Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Princess Seams Refresher

by Anne from AnnesVintagePatterns

Ava loves everything Princess. My great-niece has seen all the Princess movies, loves books with Princess stories, and she has a wardrobe of Princess attire to rival Kate’s.  Oh, and did I mention she is 5 years old?  When she is older and begins learning to sew (plan afoot to encourage and help with this activity),  I’ll bet she won’t have a clue what it means when she sees a pattern describing princess seams.

1940s Dress Pattern Marion Martin Mail Order 9063 Vintage WWII Swing Era One Piece Day Dress with Princess Seams
Princess seams are long, shaped seams sewn into clothing to add contouring or to tailor the fit to closely follow a woman's figure.  The princess seam style of dress needs no waistline, since it does its shaping without darts, by joining edges of different curvature.  The resulting princess seams typically goes from the shoulder (or under the arm) and curves gently over the bust point and down to the lower hem.  When princess seams are used on the front of a garment, they run over the line of the bust to create an even, smooth look.  This creates a slimming look, often seen in dresses with an A-line silhouette.  Many form fitting garments, such as formal gowns, are made with this type of seaming.  On slender women, princess seams can be used to highlight the figure and provide the illusion of curves. Princess seams emphasize a thin waist for women with hourglass figures.  Princess seams can be adjusted for fluffier women like me to fit an ample bosom and hips.

Here are some PatternPatter team members’ patterns featuring princess seams.
Simplicity 9162 UNCUT  Style Wedding Dress and Bridemaid Dress Sewing Pattern SIZE 8-18
1950s Sundress Pattern Simplicity 3522 Misses Summer Day or Evening Dress Fitted Blouse and Jumper Womens Vintage Sewing Pattern Bust 32
60s Misses Blouse Sewing Pattern Back Button Princess Seam  Square Jewel Neck  Top 38 Bust Size 18 Butterick 3476
Do you enjoy sewing with princess seams?


  1. The princess seam is a classic look. It will always flatter any figure. Love this post and I hope your little Ava grows up sewing and loving it.

  2. The princess seam can be so flattering. I'd forgotten that 60s princess seam blouse, and I wore them. LOL!

    Hurray for up-and-coming fabric artists!