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Altering a back with princess seams

Solveig | Posted in Fitting on


I live in Stockholm, Sweden and have subscribed to Threads since -97. I love this magazine.

Does someone know how to alter the back of a jacket with princess seams? The pattern is 16 in wide, and my back about 12.2, so I would like to reduce the pattern to maybe 14.2.  I have directions for how to reduce the width of a jacket with a one piece back, but the princess seam makes it very difficult for me to use those directions for this pattern. Even if I chose a smaller size the back would be too wide.

I also need to increase the bust size for a C-cup, but that I know how to do.

best regards



  1. user-51823 | | #1

    i'd say, try slashing the paper pattern center back piece and side back pieces, and overlapping the slashes enough on each of the 3 peices to make up total width you need removed: slash vertical line roughly in center of each piece from just below the neckline all the way down to the waist. you will also probably need to make a horizontal slash at shoulder blade to allow the pattern to adjust to new shape. trace the new outine for all pieces and make a muslin. interested to hear other ideas... good luck!
    ps- this is a bit more involved than just shaving off at original cutting line, but i have had better luck with retaining good fit when i alter from the pattern piece's interior.

    Edited 12/28/2006 1:57 pm ET by msm-s

  2. HeartFire2 | | #2

    First, you need to decide if the center back piece is too wide, Where do the seam lines hit? They should be pretty much centered over the shoulder blades, if the center back piece is too wide, take it in in the center back, but, keep the neckline the same (I hope I'm not getting you confused)- cut the neckline away from the center back, marking the center back line on it, then, after you narrow the center back piece, you can put the neckline edge back in place.

    Then if you still need to make it more narrow, take it off the side back edge of the side back pieces (ie, not off the side seam)

    1. Solveig | | #3

      Hi HeartFire2 and msm-s

      Thank you very much for your ideas about how to solv this problem.  I think I can progress now.

      best regards,


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