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Altering Bodice--Princess Seams: HELP!

 
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Altering Bodice--Princess Seams: HELP! - 1/28/2013 8:45:08 PM   
NormaK

 

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My Dd and I are working on trying to fit a princess-style top for a bridesmaid ensemble. Progress was being made nicely on the "muslin" which I was doing out of what I hoped would be the lining. However, it turns out I had forgotten about the bust point. It has to be raised 1 1/8 inches. (I already "petited" the pieces by raising the waistline by an inch.) I found two methods on line, and have just made side-front patterns using both methods--or at least, I got as far as I could. They both look outlandish and I am very discouraged. I have had a headache all day, which hasn't helped. In method #1, I cut out a "box" which included the bust point and raised it the required amount. However, redrawing the line from the bust point to the seam line at the top of the pattern (armscythe), it looks terribly full. Dd is a scant A cup. Method #2 had me overlap the pattern above the top circle where easing the bust begins, tapering to nothing at the side seam. Below the bottom circle for the easing, the pattern is slit and spread the same amount, again tapering to nothing (this time at the side seam). However, again drawing the lines above the bust point to taper into the armscythe looks cumbersome, and I also can't figure out how to redraw the very skewed side seam and then redraw the grainline. I'm wondering if the amount (1 1/8") I am changing the bust point is part of the problem. The top will have short sleeves, so I don't want to mess up the armhole. I would really appreciate any help anyone can give me! I hope my explanation is clear. Perhaps I can include some pictures, if needed.
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RE: Altering Bodice--Princess Seams: HELP! - 1/29/2013 11:20:49 AM   
fairygodmother

 

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Maybe these will help:

http://www.petitepluspatterns.com/mm5/custom_fit_solutions/PrncssSeamReduceBust.pdf

http://theslapdashsewist.blogspot.com/2008/10/small-bust-adjustment-sba.html

http://www.threadsmagazine.com/item/24234/princess-seams-and-the-small-bust

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RE: Altering Bodice--Princess Seams: HELP! - 1/29/2013 8:08:15 PM   
NormaK

 

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Thank you, Fairy Godmother. I already have the second two links. I have another link from the petitepluspatterns site, but not this one. I'm having trouble understanding this one, for some reason. I'll study it again tomorrow. Small bust isn't the only issue; it is also high, partly because she is short. Today turned out not to be a sewing day, so I shall have to try again tomorrow to reach a solution.

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RE: Altering Bodice--Princess Seams: HELP! - 1/30/2013 7:35:53 PM   
Bunnypep


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Is this a shoulder or armhole princess seam? The shoulder princess seams are easier to manipulate, FWIW. Before you do anything you need to do a small bust adjustment for an A cup. There is much on on the internet and Pattern Review in particular on how to do that. If you can get your hands on a Nancy Zieman fitting book, she has the easiest method, IMO. Once you have adjusted for the A cup then you can cut out your dart box and shift it up. My personal experience with this style, which I do a lot for myself, is to make a muslin and adjust it till it's perfect. Then use that as your pattern, not the actual pattern. As a petite, for me, there is a huge amount that comes out of the princess seam from the apex to the shoulder line. Don't be afraid just take it out till it fits. This is what muslins are for. I can't recommend making a muslin enough. Take pictures of it on your DD to give you an objective view. The camera really helps put things in perspective. Will this have boning? What pattern is it? It might help to have a reference to help you out. Again, make a muslin first. It will save you lots of time in the end and the results will be better. I don't cut into my fashion fabric until the muslin is perfected. I don't have the cash to throw good fabric and time away!

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RE: Altering Bodice--Princess Seams: HELP! - 1/30/2013 10:49:34 PM   
caaguirre

 

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I second Bunny's muslin advice, it's really the only way to make sure of the fit before cutting your good fabric. I made a strapless gown for my dgd and made the top from muslin first, it's a good thing I did because in her case the bodice front was too big and the bodice back was too small. I would never have known just by taking her chest and waist measurments. The extra step is well worth it.

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RE: Altering Bodice--Princess Seams: HELP! - 2/5/2013 9:04:26 AM   
KarenVA


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If you can find a copy of Nancy Zieman's book (http://www.amazon.com/Pattern-Fitting-Confidence-Nancy-Zieman/dp/0896895742), it shows how to adjust princess seams. Also, Check out chapter 17 in Palmer/Pletsch's "Fit for Real People." There are several pages on fitting the princess seam starting at about page 149.

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RE: Altering Bodice--Princess Seams: HELP! - 2/5/2013 2:44:48 PM   
NormaK

 

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Thank you all. I accomplished the feat. Amazing!!!http://www.petitepluspatterns.com/mm5/custom_fit_solutions/PrncssSeamRaiseLowerBP.pdf
This is the information that worked for me. After cutting out a "box" including the bust point on the side-front piece (and the corresponding section on the center front piece), as Bunnypep also suggested, and moving it up 1 1/8", and drawing some pretty drastic looking lines (because of the large amount of the change, it actually turned out fine. I never made an adjustment for a smaller cup size, because it didn't seem to be necessary. I did make a second muslin, and even replaced the entire back of it with a 3rd. back. I had taken too much out of the back on the second try; still not sure how, but at this point, I don't care. After multiple orders and attempts at finding the right weight and color TRULY invisible SEPARATING zipper, the mother of the bride (who is making the maid of honor's dress) and I are going to settle for a formal weight separating standard (non-invisible) zipper from zipperstop.com. My daughter, at least, will be wearing her long hair down, so it will have to do. Dd can't do much more sewing on the top until it arrives, so I shall get her going on the skirt.

