Today I will be showing you all my simple 4 steps to princess seams. So many patterns have princess seams instead of darts as they give lovely shaping and are super feminine, but they are a tough technique and they can be very daunting for a beginner! However, once you know how, they are rather easy, and can look great on (I think I prefer a princess seam on me than a dart!)
So here are my four simple steps for princess seams:
Step 1. Stay stitch
Using a short straight stitch, sew a line of stitches just under the seam allowance. So for a 5/8” seam allowance, sew the stay stitch at 1/2” (4/8”). I like to do this in a bold colour, as it helps as a guide in later stages.
The stay stitch will stop the curved edges from distorting, but I have found that it also stops the fabric from wanting to pucker and fold while you sew the bodice together. It is extra time but it is so worth it!
Step 2. Snip the shorter edge- the bodice center pieces
Snip the straighter sider of the panels – so this would be the front bodice center, and the center back pieces. Snip in approximately 1.5cm sections from the armhole down to just below the notch. This really helps to ease the shorter, straighter panel to the more curved side panel.
Step 3. Pin the panels
Matching the notch, bodice bottom, and armhole, pin the two panels together, using the snips made in the previous step to assist with easing the fabric.
Below the notch down to the bottom of the bodice would need little or no easing.
Step 4. Sew
Using a normal straight stitch, sew the panel pieces together. Sew with the center bodice piece facing upwards (the snipped panel). This is the panel that is more likely to pucker and fold, so sewing with it at the top allows you to notice before it happens, and will hopefully avoid the need for that dreaded seam ripper.
I find the stay stitch a really helpful guide when sewing the bodice pieces together.
And VOILA… A Princess seam bodice!
Hope this helps make princess seams less daunting for you! Good luck.
Love, Abigail x