Saturday, May 21, 2011

Hot Off The Presses!

Another in my ongoing series of 'what i wore to go grocery shopping on Friday nite'. I wore this last nite for my weekly peregrinations, thus the title. I'm pretty sure this is the first time i've worn this khaki jean jacket in over a month - weather and the love of novelty have kept me in my new denim jacket up until now.

The highlight of this look is the blouse. Again, i made it a few years ago, but it never felt quite right. The princess seams allow for a lot of personalized fitting, but i don't think i'd taken it far enough. The top picture in the following collage shows the 'before' look, the bottom pic is after i altered it.

To begin, i took in a little at the side waist and also under the bust. In the before picture i look pretty frumpy. When you have a large bust, if you don't 'pull in' the garment where your figure is slimmer, you are going to look as if you are as big as your breasts all over. Defining the ribcage, stomach, waist and shoulders helps slim you down.  The other major trouble i'd had with this pattern was the fit of the sleeves. Somehow they always felt very confining, and they hit at a really awkward spot. I used a little cream/ivory plaid bias strips to hem the sleeves at a shorter point and along a bit of a curve.

These alterations, especially taking in fullness along the princess seams, made a big difference in the fit. Yet they are very easy to do - i just did them by hand, sewing right next to the original machine seams. Princess seams are great this way - if you are hard to fit in the torso, look for items with princess seaming to make alterations easier for you or your tailor. They allow even more precise fitting than darts and are much easier to work with. The same holds true when shopping for patterns - look for princess seaming if you want the most control over fitting in your torso.

I used to think this way of shaping a garment was tremendously old-fashioned, but as i gain more experience with fitting i've come to see the genius of the princess seam. Any experience with/opinions on princess seaming out there?


  1. What a fabulous makes such a difference!! Beautiful!

  2. Thank you Pam! mr. e and me were just admiring your 'menswear' look - really fun and quite snazzy! happy weekend! steph

  3. I absolutely love the changes to this blouse - the fit is amazing on you. I'm trying to get more into altering my own clothes - I think I need to get a book on it and read up. I sometimes get lucky with having things fit me perfectly, but usually, it could use some minor tweaking and I'd much rather do them myself.

  4. I think I'm the opposite of you - I'm fairly large but have a small bust. In your opinion, do princess seams allow for easy alterations when this is the case? I think what you did with your blouse is incredible!

  5. First of all ,you are really good at sewing.Your clothes are full of little details that only an experienced tailor could accomplice.
    I like how you altered the blouse ,the sleeves look so wearable now.
    Women in the past were so practical and wise in so many ways ans princess seams is just a small proof.
    I'm glad you pointed that out sa I'm going to be more willing to use princess seams in my next project.
    I also like the way you wear your shoes with socks and all it gives a different vibe to the outfit,it makes it so personal,it makes it you.

  6. Hullo Gracey! learning how to do your own alterations is a great idea - if you're patient (for the learning part) and like to do fiddly small stuff you'll even enjoy it!

    check out the library - they should have a # of sewing books, but also check out the magazines. Threads has great, reliable info, and there are more good apparel sewing mags out these days. check the back issues as well.

    Hi STAshworth! i've had one experience fitting a small bust with princess seams, it was a breeze. here's an article on your situation from the Threads website:

    hi angie! thank you so much - i've been sewing for a loooong time, & it's nice to hear that i've made some progress :) i'm glad i made princess seams seem less scary, too! you know, sox make a big difference when it's hot - more cushioning and absorption, hooray!

    take care everyone and let us know how your projects turn out! steph

  7. Including the 'before' picture made all the difference in underscoring the dramatic improvements to be had with an alteration.

    I love princess seams. They can accentuate the figure in such a flattering way. But I don't like to iron the thing. Sometimes I'll send such an item to the cleaners just to avoid having to deal with pressing it myself.

  8. I am back! To my eye, these defined waists are characteristic of your style. You know how to play your assets well.

  9. Hullo ilegirl! thank you! yep, ironing princess seams can be a pain - altho i've improved with practice ;) i can understand your trips to the cleaners!

    Yay Terri!! woo-hoo! hi! well, that top pic gives you a feel for how i look when i DON'T define my waist! thank you!

    Hi Ms. B! i like to wear a soxy look every now and then....

    happy tuesday everybody! steph

  10. I think you did a brilliant job on getting the tailored fit of this - as another one erm, "gifted" in the boobular region, AMEN to good seams!

    The capped sleeve is perfect - so much better.

    I also adore the socks! Rar! You tiger, you. ;)

    PS - pkg mailed on Saturday - sorry, did not have time for a note. Bad Sheila...

  11. Hullo Sheila! thank you, sweetie <3 it's funny, those sox are rolled down but the tops have a bright pink trim - i'll have to feature that sometime!

    Sheila, you are the only person who can write 'Bad Sheila' on this website without being terminally damned to eternal pursuit by zombies chased by sabre-weilding nuns! i'm really looking forward to the mail, and your e-mail notes have been very intriguing - can't believe L may be unveiled!! take care, steph