Essential sewing keeping me clothed and sane

Don’t bother me – I’m Sewing Princess Seams


This week my little boy turned 18 years old and to congratulate myself for managing to keep him alive and also to legally relinquish my parental duties I bought new shoes and made a new dress.


The shoes are Vivienne Westwood for Melissa: nude (go with anything) with big tartan hearts.


The dress is Vogue 8648 and it’s the one Susan Khaljie uses for her Craftsy class on couture sewing. I had the class playing in the background while I sewed but I didn’t go all the way with the couture techniques – and anyway she just made me feel guilty. I gave in eventually and hand-picked the zip which I’d shifted from the back to the left-hand side. I had to do it this way because the bodice of my dress is a completely different colour from the skirt so at least my threads match now and it was so much easier to match the horizontal seams too.

I used a white cotton/linen nubbly weave fabric by Linton Tweeds mixed with a petrol blue silky poly with white horses and carriages on it for the bodice. I made the short sleeved version and kept the back neckline low. Always a little self conscious about arms and my scarred back, I do like a cover-up. With the leftover Linton I made a half of a Paco Unique jacket: ie. just the upper part and sleeves only. The fronts are faced with the same fabric as the dress bodice. And I made a belt too.


If you are wondering, “Is cutting out and sewing your own individual and personalised bunting satisfying and worthwhile?” – NO , it’s not! Just buy the fecking stuff.

And while we’re talking about sewing – the dress…….

Princess seam central. Two-piece sleeves (sort of princess seamed), back bodice – princess seams, back skirt (you guessed it) princess seams….Do it all again for the lining….Get the picture? I don’t mind princess seams usually but they can be tricky especially if your fabric doesn’t stretch at all and your cutting out of the slippery, silky poly is rather inaccurate to begin with. Princess seams allow a lovely fit on the bodice which is easy to alter and creates a much softer silhouette than darts. Just watch those notches and make sure they line up, hence the copious amount of concentration.


Slide1What do you think is better  – princess seams or darts?

I’ve actually just realised that I didn’t topstitch my dress as marked on the illustration, so I suppose the sewing police will be round in a moment or two. Better hurry this up…


We went out to dinner to a really posh hotel and brought the son with us – although he has been there loads of times before of course, while his mother and father haven’t so much as set our poverty stricken feet over the threshold.

Not so much as a new dress but a complete outfit – so I did all right out of that celebration, oh and the boy’s not bad either.


29 thoughts on “Don’t bother me – I’m Sewing Princess Seams

  1. It looks fantastic. I was looking at that pattern the other day and added it to my wish list! Love the jacket. Congratulations to your son on his birthday.

  2. Lovely dress. Square necklines are always interesting in a good way. I’ll take princess seams, especially shoulder princess seams to add the illusion of vertical length, over darts any day – they give such a nice fit.

  3. I’m forgetting about the x 2 issues with lining – considering Vogue 8828 for a stashed fabric- a washable wool/ poly blend- though I may only line the skirt with polyester lining – I don’t trust that Bemberg is truly hand washable.

    • Bemberg is truly washable – hand, machine, and machine dryable, too! Just wash and dry it prior to cutting. It’s been my go-to lining for years without mishap, in and out of the machine.

  4. Wow – you look stunning in this ensemble. Congrats to your handsome son on reaching 18, too!

  5. Congrats, Ruth! Looks lovely and of Linton, no less!

  6. You really celebrate in style!! You and your husband look awfully happy 😉 Congratulations! Your son looks like a great guy.

  7. It makes me feel guilty that I haven’t even cut out the pattern/watched the class yet – its on my to do list. Your outfit looks great – glad you enjoyed the event.

  8. Stunning outfit – and life is definitely too short to make bunting!

  9. Well done on a great outfit, and getting the boy to adulthood. Your dress looks fabulous in that Linton fabric. I have the pattern and Craftsy class waiting for action. Your impressive outfit may have just moved it up the queue.

  10. Very smart new outfit. Congratulations on raising your son to adulthood too.

  11. Love your new shoes and new outfit, a great occasion to celebrate. Raising children is tricky but looks like he has good taste in restaurants.

  12. What a lovely dress Ruth – can we see it without the jacket?) You both look so proud of your son it’s really touching. And while bunting is fun, but I imagine you were over qualified for that job.

    Many people rate the Crafty course – would you recommend it?

  13. Lovely outfit! I did the couture course on my MOB outfit, and also all three wedding dresses that I made over 2 years. Well worth the time, all that basting is therapeutic. That pattern though…oh dear no. I used it for my bridesmaids’ dresses [well it was there] and they both looked great, but on me? yuk.

  14. Lovely post – congrats to your son (and to you and husband for job well done).

  15. Fabulous outfit! Congratulations on your son’s 18th. You have survived well 🙂

  16. What a lovely son you’ve got. Congratulations, you’ve done a fab job!

    On the dress too!! You certainly look like you deserve a special evening out.

  17. Hi there Ruth,

    What a joy to wear your new outfit for such a special celebration…………You all look very happy. Congratulations to your son on his birthday.

    I love the way you have mixed the fabrics to make it so uniquely yours………………the colours suit you so well.

    The course is fantastic isn’t it. I have to admit I worked through the course and thoroughly enjoyed it, but I didn’t use the pattern……………..may revisit it now though!

  18. What a brilliant reason for new shoes and a dress! I would so have a pair of those shoes if it weren’t for my stupidly small feet. Your dress and jacket are lovely, I’m all for a princess seam, and don’t use them enough. They definitely work well with plain fabrics. Happy belated birthday to your son, and I’m with you on making bunting…

  19. Great dress! Beautiful!

  20. I think that dress looks much more difficult than raising kids , but you seem to have managed both!
    Congratulations on two wonderful achievements.

  21. Well you caught my attention with your first paragraph. I should have gotten new shoes and a dress twice over by now! You did a lovely job with your outfit. Although I would have been wearing my dinner all over the white! I like princess seams better than darts – they usually take a lot of fitting for my figure though! Congratulations on making it through the child raising!

  22. Handsome son. Proud parents. Lovely dress and shoes (though I love them I can’t wear, sadly). I have the pattern, I have the class….

  23. Love princess seams for the fit and the vertical visual is a bonus for a streamlined effect. Nice to see them with a square neckline too.
    I’ve not tried French darts but I quite fancy having a go as a change from regular horizontal ones and princess seams.
    If your fabric is slippery (and washable) I find spray starch a real help with cutting out and construction for the princess seams (and also bias binding).

    Very best birthday wishes to the son and heir. 18 is such a funny age, right on the brink of heading off for adventure in the big wide world – don’t start me off….got one that age too …gonna be a tricky year.

    Also – Shoe envy!! Love a bit of VW

  24. “Legally relinquish my parental duties” haha I love that, when I turned 18 a few months ago my parents were like cya later sucker we’re out of here! Great dress too 🙂

  25. Pingback: Jersey Blue Layer Skirt | corecouture

  26. Pingback: Don’t bother me – I’m Sewing Princess Seams |

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