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move princess seam

rekha | Posted in Fitting on

The princess seam on the pattern I am using needs moving at least 2″ towards the centre front. How does one do that?


  1. mem1 | | #1

    why does it need to be moved ? Does the seam run into the armhole or the shoulder?

    1. rekha | | #2

      >>why does it need to be moved ?

      The seam does not run over my bust point but 2 ½" towards the side seam. I am not sure that a princess seam running well below the bust point is 'normal'.

      >>Does the seam run into the armhole or the shoulder


      1. mem1 | | #3

        mmmmmmmmmm . I wouled mke it up in muslin. Maybe its more of a side panel . do you have a full bust ? Maybe thats the problem and you need to a full bust adjustment.

        1. rekha | | #4

          >>its more of a side panel

          I didn't realise that. The picture on the envelope however shows the seam running over the tip of the breast; that is why I was expecting the same result on my garment. Hey ho!

  2. stitchmd | | #5

    Where do the side seams end up? The pattern may be the wrong size, too large.

    1. rekha | | #6

      No, I have taken care of the size aspect. I am still puzzled and would like help. If you are interested it is a Butterick pattern 3978

      1. stitchmd | | #7

        The picture looks as if it is a side panel, not right over the bust. It's pretty hard to know exactly what it should be because it is a drawing, not a photo. If you make a muslin you can adjust the fit by pinning and basting. Once you are satisfied with it take it apart and use that for your pattern to cut out. I'm not clear on whether you've already made the garment. Are you dissatisfied with the fit or just thinking it must be wrong because it isn't the styling you expected based on the illustration?

        1. rekha | | #8

          >>dissatisfied with the fit ...it isn't the styling ...on the illustration

          The fit is fine and yes the drawing led me to expect the outcome as shown. Since both you and mem think it may be a side panel, I guess I shall have to live with that, but if it is meant to ride over the tip of the breast I'd like to know what needs doing. Have a look at the muslin I have attached: the big black cross is my bust point and I have drawn a blue line to indicate where I think the seam should run. 

          1. mem1 | | #9

            I didnt understand that photo. Maybe you could take the difference between the seam and your bust point out of the center piece and then add it to the side panel?? I  think that should work as you are maintaining the same shape and dimentions . I havent done this before though.So if you do it let memknow how it works.

          2. Elisabeth | | #10

            Hmm, it really doesn't look right does it? Even if the circumference measurements of the pattern size match yours the pattern may not be a good fit for you. Few of us are that "standard size" body that patterns are based upon. If you are more than the standard B cup and your bust line is not where Butterick thinks it is, well, that will get some problems going, for example. Does the pattern have that bulls eye with the cross in it showing where they put their bust point?

          3. rekha | | #11

            >>...didnt understand that photo

            The main part is the front and to the left of it is the side front

            >>...then add it to the side panel

            I tried that and in the bargain got more armhole or seam along the bust depending on where you put that extra side panel.

            >>Does ...pattern have that bulls eye with the cross in it

            Yes it is 2 ½" to the left of mine, that is, closer to the side seam than mine. I don't want to give up at this stage, simply because I have put a lot of effort in it, learnt a lot and want to see an end result.

          4. mem1 | | #12

            but surely if you add it on at the side and take it off the center panel to the same degree it should work out the same . you are just moving the seam toward the center not adding in any fabric.

          5. rekha | | #13

            I'll have another go at it, thanks, but I think maintaining the curvature is not a straightforward linear scaling as you move the seam towards/away from CF.

          6. Elisabeth | | #14

            And now we are back where you started! You wanted to move that darn seam. I think the line you have drawn on the muslin looks pretty good for the seam line on the center piece. For the new side piece check and see how much "dart" space there is above and below the bust point in the armscye and the waist when the old pattern is flat. That shaping needs to move over to the new seam line and disappear in the old. I'm going to say it, don't forget to add seam allowance!Do you have KK's Moulage? I think it would be very useful for this.

          7. rekha | | #15

            Thanks, I'm getting to my wits' end with this caper.

            >>...new side piece ..."dart" space there is above and below the bust point in the armscye and the waist when the old pattern is flat

            I would appreciate your expanding on this.

            >>...KK's Moulage...would be very useful for this

            I'll certainly look into that and any other help for a permanent resolution to moving princess seams.

          8. MaryAnnD | | #16

            You may also want to check out the Palmer/Pletsch book "Fit for Real People"  Chapter 17 is about bust fitting and they give very detailed instructions on altering the princess seam styles. 


          9. SewNancy | | #17

            Agrred, very understandable.


          10. Elisabeth | | #18

            Darting is needed to shape over the bust so if you imagine a dart going from the armscye towards the bust and another dart going from the waistline towards the bust you have the beginnings of the princess line. The princess line just has a seam over the bust between the ends of the darts. It's simple but it is not. Most of the shaping happens in the side piece which you can see in the curves on the pattern you are working with. If I was working with this pattern and had this dilemma I would probably, rather than officially redraft the piece, give in to my tendency to eyeball and freehand draw keeping the dart sizes and armscye about the same and mimicking the shaping of the original pieces. If such wanton eyeballing is not your style perhaps you have another pattern with the princess line in the right place to look at? Or a garment in your closet? If this is all too much to even think about I suggest putting the jacket aside and doing the moulage. Seeing the princess line emerge in the drawing process there can explain more than a million words can.A good book is a life saver too. If you can find the Palmer Pletsch to look at that might be very helpful. I'm not familiar with the one mentioned one but their books tend to be quite good.

          11. rekha | | #19

            >>eyeball and freehand draw keeping the dart sizes and armscye about the same and mimicking the shaping of the original pieces

            I have just done that on the pattern. The side front was tricky as you can see in the photo. I need now to translate this to the muslin and wait to see if I may allow myself to pat my back.

          12. Elisabeth | | #20

            Cool, the shape looks great from here. It's a little hard to be sure by just looking at the pictures but I am betting it will work out for you. Hopefully the pattern's new bust point is where you need it to be. Once that point and seam line are in the right place you can make all sorts of adjustments for fine tuning.

          13. rekha | | #21

            I can safely say I have dealt with the major problem. As you say I need to fine tune it for a perfect fit, but all this would have come to a stop a few days ago had it not been for you lot cajoling, nudging, encouraging. I wish to thank you all.

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