princess dress shirt: honing in on a good fit


Shirt with princess seams in the front and back. More room at the upper arms. Nice thick buttons (3 mm, diameter 11 mm) and learning the bypass the button-hole-in-one function on my Janome 245S because that’s too sensitive at times.

The pattern is from the shirt in the previous post: the bunnies shirt.
Alterations I did to that pattern:

  • different curve at the apex, for a bit more breathing space
  • more room at the back, at shoulder blade height, for more room of movement for the arms
  • shortened the shoulder seam by a cm. I thought by bringing the sleeve (cap) closer to the body and upward I’d get more range of movement, Which indeed I got.
  • wider sleeve cap, more room at the upper biceps
  • little tucks/folds in the sleeve at the shoulder point.
  • lowered the shoulder slope. I have square shoulders.
  • put the neck line in the front higher
  • adjusted collar stand but not collar (awkward collar now but looks alright when I put the back up, like a polo shirt)
  • lengthened sleeves a bit but had to shorten them at first fit, causing the sleeve placket to be not long enough.
  • gave cuffs a bit more room
  • cut the zero-ease block with 1,5 cm SA and sewed it with variable SA: none at the waist and shoulders, 1 cm at the bust. Only at the princess seam, btw, the side seams where sewn with SA 1,5 cm.

With the bunnies-shirt I noticed how fast the insides of my cuffs get visually dirty. (I apply cream to my wrists and hands a lot).

So for this shirt I played with the placement of the fabric pattern. The insides have trees, just like the outside of the collar. I placed some details at the ends of the sleeves too (but they got cut a lot when I had to shorten the sleeves):

It’s a nice shirt. I’ve already worn it. Is has more arm movement than the previous shirt. But still not enough. My sewing instructor wants me to enlarge the arm hole but I’m partial to make it smaller, closer to the body so I do not drag up the whole shirt when I raise my arm.

Other things I have changed to the block after fitting this princess shirt:

  • took out the curve at the side seam which would be easily identified as “side boob”. I had put it in because I reasoned that if one needs more breathing space at the front, such a curve at the side might help. It does not.
  • lowered the shoulder slope even more.
  • took out 2 cm at the back, at the neck line
  • gave neck line 1 cm SA
  • trued the four pattern pieces around the shoulder seam
  • fiddled with the arm hole. Still fiddling.
  • took away 5 cm of width from the sleeves.
  • took away 4 cm of length from the sleeves
  • made the collar stand higher
  • made the collar fit the stand

still to do:

  • make the cuffs a smidge wider so they overlap more neatly.
  • adjust collar to new neckline
  • change the curvature of the collar stand so the top part is less lengthy and the stand will lay more flat against my body (it now stands away from my body)
  • adjust collar accordingly
  • if I bring the arm hole closer to the body I’ll need to give the sleeve extra length.

No more adjustable SA sewing. Just give it the SA it needs so I can cut precisely.

As soon as I have a good body fit I want to draft some french cuffs and sew a stylish shirt and wear it with cuff links. But first another wearable try out shirt in cheap, funny fabric.

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