11 thoughts on “SNARK WEEK: Princess Seams

  1. While I’m familiar with princess seams, I pretty much wasn’t with everything else! You guys must have worked your corseted tits off to create this crammed-full mini symposium. I learned a lot. Thank you.

  2. Yes, but did all your organs shift, and/or did you ALMOST DIE from writing about stays & corsets? You know it’s nearly as dangerous as wearing them (Relax, I’m being a silly troll. I understand stays/corsets/bodies, and thoroughly enjoyed SnappyDragon’s video comparing corset shopping to bra shopping. Unintended plug, but she’s good!)

  3. Thank you for this deep dive- so informative!

    Whenever I ponder or read about corsets, I always wonder why they can’t be more of a thing nowadays: it seems they provide physical support, for more than just the bust, and make clothing fit and look much better.

    I don’t know much about corsets, design, etc, but intuitively I sense that my curves would benefit, even just practically speaking, from the structure they provide.

    I’d be curious to find out if anyone in this community knows of any resources that provide information on wearing corsets, or similar garments, in this day and age? Or, if anyone actually wears one themselves along with modern clothing?

    Thank you Kendra and Sarah and Trystan for all the Snark!

  4. wild applause – as I learn more about construction more of this sort of detail stands out to me. Lots of stuff with waistlines and sleeve construction also catch my eye now because of this blog.

  5. Interestingly, and confusingly, there are a couple of bits of evidence for “princess seams” in the medieval period, although it’s not likely that they were really used in the way modern princess seams are.

    There’s the famous / notorious image c. 1452 of Agnès Sorel (who was the mistress of Charles VII of France) as the Madonna, showing what seems to be a modern style of princess seam. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/42/Melun-diptychon-detail.gif/719px-Melun-diptychon-detail.gif

    And then there’s the so-called Greenland or Herjolfsnes dress (prior to 1430), which shows lots of vertical seams that might look like a princess seam — although people who’ve sewn it say that the actual dress is quite loose. https://i.pinimg.com/originals/5f/e2/ed/5fe2eda297f9d57ae4c1e8f49f3c7e7b.jpg

    The 1300s-1400s were apparently a period of wild experimentation in garment construction, as fabric became more available, so I’m reluctant to rule out ANY technique (ask me about bias cutting!).

    On the other hand (or bosom), it’s likely that a lot of those seams had to do with adapting / enlarging an existing dress for weight gain / pregnancy / breastfeeding, rather than the modern notion of fitting. Still, the existence of these images might have confused a costumer somewhere along the line?

    But certainly later period (say 1550 forward) garments don’t show that fitting technique, and we DO have examples of those later garments, which can be matched to contemporary art and aesthetics.

    So yeah, if you’re not cosplaying Agnès Sorel (or making a movie about her!), probably better leave the princess seams alone.

    1. First, Kendra noted that she wasn’t getting into medieval “princess seams” bec. Sarah covered it in another post, that’s linked right here.

      Second, in that post, Sarah said: “princess seams are not medieval (except for one possible depiction in that one portrait of Agnes Sorel where she has her boob out. And no, princess seams are not the same thing as the seaming treatment found in some bog clothing finds dating to the 14th-century.” Among other things.

      I’ll add that the Agnès Sorel painting is allegorical, so it’s not a great representation of accurate clothing ;) And there’s a lot of discussion in medieval circles about those supposed “princess seams” & most lean towards no, it doesn’t align with the overwhelming use of rectangular construction. FWIW, I’ve made a couple 14th-c. gothic fitted gowns, & you get lovely & supportive bodices without princess seams.

      1. Oh, I’m not arguing for princess seams, I just think it’s interesting — and a possible source of confusion — that’s all. And I absolutely agree about the Gothic fitted dress / kirtle, they are great! But now I want to cosplay as Agnès …. ;)

Comments are closed.