Big Leaves: Vogue 9167

I’m supposed to be doing my taxes.


I thought it would be more fun to share DD3’s latest sewing project with you instead.  🙂 We went shopping in my stash, and pulled out this fabulous fabric from EmmaOneSock, which I purchased with DD3 in mind a couple of years ago.  In the latest Vogue patterns online sale, we also purchased Vogue 9167.  She chose to work with View D.

We began with a toile of the bodice, using the 14-D cup bodice provided in the pattern, but it pulled in all sorts of unhappy ways, so I suggested that we do an additional 1.5cm FBA.  She followed the directions from the 1982 Vogue Sewing book on her own, but decided to make it a 2cm FBA instead of a 1.5, hoping she wouldn’t need to make yet another toile. And we ended up with a really good fit through the bust, if it was a little loose.  We didn’t need to lower the bust point at all.  But it looked like something my dog found in the garbage with drag lines going on in every direction FOREVER.

9167 shoulder toile

And I couldn’t for the life of me think of where to even begin with this mess. DD3 has been in physio for a couple of years because she a) sprouted so quickly; b) went from a B cup to an F cup in less than 6 months (remember, she’s 13 years old), which affected everything from posture to self-esteem; and c) swims semi-competitively. Which, all put together, makes for shoulder issues, as you can see in these photos. Oh, and we’ve just learned that she has scoliosis – minor – only 1cm, or so – but it obviously affects the fit of a bodice. Soooo….

Vogue 9167 toile no. 3

Because she’s a swimmer, I cut 5cm extra through the shoulder seams, in preparation for a square broad shoulder (remember, I’m trying to get her to work from a pattern, since that’s the way I work).  Maybe it’s time to learn to work from a moulage… Ah, well, here’s a summary of what we ended up with:

Back:  narrow back adjustment 1.5cm

Right shoulder:  took away the 5cm extra, and sloped it 1.5cm.  In effect, working from a size 14 pattern, it boils down to a 1.5cm sloped shoulder adjustment.

Left shoulder:  left the 5cm extra on the front.  Took away 5cm on the back.  What is this called?  Reverse forward shoulder adjustment? Backward shoulder adjustment?

Short waist adjustment: 5cm

R sloped shoulder
perfectly matched waistband seam on an invisible zip

This is the back of the dress. We still need more adjustments through the right shoulder… lower shoulder adjustment? narrow shoulder adjustment? sloped shoulder adjustment? Or maybe it’s a high neck issue?!?!?!

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!!

Right shoulder still troubling me
perfectly matched centre front seam, although the neckline looks kinda funny!  Maybe we should have done a mirrored version of the CF panels instead of matching them.

You can see it’s still a hot mess on the right side in this photo, but I’m not sure if she’s rolled her shoulders forward a little bit (something she is fighting on a minute-by-minute basis).  However, this is so dramatically improved from her Christmas dress fiasco (we’re re-cutting the bodice for December 2017), that we both did major happy dances. It’s not perfect, but it is 1000 times better than it was. She didn’t want it to be fitted closely under the bust, so we left it with a little more ease than I would like. But it’s her dress, and she’s happy with it.

Vogue 9167

She loves the pockets.

Vogue 9167 back

We added an A-line lining to the skirt. Working with all those box pleats was a bit of a challenge for her, since she’s just done circle skirts to this point.

Vogue 9167 side front

Thank goodness for Vogue’s wonderful instructions. She just followed them methodically and was so proud of herself when they worked out beautifully.  And me, well, I’m super proud of her.  My contributions to the project were some cutting, the back zip and colour-matching the thread for the hem.  Because it just looked better that way.  If you click on the photos, you’ll find yourself in my Flickr photostream, where you can zoom in and play Find the Stitches in the Hemline.

Vogue 9167 side

Well, now she’s working on the toile for her middle school graduation in June.  And we’re going hardcore:  foundations, boning, lace and petticoats!

Warning: A Miserable Project: Burda 11/2012 #138

Burda 11-2012-138 adjustedSome people blog all their pretty perfect outfits and look pretty and perfect, which is all good and uplifting and encouraging and all, but let’s be realistic.  A lot of the garments I sew for myself take a lot of work and reworking and fitting and tweaking before I’m happy enough to wear them for a blog post photo shoot.

Well, this dress project is pissing me off because, well…. let’s be honest here.  Because I’m an idiot and didn’t bother to do a toile prior to cutting, which was beyond necessary because my fabric is wool crepe.  I quote from the pattern instructions:

Recommended fabrics:  Jersey of wool or wool blends.  Use stretch jersey fabrics only.

Yeah, I know.  But I really wanted to use this particular teal wool crepe (I love wool crepe) and I wanted to make this particular dress because the bodice looked interesting, and I needed a wildcard for that Tying-Up-Loose-Ends idea.

