Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Vogue 7876: Am I Malformed or is the Pattern?

V7876 Thumbnail

This is Vogue 7876, a very cute design with a cool flounce collar variation. This is my pajama muslin, made of the Vera Wang silk/rayon blend from fabric.com (you can see it is utterly ruined by the washing machine). It looks innocuous, right?

Ugh. This is the second most uncomfortable thing I have ever made, the first being McCall 5466, the cute plaid dress with the exact same problem. I attempted to wear McCall 5466 last week for the first time this winter. I lasted about 10 minutes wearing it while getting ready for work and then took it off and put it in the giveaway pile. I would like not to do this again, so I am begging for your fitting help!

Tight Upper Arm Tight Upper Arm


The issue in both pieces:
-pulls very tight across the upper back when I move my arms
-very tight across the sleeve in the shoulder/upper arm (above the bicep) when I move my arms in any direction

Unlike the McCall, the armscye here is not unbearably tight around the arm, but it is definitely snug to the point of a little bit of discomfort.


Back relaxed Tight Upper Back

I know that the shoulders are too wide as you can see in the relaxed back; I always forget to fix that in Big 4. I need to make it a standard alteration to shorten the front shoulder about 1/2 inch and then take a dart in the back shoulder. However, merely having the armscye in the wrong place does not explain this fit, I don't think, because when I try to hike the armscye closer to my actual shoulder point (granted, this is difficult because it is tight) I don't get any more mobility, and of course the sleeve is still tight across my shoulder/upper arm.

Can't Lift Arms To get any mobility at all I have to hike the sleevecap up over my shoulder, and even then I don't have much movement going on.


So, what is going on here? It feels like I need more room across the upper back, but where do you add that? I tried in the past adding some extra room to the upper back at the Center Back on Butterick 4985 but the collar stands back from my neck and you can see the pouchiness of extra fabric and it didn't really solve the mobility problem anyway.

And then the sleeves--do I need a taller sleevecap? Do I need to slash and spread along the center all the way up to the top and add more fabric there?

It seems so simple: if something is too small you make it bigger. But it is not so simple when it comes to armscye/sleeves.

Fabric Bulge at Crossover And then on top of all that, there is a weird bulge of fabric at the crossover. Although the illustration makes it appear that the front wrap is supposed to cross all the way over to the opposite side seam, the line drawing and the pattern markings indicate that is not the case. Mine appears to wrap at approximately the right place, but then it's all bulgey there. I can't tighten the wrap any more, so I really don't know what that extra fabric is about.

And even though I shortened the wrap section two inches along the diagonal, there is still a little bit of gaping and the crossover is very low.

I had intended to make this out of some navy silk I bought at Jomar in October. It is a lighter weight than the VW silk/rayon and is mixed with some lycra, but there was still no way I was wasting it on this pattern. Luckily, I found a perfect Burda pattern in a back issue and don't have to mess with this pattern ever again.

But I am wanting to make Vogue 8413. I haven't yet gotten it out and compared the armscye and sleeve but I assume they are a similar draft and it would be useless to attempt V8413 without addressing this fit issue!

All the photos are here and the pattern review is here.

26 comments:

KID, MD said...

Hmmm... That's a lot of weirdness. Have you tried comparing the drafts to a wrap top that fits well? It might reveal some of the strangeness that is going on with that Vogue. I recently made a scrub top for dh that had all of those back to tight, shoulder straining problems. I lengthened the back shoulder seam and made a tuck. It isn't pretty, but it doesn't matter for a scrub top and it totally fixed the fit issues. I wonder if a dart in the back shoulder would have a similar effect? I see that often in vintage patterns.

Karen said...

With that much weirdness it's got to be the pattern. Too bad because it looks great from the front. Can't wait to see what other people suggest to fix the fit because I'm at a loss.

Little Hunting Creek said...

For the sleeve I'd do just what you said - slash and spread., I'd add extra in the back shoulder and add a shoulder dart. I'm not sure about that extra fabric in the front. The back/shoulder thing is a common alteration and I think I've seen it in Fit For Real People

Faye Lewis said...

Thank you so much for the comment on my jacket.

ELMO said...

You are not malformed. I would take the sleeves off and bind them with self fabric, and just make it a sleeveless version. It looks so cute from the front, it doesn't look like it has all of these issues. If I had to guess, I would say that the armseye would have to be redrafted and the sleeve needs a little more room in the cap. Maybe you can lay a tnt pattern over the top and make adjustments that way.... and do those frames match that fabric?? You really know how to accessorize!

Anonymous said...

I made the sleeveless version, and it is the most uncomfortable thing I have ever made! I made a muslin, and thought I had worked out what the problem was so I went ahead and made it out of $35/m white handkerchief linen. Unwearable. I've got a very average figure, and Big4 patterns usually fit straight out of the envelope, so I think this is just a very badly drafted pattern. Mae

Carolyn in AR said...

In the back view with your arms down, I see diagonal wrinkles much like the ones I get when I need to do a sloping shoulder adjustment. Or, you might just need to lower the armhole a bit.

I made this blouse a couple of years ago and found the sleeves a little snug too. I had to add a snap in front to eliminate the gaping.

You can use a pivot and slide method to add back width. It will lengthen the back shoulder, but you're making a dart there anyway. It won't change the neckline.

KayY said...

I would make the cap wider, not taller. The sleeves look like they are perhaps too tight just at the biceps level and the cap is definitely too tight.

subversivesewer said...

I have the exact same fit problem, and it's driving me crazy.

Digs said...

