Including panel lines in a design is a good way to eliminate darts, without losing the fitted shape of the garment (if you don't mind losing the fitting, then this is a more appropriate tutorial for you). They are also a great way to add interest to a design. There are countless variations and it is a way to include more than one fabric in your design if you would like. 

'Princess panels' are panels that are shaped around the bust, to create a nice fit, but can also be an interesting design detail. 

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Princess panels can cut through the pattern from the shoulder line to the waist.

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They can also cut through the pattern starting at the armhole and running down to the waist.

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To begin, take the front and back pattern pieces.

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To create princess panels you will need waist darts (if your pattern does not have waist darts you can either create waist darts - if you can afford to lose some width at the waist, or relocate a dart from elsewhere, to the waist).

You will be separating each pattern into two separate pieces, and eliminating the darts all together.

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Start with the front pattern. 

To avoid pointy breasts, you will need to change the rigid angles of the dart arms into smooth curves.

Draw a line that follows the lower dart arm at the armhole, and gradually curves as it approaches the dart point (start curving the line a couple of centimetres back from the dart point). Continue the curved line so that it meets the outside arm of the waist dart and continue along dart arm, to waist.

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You will see that this new line has removed the sharp corner at the bust point.

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Move onto the next panel (centre front) and do the same thing. This time the curve will be concave, rather than the convex curve of the side front panel.

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As you can see, to make this curve, a small amount will need to be added at the point of the curve. This will even out the amount that was removed from the side front panel (this small triangle has been relocated from one side to the other).

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Trace each pattern onto a separate piece of pattern paper, so that you will have two independent patterns.

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Move onto the back pattern piece.

You won't have a dart in the back armhole as you did in the front, so draw a straight line from the tip of the waist dart point to the armhole.

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Repeat process for the side back panel, transforming the straight lines into a smooth convex curve.

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Move onto the centre back panel and redraw straight lines as a concave curve.

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Trace each pattern onto a separate piece of pattern paper, so that you will have two independent patterns.

To complete the patterns, you will need to check that the curved seams fit together.

You will also need to add notches to the curve, to help guide you when sewing the curved seams together (as curves like this can be very tricky to sew and notches can be your saviour!)

Add seam allowance (add as little as possible to the curved seams - approximately 6-12mm - depending on fabric and garment type).

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