Vogue 1389: Inherent Fitting Issues vs. Idiosyncractic Fitting Issues, Particularly If You’re Struggling With the Neck Band

 

I made this one before in grey, and you might want to go back and reread that post, because it’s been revised. If not, charge ahead, and be warned that you might be somewhat confused.

The fabric is leftover bamboo jersey from the first dancing dress of the year. I thought I might have just enough to make another one of these tops, which I did. But first, I had to redraw chunks of the pattern, some to do with inherent fitting issues created by improper sizing and ease, and some because of my weirdly short upper body.

The grey shirt, as snug as it felt in places, was oddly loose in others, particularly the back. The neck wasn’t as wide as shown in the pattern photo, and in the back, it tried to crawl up my neck whenever I wore the shirt. Also, there was a lot of excess fabric in the centre back. The sleeves were longer than they should be and didn’t stay in place. The fit was ok, but it wasn’t great.

For try #2, I made a lot of what are for me standard pattern fixes:

1. Shortened the armscye front and back by an inch each; in the front, tapered to nothing in centre; in the back and sleeve, took out that inch straight across.
2. Took out another 1 1/2″ or so lengthwise in the centre back and redrew the back seams to true them. This made for a narrower waist, which of course carried through to the front, as well as a shorter back.
3. Shortened the sleeve by two inches in addition to the 1″ taken out at the armscye.

The Back

Funny, right? My main comment for the first try when it was first done was that it was so tight; but all the fitting problems when wearing turned out to be from it being too *loose* in certain places.

I thought about adding extra ease across the bust but was concerned that would have ruined the line of the wrap-around side seam, so I didn’t.

Wrap-around side seam

This brings me to the inherent fitting issues, which are just …

Look at that picture.

Do you see any excess fabric *anywhere* in it?

OK. So tell me then why Vogue, in its infinite wisdom, has two inches of positive ease at the waist in that pattern.

Two inches! of positive ease!

That is delivering a product that does not in any way match what people are promised by the advertising. It’s dishonest.

Moreover, a purchaser can’t easily correct for this, because the finished garment measurements are nowhere printed on the pattern tissue for the shirt.

You can get the waist finished measurements, more or less, on the skirt pattern that accompanies it–assuming they’re the same, which is a big assumption.

But really, you have to fucking measure the tissue to figure out how big it’s going to be when done. (Fortunately the waistline is at least marked; the bust and hip points aren’t even marked so finished measurements for those, even measuring on the tissue, are not easy to determine. I was able to determine that there is indeed positive ease throughout the garment, but whether it’s 1/2″ or 1″ I can’t say.)

Repeating myself: I am a size 16/18 based on the size charts. I cut a size 12 for this; that’s how far down I had to go to get any negative ease. That grey shirt was the size 12. And it was TOO BIG to make this design work.

The Side. Yes, there are pull lines and wrinkles, But I normally wear it tucked in, which smooths it all out.

Worse:

Pattern reviews for this shirt almost universally report difficulties with getting the neck band to lie flat.

The neck band is fine as drafted. It fits in to the neck seam just fine, so long as you stretch as you would for any knit neck band.

But it’s very wide, as you can see; both in terms of the actual band and how it’s supposed to sit on the shoulders.

Neckband: wide in both senses of the word. If anything this is still narrower than the pattern photo.

That fit is only going to be achieved with metric shit-tons of negative ease. It needs to be very, very tight across the shoulders, chest and upper back to hold that very wide neck band as flat as it’s supposed to be.

And of course, Vogue delivers a pattern with POSITIVE EASE, then a bunch of people buy it and make it up and wonder what’s wrong with them that they can’t get the neck band to lie flat. It wasn’t the sewers, it wasn’t their skills or fabric choices.

It was Vogue, delivering a pattern to customers that did not match the advertising or product description, and not giving purchasers the information they need on the tissue to correct their issues before making it up. Not a surprise to anyone who’s been sewing with BMV patterns for a while, I suppose, but it irritates me to no end.

If you are making up this shirt and are frustrated to hell with the neck band: you’re making it too big. If you’re going by the size chart, go down at least by two sizes, maybe three. If the neckband isn’t lying flat, you don’t have enough negative ease in the chest, shoulders and back to pull it flat–that’s how it’s supposed to work. It’s not your fault.

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