At least even Karl Lagerfeld himself makes mistakes matching fabric with design sometimes.  (Don’t believe me?  Watch the documentary Signe Chanel in it’s entirety here or here or buy your own copy. There’s a lovely silk velvet gown that one petite main spends twelve full days sewing by hand, only to have the master admit his original fabric choice isn’t working.)

I measured, allowed for the lack of ease in the fabric, was a good girl and did an FBA leaving the armscye unaltered….FBA Burda 11-2012-138And it failed miserably.  This is before tweaking. The sleeves are the perfect length and it looks good, right?Burda 11-2012-138 front before adjustmentBut I can’t move in it.  See what happens when I move my arms? armscye problemThe armscyes are very low.  Actually, a full 2.5 inches lower than they should be, and it’s because the top of the front armscye is entirely on the bias.  Well, mine was, because I had the brains foresight to do the required FBA. Yes, I was warned when I posted of my SWAP plans, but I’d already cut it out by then, so I just (uselessly) crossed my fingers and hoped.  See the pulling? The sleeves won’t let my arms go anywhere, so the bodice is stretching across all its bias glory to allow for arm movement. I could not reach forward or put my arms over my head if someone had held a gun in my face.

This is after tweaking, with the too-full-but-with-room-enough-to-move sleeves of the wrong length.  Burda 11-2012-138 front The re-cut the sleeves v.1 were from  Vogue 8615:  a 3/4 sleeve with an elbow dart, which was still too tight.  (?!?!)  When that didnt’ work, I thought I may as well go the whole hog and use what I know to be a loosey sort of proper fitting sleeve with wearing ease from Burda 5/2010 #112.  The original sleeve is in tissue overlaying the sleeve pattern I eventually opted to use.sleeve adjustments I used silk organza selvedge to stay the armscye and eased in about 2-3 inches of stretched bias on the bodice front into what the measurements on the pattern dictated the armscye should be (about 9 inches from shoulder to underarm).    Ridiculous.armscye fixAnd now I have this.  See all that fabric trying desperately to shrink into the armscye?  And I couldn’t recut the bodice or reduce any of the fabric from the pleats because the FBA needs the ease to fit successfully.Burda 11-2012-138 bodice adjusted It isn’t pretty and perfect, but I can raise my arms, see?  Doesn’t look great, but let me tell you, from a wearability perspective, it’s 100% better than the original version.Burda 11-2012-138 armscyeThe sleeves are loose enough that they move when I need them to now, and the armscye sits high enough that it basically stays in place when my arms move.  But it’s got to be the ugliest bodice I’ve ever seen on myself.Burda 11-2012-138 sideSo do I like anything about this dress? Yes.  I love the fabric.  I love love love wool crepe.  And the back fits well.IMG_5461 Burda 11-2012-138 backThe hemline finishing – fell stitched to the hem allowance because I wanted a clean finish.Burda 11-2012-138 lining hemMy silk lining.Burda 11-2012-138 liningBut I really hate the fit of the bodice and sleeves on my version of this dress.  I think I’ll chop it off and make a skirt.  So much for this loose end!

Burda 05/2012 #141: Digital Print

Burda 05-2012-141 fronThis dress was an experiment in sizing.  I am right in the middle of Burda regular and plus sizing, and I was interested in how a plus pattern for wovens would stack up against a regular size.  I chose this dress from the May 2012 issue.  I really liked the line drawing, and draping and V-necks are two of my favourite design elements.  My fabric is a digital printed cotton voile, and I’m happy that everything for this dress was from stash!I cut the size indicated by my full bust measurement.  I wanted to see how this compared to cutting my upper chest measurement and doing an FBA.  I shortened the waist by 2 inches, which is a standard short-waist adjustment for me, and cut the fronts with 2 inch seam allowances.

Burda 05-2012-141 side frontVerdict:  the smaller size with the FBA would have been a better fit across the chest and through the armscyes.  As it was, I needed to ease in 2 inches along the length of each neckline to get the neckline to lie snug and avoid wardrobe malfunction, and it was a good thing I cut a 2″ seam allowance through the armscyes.  I needed that much to get enough coverage and avoid gaping armholes.

The one odd thing about this pattern was the right front.  In order to get the fit and drape  through the waist and hips (surprise on the hips) I had to trim 1 1/2″ off the entire right side seam.  Not the left, just the right.  A drafting issue?  Anyways, I wore the dress today, and it was super comfortable and cool.Burda 05-2012-141 back The back fits well after tweaking the fit through the waist, and I really like the silhouette of the a-line skirt.  The dress is fully lined, but I drafted facings to give the edges a nicer finish.  Well, two summer dresses down and one to go!  I’m almost at the end of my late summer projects.

