We got saucy in class last week and decided to make something real out of our armscye princess line sample. (Samples are boring. We all know this. Students don’t like to do them and teachers don’t like to grade them, but they’re an important part of the learning process.) Here’s how we made the sample into something real.
*Yes, this is a thing. If you don’t have this thing, you can do math. Measure the distance between where you want your top and bottom buttons. Divide that number by the number of buttons – 1. (For example, if your design has five buttons, and the top and bottom ones are 4″ apart, you have 4 / (5 – 1), so your buttonholes are 1″ apart. If your design has a band (neck band, waist band, etc), there is usually a button centered on it. For a design like this, I like to put my first button about a buttons-width away from the top. It’s slightly more here, and I’m ok with that. How close or far apart your buttons are is mostly a question of taste, but you can’t ever space them less than a buttons-width apart. (Because if they’re in a single line they will overlap each other, and I don’t think that’s ever been a look.) Generally, larger buttons are farther apart and smaller buttons are closer together.
These are the exact same as the guides that I will baste in if I’m sewing a bound button hole, and they’re not a bad idea with any other type of buttonhole either.
Mischief managed in front.
Whenever you change a piece on one side of a seam, you have to change the piece on the other side. We changed the front side of the shoulder seam when we altered the neckline. Right now, that front shoulder is 1/2″ shorter than the back shoulder. That’s kind of a problem.
Watch point: Don’t go all Joy of Curve on this! You don’t want to dip way into the back body then come up to the center back neckline. This is a corner that must be square, It won’t be going into a seam, but the piece is cut on the fold so the same rules apply.
I’m using little bitty dashes for this because it’s much easier to make an accurate short line than an accurate long line.
Now we’re going to give ourselves a couple of guidelines.
The question of why we don’t want corners and angles came up in class. We’re going to finish this edge with the serger so that it doesn’t fray. While it’s possible to do inside corners with a serger, it’s a lot easier not to. Smooth curves are always easy to sew up. Corners, not so much. Here’s my top rule of patterning: if it’s hard to cut, it’s going to be hard to sew. Let’s make our lives easier instead of harder.
And then I am going to have a total head-desk moment. I just realized that the guideline from the book says that all faced edges get a 1/4″ seam allowance, and I used a 1/2″ reflexively. Seam allowances tend to be industry specific, and for better or for worse, the list of industries I’ve worked in does not include RTW. I redid all the offending seam allowances, but I’m not going to have time to redo the demo to get the correct photography. Sorry, guys!
Well, mostly. I’d bet that in many RTW shops, that princess line should be a 1/4″ seam as well because of the curve at the top. I have clothes made like that. I also have clothes with princess lines at a 1/2″ seam allowance. I suppose it depends on who you work for.