Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Vogue 8747 Blouse with Gathers

Shirtmaking is definitely on my long list of sewing skills to master. Even though I've probably made ten or twelve shirts or more, I feel like a very beginning shirt maker when I sit down with a new pattern.

The plan for Vogue 8747 is just to keep making it until I have it down.

Today I'm showing the second of three versions I've yet made. This one happens to be in the best quality fabric of the three, a German-made fine cotton purchased at Asheville's House of Fabrics.

Many alterations, and more to do yet, though I am not unhappy with the fit. I started out with a size 6 in the neck and shoulders, tapering out to the 10 at the waist and hip. I may yet straighten out the lower torso a bit more for a roomier silhouette on at least one future version.

I recommend trimming the front and back princess seams to 3/8" seam allowances rather than 5/8". Using the smaller allowances makes sewing the curved seams much easier (no staystitching necessary) and the results look smoother. I am still tweaking the front princess seam at the armhole. This is a challenging area for me. I took all the petite adjustments marked on the pattern, but these were all below the armhole. I may need to remove length at the middle of the front armhole and also adjust the sleeve accordingly. My sewing pal Gretchen advises to adjust the curve at the bottom of the armscye upward to correspond to the length I will remove from the front pattern piece. Ugh.

My biggest beef with this pattern was the insane amount of ease in the sleeve cap. I can't even tell you exactly how much ease I removed. On the first version I just kept trimming and trimming and eventually got enough of the ease out of there to make a somewhat acceptable job of inserting the sleeve. For this version I took a tuck across the top of the sleeve cap of about 1/2" and then still needed to trim more. For the third version  I kept that tuck in place and made  an additional adjustment to lower the sleeve cap by another 1/2" using a more proper slash and spread approach. That was almost enough, but not quite! Suffice it to say, this sleeve has excessive ease.

The back fit well without an additional swayback adjustment!

Another view of the front.


  1. Very cute and it fits you perfectly.

  2. Are those french seams on the back? Nicely done!

  3. very nice. love the fabric.

  4. Oh my, excessive ease in sleeve caps is one of my biggest issues with sewing patterns of all stripes. Why, why, WHY do they keep doing it? There must be a reason. You made it work and the top is lovely, but I am not putting this top on my pattern list. Enjoy your blog!

    1. I have a theory: different pattern designers (as in, different individuals working for Vogue) have their own guidelines for the amount of ease to be added to a sleeve seam. And maybe these designers are not really sewers, so they just say "here we go, 2" of ease, everything is in order!" But they don't personally experience the effects of all that ease. That's the only way I can understand it, because even within Vogue, different patterns based on the same sloper (theoretically) will have more or less sleeve cap ease. Thanks for the compliment!!!