Armscye Princess 2009-03-124

Revised 6/7/2017

After easily fitting  3 princess-seam patterns, I’m feeling confident that I’m on the right road to fit.  The armscye princess of CC0546 was easier to fit than the shoulder princess of the Tabula Rasa patterns. So much so, that I want to explore this style further. I’ve avoided the armhole princess ever since seeing a picture of  18-year old me looking  gangly, frumpy instead of the sophisticated alluring mental image I held in my mind.  So it was no surprise that I had few armhole princess patterns in my stash.  I turned to my collection of Burda Style magazines looking for

  • classic armscye princess
  • jewel neck
  • sleeveless
  • blouse

I selected dress Style 124, March 2009 because I thought it would be easier to change neckline style and garment length.

I checked my measurements against sizing and trace a size 46 with dress length of Style 124.  I did not trace the facings (5 and 6) because by the time I finish with alterations the facings won’t fit and will have to be redrafted. I trim the pattern 12″ because I want a blouse instead of a dress and after measuring the back, make a 1″ BWL on all 4 pattern pieces.  I measured across the hip, waist and bust estimating  2-3″ ease at each level. I examine  the sides  next. I’m pretty sure I’ll need to trim  the apex.  I’m round rather than pointy and my bust  circumference is pretty evenly distributed on the sides and back. Instead of guessing,  I decide to make that change at fitting.

One place Burda always bites me is their navel deep necklines. Burda is pitching this as a dressy/black tie garment. In those situations, someone might want a deep neckline. I’m wanting a basic pattern  for every day use.  I extend the CF line straight up about 12″. Then measure down from the shoulder point 6″ .  Placing my ruler horizontally across from there, I make a mark along the extended CF; then  get out my french curve and draw my a new front neckline.

No way around it now, I have to think through and decide about the back.  The back contains a neckline dart. Why?  Also, the CB is not a perpendicular line. I traced up so far and then had to reposition my ruler and finish tracing at a different angle. This is not a mistake. I can tell because while the front uses a perfectly upright CF as  SOG,  Burda has drawn a separate SOG on the back which clearly is not the same angle as the upper back. Why?  Neck dart + CB seam angled is reminiscent of an RBA (round back alteration) rotated to the neck. I considered using the back as drafted. Then I decided even if  an RBA is incorporated, there is no way to tell  if they used the right amount for me. So I slash across the back where it is angled,  and again along one leg of the dart almost all the way to the first slash.  I slip a piece of tissue beneath and separate the horizontal back slash by 5/8″. This  closes and overlaps the dart  another 1/4″. Like I said, not sure what Burda was intending and I’m very anxious about the decisions I’ve just made, but I tape it all down.

I finish by making sure all the pieces have a SOG, the seams walk and have the appropriate SA added (1/4″ for everything except CB (1/2″) and side seams (1″). With a sigh of relief, I trim any excess tissue. It’s good to have made all the pattern alteration decision.

The pattern  recommends  “lace fabrics with backing, silk fabrics with some body”. Not using those. Probably never using those with this pattern.  I look at my wovens in the 1+ yard stack but I’m feeling anxious.  That 2-3″ ease I mentioned before?  That’s not what I have written on Brad’s chart. The changes to the back, while logically correct,  fill me with forbidding. I just don’t know what Burda was doing so how can I know I made the right corrections? I need some kind of fail safe; some kind of recovery plan.  Even if this is a test garment and discarded, I want to work through  enough to produce a useable pattern for the future.  The Crepe Jersey Knit I chose is a recent purchase .  60″ wide.  96% Polyester and 4% Spandex. Navy, coral, pink and red splotches in a print  which is too bright for my comfort.   I think I was more interested in the ‘crepe jersey knit’ description then anything else. It will make a good muslin ie. if this bombs I won’t miss the fabric. The edges don’t curl badly. They do curl, just not badly. The fabric drapes beautifully. I don’t know. Maybe I can get used to it.

I lay out the fabric. Put the pattern pieces on top. Check grain and then step away for the evening.

Yeah, it’s another project with multiple posts.  I’m having to think this one through as I go.



Pattern Changes

  1. Shorten 12″
  2. BWL 1″
  3. Raise neckline 3″
  4. RBA 5/8-removing back darts
  5. Seam Allowances
  6. 1/2″ CB
  7. 1″ side seams
  8. 1/4″ everywhere else.




One thought on “Armscye Princess 2009-03-124

  1. Great post, very informative. I look forward to seeing your garment with the alterations. Princess seams are great for a flattering fit but it takes time and patience. Happy sewing!


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