What Are Style Lines?

And how do they differ from functional seams?


Do you know what a style line is?

And how it differs from a functional seam?

 A functional seam, as the name implies, serves a practical purpose for your garment.  They are the seams that hold the garment together, give it shape, or help it to move with you.  Side seams, shoulder seams, armholes and darts are examples of functional seams. 

 Style lines are the seams that give your garment a unique look, but they don't necessarily serve a practical purpose. Color blocking, for example, requires seams to join together the various pieces of colored fabric that makes up the body of the garment. But those seams wouldn't be necessary if you wanted a solid-color garment (although the seams themselves can be a styling detail).

This video explains the difference and gives some examples of how you can turn a functional seam into a style line - adding style details while maintaining the fit and movement of your garment!


Converting functional seams to style lines is a great way to add detail to your garment while maintaining the original fit.  

 Darts, for example, can look clunky and ugly, but they are necessary for a good fit for most women.  You can hide those darts by incorporating them into a yoke seam or a Princess seam - both of which are more attractive and flattering lines on the body.  Bonus - both of those options also give you color blocking opportunities!

 You can learn more about creating style lines on these pages:

 Converting your darts to a Princess seam

 Converting your darts to a Shoulder Yoke

 A Beginner's Guide to Designing with Darts (a wide variety of techniques to convert your darts to fashionable style lines - available for purchase)

I encourage you to experiment with some of these techniques, using your quarter scale patterns. You can make a Princess seam that runs from the shoulder to the hem, as I show you on the page above - or you can have the seam go into the armhole rather than the shoulder.  It can even curve into the neckline!  It all depends on where you pivot the side bust dart in the first step.  Play with the technique and see which shape you prefer. 



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