I made a BWOF wrap jacket last summer, and, despite the fact that it APPEARED to fit well in the muslin, it doesn't wear all that well, ie, all sorts of fit issues cropped up in practice. So perhaps the problem is not the draft but the whole idea of a wrap jacket. That said.... Your jacket looks really cute from the front. Still, the upper sleeves appear too tight and upper the back too narrow. From your photos, you seem to have a V-shaped back, so you may need a size bigger in the shoulders than the waist. This pattern evidently doesn't.

Nancy K said...

If you have sloping shoulders, you need to not only lower the shoulder, but the underarm as well. As Kay said, make the sleeve cap wider by making an full biceps adjustment that doesn't add to the length of the cap.

angie.a said...

I wish I had something helpful to add! But I don't. :( I have a problem with the back, weird problems with the neck sticking out and appearing way too big, but the upper back appearing/feeling too tight. I'm sure they're related, but how to fix it? I don't know.

I'll be watching to see what you do though! That color is amazing on you, by the way. :)

kbenco said...

You want to move? Vogue does not think you should move whilst wearing any top with non puffy sleeves IMO.
I agree, widen the cap.My favourite alteration -If you fold a tuck in the sleeve pattern cap, then add the depth of the tuck to each side of the sleeve, you don't change the seam length, takes 10 seconds
Maybe this blouse needs an inverted pleat in the centre back - sewn down at the neck end and at the waist so it is neat when you are standing, but you have more room when you sit and move your arms forward.

Karen said...

I have a similar problem with Vogue blouses, and find that doing a sloping shoulder adjustment (I use the instructions from Sandra Betzina's Fast Fit, and only lower it by 1cm) makes a huge difference.

Carol said...

The wrinkles from shoulder to armscye look like maybe a sloping shoulder adjustment?? It's a really easy fix and was detailed on the Threads fitting DVD that came free with the magazine last year. I do one of these alterations a lot for DH and to get it right I stood him against a sheet of butchers paper and traced his shoulder curve. I match his patterns against the shoulder curve and adjust accordingly. Hope this makes sense.

bobbikg said...

Such pretty fabric it's a shame it didn't fit properly. I'm wondering if you might need a slight high round back alteration. According to FFRP, about 1" below the neck, mark a horizontal line from center back to armscye and create a hinge. Since you sew lots of knits, maybe there's enough stretch that it's not normally an issue. Also, on the pattern envelope it appears that the top ties on the left where the wrap meets the side seam and in your pics it looks as though you have it tied on the right. Is that correct? BTW I love your blog and the great sewing and refashioning you do.

Marie-Christine said...

The weirdness could be mostly from having a US sleeve that's drafted perfectly symmetrical, as if shoulders were the same front and back. You could just scoop out the front and swing out the back, using a tape measure on its edge to make sure you aren't changing the length of the sleeve cap (although in this fabric you should make sure it's the same length as the armhole first), keeping the sleeve cap height the same. You're probably just used to a well-fitted asymmetrical Burda cap, which works much better.

Dalila said...

I'm interested to hear what people suggest because I often have tightness through the shoulders (can't move my arms forward) when trying on rtw jackets. I've thought that it might be because I have broader shoulders and upper arms than their fit models? Maybe this will help me graduate to woven shirts and jackets instead of just knits!

Sz said...

I had to make exactly those two modifications on a New Look shirt I was working on. You can check them on my blog, under New Look 6407 Changes.

Basically slash and spread the sleeve to give more room at the bicep, and extend the shoulder area of the back to give more room.

badmomgoodmom said...

A dropped shoulder with a high armscythe does not compute. WTF?

San Antonio Sue said...

You've already gotten some good advice, but I'd just toss the shirt and the pattern. However, I want to say that I am very proud of you for sharing this and admitting your problems with it. We've all had dismal results, and I hate to admit mine!

Holly said...

I am having the same exact problems with a similar pattern, Simplicity 3789. I am thinking it is a combination of poor pattern drafting by Simplicity, and also the crisscross style top is hard to fit for a petite. I cut a 14 since my bust is 36, and have the same issue where the shoulders were too wide and the armscythe isn't right. And even though the shirt basically fits, it is hard to move in. It's almost as though both of these patterns require a 2-way stretch knit, not a woven.

Rachel said...

I think I'm much more malformed than you because I have this problem more often than not. I finally learned to deal with it using the "Reader's Digest Complete Guide to Sewing" and fitting a bodice sloper. Hmm, I thought I'd be able to find the adjustment online but I couldn't so I just scanned it for you. Here's the diagram: http://transientexpression.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/adjustment.jpg

The scan's kind of crap but it should be clear what needs to be done. Hope this helps!

handbuiltwardrobe said...

The sleeve needs width at the bicep and the cap needs to be both wider and flatter.

Terri_A said...

What resource do you use online to buy all your cool glasses? I would love to know:-)

patsijean said...

When making the Halloween cape for my friend (review http://sewing.patternreview.com/cgi-bin/readreview.pl?reviewnum=23841&readreview=1 ) I remembered that she had a broad back and her shirts at times slipped forward. What I did was sew up a muslin of the jacket body and have her put it on. Then I noted where the muslin was tight and slashed the bodice horizontally and vertically on that spot while she was wearing it. I slipped paper under the slashed areas and taped them open just as they had spread while on. Later I adjusted the pattern to reflect these changes and the jacket/cape fit perfectly. As I still have that pattern, I can use it to check the fit on anything else I make her. I would do the same with your top as it is unwearable for you anyway.