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Princess seams over apex of bust?

Marissa | Posted in Fitting on

I’m working on a fitted strapless dress and am wondering if the front princess seams should fall directly over the apex of my bust line, or is it off to the sides?  Any ideas, suggestions, etc.


  1. tessainGabriola | | #1

    Hi. They should fall over your apexes (?). The "panel" style has them falling a few inches to the sides, with regular darts going the rest of the way.  But a fancy dress is right on the ... (not nail!)  points :)  .

  2. mem | | #2

    Well over the point I would have thought, because when you draft the pattern for a princess line you are joining a shoulder dart to the waist dart and both of those are sighted relative to the bust point so???????Also its great to shpe the seam below the fullness of the dabust so that you get a nipped in effect . Threads did this an artcle a few years ago and its really worth doing . Very flattering.

  3. User avater
    artfulenterprises | | #3

    The other ladies who responded are right on point, so to speak...pun intended. Just a pointed technical note: all darts always point directly to the bust point. Princess seams are really glorified fancy dress darts, as they incorporate what would be the waistline dart (and possibly a shoulder or armhole dart) ergo: they must cross directly over the bust point as well.
    (Please, don't ask pointedly what's wrong with me...too much Nyquil...I'll be better soon). Hope your project is great fun. Best wishes.

  4. poo | | #4

    a princess seam line can fall on the bust point or off towards the side seam. it is a matter of personal choice in the look, the only thing is that they should not fall towards the center past the bust point. Often if it falls right on the bust point it may 'look' as if its too close to the center, in which case you move them off to the side slightly.

    Bust darts never go right up to the bust point, they are always between 1 - 2 inches away, the larger the cup the farther away they should be (if brought in too close to the bust point they will look like rocket bras), generally the same with princess lines, with a larger bust, the line going right over the bust point will appear to be too close to center front and won't be balanced properly.

    1. stitcher | | #5

      I hope i'm not too late to get into this discussion with a question. I recently made a bridal gown--strapless, with princess seams. They were apprpriately placed and fittied. The gown was snug around the top. But as the reception progressed I noted that the princess seams seemed to pucker a little. I have since examined commercail bridal gown bodices similar to the one I made and the seams felt like they plastic boning instead of horse hair. Does this sound right???? I would appreciate any insight.

      1. monicalou | | #6

        What type of fabric were you using?  I have recently taken on the task of making my own wedding dress.  I purchased the fabric and supplies last week but have not cut anything, I am still working on my muslim.  I have planned on using horsehair now I am wondering if boning would be a better choice.

        1. alotofstitches | | #7

          For any strapless dress, you'll need to underline the face fabric with a cotton underlining and sew it as one piece of fabric.  the bodice should be lined and then a separate "corset" using the bodice as the pattern should be made from lining with the boning added to the corset, bones at the back/side back seam, side seam, then up the side of the bust.  Boning/ corset stops at the waist and is finished off with 1" grosgrain ribbon fastened with a skirt hook--snug fitting.  The corst top is sewn into the top seam.  The ribbon holds the bones(not boobs) in place that supports the top keeping it from slipping down and the ribbon also holds up the weight of the skirt.  Before sewing a wedding gown you really need to check THREADS archives for Feb/Mar 1992, What the Patterns Don't Tell You, Wedding gown advice from a New York designer, Amy T. Yanagi.  I use the thin woven boning I get locally not the steel ones suggested in the article. 

          1. stitcher | | #8

            Thank you . I interlined the satin with a light weight nylon "web", which I have used satisfactorily several times. I created the corset out of broad cloth--it had lots of boning. I used a grossgrain waist stay. I was still unhappy with the lay of the cloth. So I disassembled it and added a stiff pelon type to the interlining and reassembled. This gave the seams a nice smooth appearance. I was still not happy with the seams over the breasts--they puckered and did not hold their smoothness through the reception.I am an experiences seamstress experiencing stress ove rhis matter.

          2. alotofstitches | | #9

            When you pressed the seams over the bust, I assume you clipped them so they did look good but only as the evening worn on they began to pucker--is this right?  Didn't you mention the bodice slipped down as the evening wore on?  If so, perhaps the weight of the skirt pulling the bodice down in one area but the bones &/or boobs keeping soem of the bodice in place somehwat is what caused the wrinkle.  I hate it when I can't figure out the solution to a problem!  there has to be an answer!

          3. fbksak_fella | | #10

            With almost 30 years experience, and bases on the information you have given I can't help but wonder how well the hips and rear area of your dress fit. I have found that the larger the bust, the more important having a perfect fit in other areas becomes. These areas help to support the top of the dress and assist the boning to do it's job as well. Another question I have is when using boning, why wouldn't you want to use steel boning. It works very well with just about all fabric applications. Women do have curves....God love em!


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