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slightly different princess style

dotty | Posted in Fitting on

I saw a photo of a cute knitted top in an armhole princess style. Instead of the seams going over the bust points, they were parallel to where they’d normally be, but 2-3 inches towards the side seams. Would this only work in knits? Or only on smaller chests? It was a very nice style and not so matronly looking as some princess styles seem to me. Or does my chest size mean I’m doomed no matter what?


  1. LindaG | | #1

    Hi Dotty,Princess seams can sort of exaggerate an outward curve. You might try looking for a pattern that has a front and separate side front where the division does not curve over to the armpit but instead extends up to the middle of the shoulder. This creates a good vertical line that does not necessarily hug the bust but allows for some gentle curving to give the jacket some shape. See for example Vogue 8087 for an example of this style; there are many other jackets that use this shape. I am seeing quite a few in recent issues of Burda World of Fashion magazine, so it should be around for a while.Good luck,

  2. Teaf5 | | #2

    On a full-busted figure, that wider front panel created by the seams being closer to the side seams might make you look much bigger than you are. I prefer the princess seams that come down from the shoulder because they create longer lines and a narrower central panel that minimizes my full bust. Of course, you can always check by trying on ready-made tops!

    1. dotty | | #3

      I think your're right that a shoulder princess is a better bet in theory than an armhole princess for a full busted person. However, since I'm always on the lookout for ways to expand my options, I wondered what others thought.I guess I was hoping that someone might have actually tried this style. It seemed more subtle than a regular armhole princess. The model of course was not FBed

      1. Teaf5 | | #4

        Oh, I HAVE tried the armhole princess style; it made me look twenty years older and about forty pounds heavier! I stopped sewing for myself for a couple of years after that and only recently tried the shoulder-seamed princess line again in a jacket that restored my faith in fitting....

        1. User avater
          Becky-book | | #5

          Me too!

          I made an arm hole princess dress, makes me look.... well, not so good as I would like!  Part of the problem is the cotton cloth that is probably still a little too stiff.  I am hoping that with a lot of washing it will soften up and hang better... wishful thinking?

          Once I get my basic block pattern right I want to draft a shoulder princess blouse pattern, but so many other necessities of life have first 'dibs' on my time.

          Patience is a virtue!


          1. dotty | | #6

            I guess I don't quite get why armhole princess seems to be recommended so often. I really have had the same experience as you and Teaf5. They're not as bad with prints because the seamlines disappear into the pattern. But any slightly stiff cotton,forget it. Fabric choice is key, but I don't always get that right. I have in the past tried on ready to wear princess blouses that are more flattering than what I've made myself, but I'm not sure what makes the difference.But the style I was curious if anyone had tried was one where the seams were further to the sides, so that the seams don't actually go over the bust point.

            Edited 6/1/2007 2:08 pm by dotty

          2. Teaf5 | | #7

            The off-to-the-side princess seams would be fine for small-busted women (and I think the armhole seams give an illusion of curviness to the flat chest), but wouldn't give enough shaping for the rest of us. Art & sculpture classes taught me to think of the body as a combination of angular and curved solid forms, and that helps me a lot in fitting patterns. Essentially, you have to use seams or darts to get the two-dimensional fabric to cover the three-dimensional body shapes.With the side-seaming, I think you would end up with a horizontal "shelf" extending past the bust apex unless you gathered the center front panel into the side seams, and that would pretty much defeat the purpose. You could always experiment with a cheap or leftover piece of fabric to see for yourself; let us know whether it works!

          3. User avater
            Becky-book | | #8

            I think I saw a top like this (seam off the bust) on a very large friend of mine. Can't say that it helped her look good, she has so much to loose that nothing will make her look 'good'. She has a very sweet spirit; love her no matter what she looks like!

            You're right about the fabric choice!


    2. SewFit | | #9

      I agree about the armhole princess seem making you look larger.  I resurrected a vintage pattern with a funnel neckline and armhole princess seams recently.  I had to add a small bust dart to the center panel for shaping .   Recut the blooming thing twice and had it not been black and for a "one time event" I probably would have scrapped it.   I used a poly-shantung and closed it a center-front with a rhinestone buckle.  All in all it looked okay and got compliments, but I may not wear it again.

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