Burda 05-2012-141

The Classic White Shirt

classic white shirtSleeveless version, that is.

This is the first sleeveless white shirt in my closet. Ever. I’ve never wanted one before. And I don’t particularly like them. But they’re growing on me when I see other people wearing them. So here’s mine! I used again. I’m certainly getting my money’s worth out of this pattern. I’ve made the capris, used the capri pattern to alter a previously me-made pair that I disliked, and now I’ve made the shirt. I have to say I did make the 3/4 sleeved version years ago out of Liberty Queensbury, and would love to have another Queensbury shirt, but I can’t find the fabric anymore. On my first version I hadn’t learned yet how to do an FBA, and I really needed one.

For this version, I used an ivory cotton/linen blend, I think. It’s a bit heavy and 100% linen it certainly ain’t. I’ve never seen so much lint in the dryer filter after pre-washing and drying linen. I could have sufficiently stuffed a baby pillow with it. It was ridiculous. 8094 interior And I underlined it. Even though it’s a mid-weight fabric, you could still see skin versus pants through it. I used cotton voile, and, flimsy and sheer though that fabric be, it does add that extra coverage layer. And just to test it, I wore a dark brown bra for these photos. Pretty good, eh? side fit I love the collar on this shirt. I think the fabric makes it roll perfectly.8094 collar detail I had intended this to be a quick project. HA!! Classic white shirt does NOT equal fast and easy. I didn’t do a muslin – just did the baste and fit as you go method. The front fit beautifully after doing my usual FBA. front fit The side darts are pretty deep – not quite deep enough from the photo below – and I was concerned about how they’d shape. Sometimes I like to split up a very deep dart into two or more smaller ones. I think next time this pattern gets made I’ll do the smaller darts because it’ll make the shape more pleasing. Don’t get me wrong! I’m quite pleased with this shirt, but as you all know, we sewists can get really really picky over anything that doesn’t fit perfectly. 8094 side And I think I’ve developed slightly sloping shoulders over the years. Jeepers. I wasn’t expecting my shoulders to drop as I age. This is slightly more evident in the mandatory back view of the shirt. 8094 back The front and back darts are very long in this pattern. Necessary, I guess, to obtain the fit that drew me to this pattern in the first place. And I’m not crazy about the five buttons. The last one just seems like one too many, so I’ll probably wear it unbuttoned. I’m short-waisted enough that it won’t make any difference. 8094 front

Almost ready!

I must confess this dress almost had me crying the other night.  I had mocked up the 6th – read SIXTH – version of the bodice, had the cups shaped and the twill tape in the neckline and asked my DH to hold the back closed while I tried it on.  It so did not fit.  *hung head*  Talk about frustrating.bombshell V6The fifth muslin I thought fit just a little too big, so I self-fit it in front of a mirror.  I’m don’t have pictures, which is probably a mercy.  But I was confident in the fit, so merrily went on my way making it up.  Just as I was ready to cut the skirt and attach it to the bodice, I thought I’d just try it on again.  Y’know, just to make sure so that I didn’t have a beautifully finished dress that didn’t fit.   My DD1 asked me how it was going, and I told her I was going to have a beautiful dress, but I didn’t know if I’d be keeping it because it might not fit!  So sadly true when I tried on Version #6.  *cue copious sobbing*

Back to the drawing board again.  This time I went back to Version #5, which I thought was too big.  It’s still a little big, but at least the coverage is good and I don’t fall out of it!  I basted the skirt to the bodice and tried it on to see if it’s worth continuing.  I am so pleased that it actually fits!  I’ll have pictures of me in it once it’s completely finished.

The fabric is not exactly what I wanted to make this dress up in, but I had enough of it in my stash to make three of them if such waste was necessary to get the fit right.  My goal is not necessarily to have a dress that I’ll wear (although I think I will wear this), but to tweak the bodice fitting so that I have a TNT pattern to use at will.   I do have a Liberty of London Ros in red and some tweed that I’d love to make this up in.  I’m just satisfied that I’ve cracked this nut that almost made me cry “Nuff!”

Persevere, persevere, my dear

I’m well into Gertie’s sewalong, and boy, am I learning a lot.   The dress (Burda 05-2011-122) is quite fitted through the bodice, and I must confess that that is probably the only reason that I decided to take the course.   I am a busty girl, and fitting a strapless bodice – or a fitted one, for that matter – is a nightmare waiting to happen.DSC03180

Here’s where I am so far.  I cut the bodice to fit my ribcage (chest) and waist measurements, knowing full well that there will be major pattern adjustments to get it to fit perfectly through the bust.

I have cut the bust twice.  I have fit the bust twice.  I do think I’ve almost got it nailed, but in the process I have learned two things:

1.  Being larger than a B cup is a girl’s worst fitting nightmare, no matter how the DH appreciates the extra assets she carries around.

