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Tips for Sewing Princess Seams in Silky Fabrics

Learn expert techniques for handling shaped seams in fine, smooth fabrics.

Video: Jeff Roos, Cari Delahanty Technical Editor: by Carol Fresia

Princess seams are ideal for sculpting fine fabrics, but some textiles are unforgiving. They’re difficult to mark with standard marking tools. Lightweight shiny fabrics such as satin and charmeuse show every ripple, so you need to manage the seam allowances to prevent bumpy seamlines.

Marking tips

Threads Contributing Editor Kenneth D. King reveals a method for marking the fabric without potentially damaging it, using thread tracing. He shows how to work a thread-tracing stitch through two layers. Then he demonstrates how to use this technique to transfer fitting changes from the outer fabric layer to the lining. The result is accurate and safe for the fabric.

Concealing the seam allowances

To prevent the seam allowances from showing through to the garment right side, Kenneth installs a folded strip of silk organza. This strip acts as a buffer between the clipped allowances and garment’s outer fabric, so the seamlines are smooth on the right side. Finally, he shows how to loosely stitch the lining to the outer fabric so the layers remain anchored during wear.

Each of these techniques enhances a garment so it fits smoothly over the body.

Insiders can find out how to handle princess seams in heavier fabrics, such as wool suiting, in “Princess Seams and Other Treacherous Curves.”


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