelle said...

Thank you so much! I have a bunch of armhole princess shirts/jackets and have been wanting to convert at least the jacket to a shoulder princess.

Your tutorial couldn't have come at a better time for me!

Anonymous said...

Well, it is almost Thanksgiving and time for a warm coat. How about that Great Coat Sew said you would open it up to non participants by now???


Lynnelle said...

Thank you, Marji. This makes total sense! Your pictures and explanations are very detailed. Many thanks!

Cindy said...

Great tutorial, Marji!