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RE: Altering Bodice--Princess Seams: HELP! - 2/6/2013 7:36:29 AM   
fairygodmother

 

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Yea! I am so glad you persevered and figured it out. You go girl!

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RE: Altering Bodice--Princess Seams: HELP! - 2/6/2013 7:16:37 PM   
Bunnypep


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Norma, hand picked zippers are easy and a lovely couture touch. You may want to consider hand picking your "regular" zipper. I prefer regular zips as they are much stronger than invisible zips and if this is a fitted bodice that could be really important. Good luck with all of this.

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RE: Altering Bodice--Princess Seams: HELP! - 2/7/2013 3:54:28 PM   
NormaK

 

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Bunny, my concern was that I've never actually seen a hand-picked zipper in a photo or in real life. I've only seen black-and-white illustrations. I'm afraid it would look like it was basted in. Perhaps I should look on line and try to find some real photos. I had been thinking of using a matching Madeira polyester embroidery thread, so that it blends with the sheen of the satin. Thank you for the comment on zipper strength. A young lady friend of mind just recounted how an invisible zipper on a fitted dress she was sewing for her sister "exploded" into a number of pieces during one of the fittings. She said it was so bad, she had to take it out and replace the entire zipper!

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RE: Altering Bodice--Princess Seams: HELP! - 2/7/2013 9:22:39 PM   
Bunnypep


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It doesn't look basted in. You have tiny dimples made by a back stitch a measured amount apart. I usually use 3/8ths of an inch but it can vary. This is one I did and on each pick stitch I put three tiny beads.

[image] http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ossUiavzztU/TvY4Avcf0ZI/AAAAAAAADZs/WtdodxDFMT8/s1600/lrd+001+%2528Medium%2529.JPG[/image]

This is another view of a handpicked zip from Sew Me Love:



Google will also provide you with lots of images. I particularly like hand picked zips on velvet. This is a couture technique and if done properly will not look like basting. Hope you consider it.

< Message edited by Bunnypep -- 2/7/2013 9:27:26 PM >


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RE: Altering Bodice--Princess Seams: HELP! - 2/9/2013 6:29:30 PM   
NormaK

 

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Thank you!

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RE: Altering Bodice--Princess Seams: HELP! - 2/13/2013 7:52:45 PM   
NormaK

 

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Well, I won't go into the whole saga here, but I did on my zipper question on the notions forum here. Actually, I had put a few beads on, which looked nice, when I had another (not so) "great" idea hit me. I fused a 1 1/2" strip of interfacing under/along the zipper on both sides. It improved one side, but the other was really bad. It rather smoothed out the ripples, but then transformed them into a horizontal washboard effect. I then removed it, but the washboard effect remained. I now have cut out a second set of center back pieces. However, I think I shall wait until tomorrow to work with them. Is is preferable to stabilize the opening with German interfacing, regular interfacing (iron-on or sew-in?), or silk organza? I know the German interfacing says to preshrink by hand washing, hanging to dry. How do I preshrink the silk organza? I didn't do this last time, and wonder if the steam from the iron shrunk it and contributed to the puckering. I am terrified to try this again, and I usually don't react that way. I am SO tired of this project. No matter how carefully I did the hand picking, it looked puckery, so I don't know what to do. Dd did like the beading, the little I did of it. I may post this on the Embroidery Forum as well, just to make sure it is read.

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RE: Altering Bodice--Princess Seams: HELP! - 2/15/2013 9:10:12 AM   
Bunnypep


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The steam very well could have shrunk your interfacing which then pulled it out of whack.

* Make sure you sew the seam shut all the way down but only with large basting stitches in the zipper area.
*Only use preshrunk interfacing. I like a tricot for this.
*Cut your interfacing only an inch wide. This will interface the SA, and then cross a little bit into the zipper stitching line.
* Cut the interfacing on the same grain as the garment.
*Use Wonder tape to place the zipper. no pins!
*Sew from the bottom up on both sides. Do one side first and sew to the neckline. On the next side start at the bottom again but on the original side sewing across the bottom first and then up the unstitched side. Sewing up one side and then down the other in one stretch can definitely make ripples. As you approach the zipper pull at the top, open those last few stitches and push the pull out of the way. This may involve reaching under and with an awl or such, sticking it into the pull and pulling. This way the stitching at the very top will not be wider because of the pull.

Hope this all helps and I wish you the best. You may be finished at this point but these are good things to remember for the next time. Good luck.


< Message edited by Bunnypep -- 2/15/2013 9:12:06 AM >


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