2.  I really – and I mean really – need to spend the money on a proper dress form.  Putting an undergarment on a vintage dress form and stuffing it into shape only works so well, y’know.

Hepburn Sheath Dress

Well, I cut the dress out of my ‘extra’ chocolate RPL, as noted in my last post.  And I thought I’d share my adjustments. The pattern is very straight.  Sheath dresses usually have some kind of shaping happening in the back, but this pattern is STRAIGHT down the back.  It’s got front and back waist darts to make it fitted, and one set of bust darts.  Well, before cutting, I assumed I’d need to make my usual FBA, and here’s how I did the adjustment.  This differs slightly from my other post on doing an FBA, since this pattern already had darts.

  1. I cut the front of the dress out in muslin.
  2. Then I drew a line parallel to the centre front from the shoulder through the waist darts.
  3. Another line through the centre of the existing bust dare, ending at the bust point.
  4. A horizontal line, exactly perpendicular to the straight grain of the centre front, beginning at the bust point and ending at the front of the pattern.
  5. I marked the quadrants a-b-c-d and shown below.

    quadrants marked for FBA
  6. Then I slashed through the horizontal lines and up through the vertical one to but not through the neckline seam allowance, and s-p-r-e-a-d the quadrants apart (about 1 1/4” in my case) to allow for bust depth and width.
adjusted muslin laid out beneath pattern


Now, technically I should redraft the entire front of the dress, but I’m too lazy, so I laid the adjusted muslin on the fabric and the pattern piece over that at the waist line, which is where the adjustment ends.  You’ll see from above that I also shortened the waist on this dress about 1 1/2”.  I will take a shortcut on the darts and mark them directly on the fabric.  Once it’s all sewn up, I’ll show you a picture.  I didn’t bother making a full muslin, since this type of pattern is straight forward, and I have made many such adjustments before.  Here’s a picture of the full dress front laid out waiting to be cut.

~ ready to cut ~

I’m not really concerned about this failing or fitting ill.  Do you ever take shortcuts in muslins and adjustments on a whim, a hunch or because you think you’ve done it enough times that you don’t need to go through the long arduous process of doing a proper muslin?

SSS Day 9 (or How I Do an FBA)

Well, I cut this Simplicity top out last night, sewed it up this morning and will wear it all day.   I need long-sleeved tops, and I thought this would be the perfect top to sew up so I could continue with the SSS project.

I cut the size using my upper chest measurement as a guide and did an FBA since I really wanted to have the shoulder, armhole and chest fit snugly enough not to worry about gaping while wearing it.


FBA slash & spread method


I always use Vogue Sewing Book’s method of doing a full-bust adjustment.   It’s the most fool-proof and accurate way of doing a full-bust adjustment I’ve ever done, and I use it on everything, including patterns that apparently can’t be altered above the waist.

This bust adjustment is easy to do:

  1. mark the bust point
  2. draw a vertical line exactly parallel to the centre front line from the bust point through the waist or hemline
  3. draw a line from the armscye (I usually use the notches on the armhole as a guide) to the bust point
  4. draw a third line from the bust point to the side seam at the point where you’d like your dart to be.  Sometimes I do two darts, depending on how fitted I want the bodice to be.
  5. put a small piece of Scotch tape over the bust  point and at the armscye notch (or at the point where the underarm line meets the armhole seam
  6. slash up the vertical line from the hemline TO BUT NOT THROUGH  the bust point
  7. slash along your line from the side seam TO BUT NOT THROUGH the bust point
  8. slash from the bust point TO BUT NOT THROUGH the seam allowance of the armscye

Now you’re ready to lay out the pattern.


FBA detail


Lay out the pattern on the fabric ensure the grain lines are accurate.
Pin the front edge, neckline and shoulder to the fabric, leaving the side, armscye and hemlines free.
Now here’s where you spread as much as you need:

  • C cup spread 1/2 inch
  • D cup spread 3/4 inch
  • DD or E cup spread 1 inch
  • etc, etc, for larger cup sizes as required

Notice that the amount of spreading at the bust point is carried down through the vertical slash to the hemline.  You may need to adjust the waistline in on your garment.  This adjustment works as is for me because I cut one size larger for my waist and hips than I do for my bodice, and it eliminates the hip alteration due to the width added in the FBA.

Mark the dart(s) at the side seam.  You can see the pattern will give you a good idea of the depth and width of the dart.  You can add more than one dart, depending on how fitted you want the bodice to be.  Dart points should end within an 1″ radius of the bust point.

This is my favourite FBA technique as it’s virtually foolproof and respects the integrity of the arm and neckline design.  Have fun trying it out in your sewing adventures.