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Fitting and sewing princess seams

jp32's picture

Fitting and sewing princess seams (post #34836)

Hi, I am sewing princess seams on a fitted sheath for the first time.  I followed suggestions and basted, clipped, and fitted.  Now that I am trying to finish it. I cant seem to sew the seam as nicely done as when it was basted.  I keep getting too much fabric bunching up at  the bust curve.  I'm wondering if the basting stitches have caused the problem,  not allowing the clipping to spread the extra fabric,or if I stretched the cotton out when pressing.  I tried steaming the cotton fabric to shrink it a bit.  I tried using smaller stitches around the curve but still have trouble.  Funny thing is I'm only have trouble on the left side not the right.  I tried to keep the side panel on top allowing the center panel to curve a bit and take up the extra fabric.   My fabric doesn't lie flat anymore like it did when I basted it.  It is formed to accomodate the bust curve.  I'm thinking of just trying to sew it by hand but, I really want to get this down.  Please help if you have any suggestions.  Curves are hard!!



alotofstitches's picture

princess seams (post #34836, reply #1 of 2)

Princess seams give a really nice fit so keep trying and you will succeed.  The center front section has to have the stay-stitching at 1/2 inch.  Then the clipping to the stay-stitching especially in the area to fit the curve is a must!  I do sew from the bottom up, with the center front piece on top and the curved, side front on the bottom.  For one side front, I start sewing at the armhole going down thru the curve just so the center front can be on top to help the feed doogs work in the fullness.  When all sewn, press the seam flat as it's sewn, then press the seam open using the tip of your iron and a pressing ham.  You can only press one small area at a time because it is curved.  Remember PRESSING is an up and down motion, NOT A SLIDING MOTION ACROSS THE FABRIC like ironing.  Sliding the iron will stretch the fabric. 

You might think about taking out the seam stitching, press the pieces flat (maybe even adding a little spray starch if it will work with the fabric) and pressing.  Re pin the pattern piece and make sure the fabric fits the pattern.  Then re-start the process.


stillsuesew's picture

I agree that the center piece (post #34836, reply #2 of 2)

I agree that the center piece should be on top and the larger side piece on the bottom.  In the past I if I had really uncooperative fabric I actually started at the bust point and sewed first in one direction and then in the other.  It actually worked for me.  I know that that was breaking some important directional sewing rule, but sometimes breaking the rules works.