Losing at noughts and crosses: Vogue 1590

I’m continuing the theme of my last post – unsuccessful sewing.

This one is about SUPER unsuccessful sewing. This jacket has never been worn. Not once.

Not even for the short period of time required for a blog post photo. Which is a total shame because it’s a potentially great pattern made in great fabric constructed with love and care.

And, why haven’t I even modelled it for the blog? It makes me look like Jabba the Hutt wearing a bathrobe. If my neck was more swan-like and I had more waist definition and it wasn’t cream, it might have looked better?

I kept it for about 6 months, hoping the magic wardrobe would transform it, or my feelings about it.

It didn’t.

And then, in a flurry of sorting stuff out, I donated it before I could document what it looked like on me for the blog. But, you know, Jabba the Hutt in a bathrobe. No-one needs to see that. You’re welcome.

But you might want to see some of the sewing details and hear my thoughts…if so, read on.

Great pattern? Probably. Just not for me.

This is Vogue 1590, and there are several positive reviews of it on Pattern Review.

I made a size F (sort of an 18 or 20 I think – its a Sandra Betzina design with Sandra Betzina sizing).

Great fabric but perhaps not for me in this pattern?

This is an embroidered cotton/linen from Tessuti’s Knots and Crosses competition in 2020. It is delightful fabric and many amazing garments were made from it.

Perhaps I shouldn’t be too quick to judge the fabric as not a good match for the pattern, because it looks like one of the top ten entries was made using this pattern, and the modelled version looks like it’s in a eyelet lace too.

Sigh. It’s not you, you lovely fabric, it’s me.

Perhaps my issue was the colour and lack of lining? Plus the wrong pattern, for me?

The construction

I made this a year or so after the competition, so the care I put into this was because I wanted to try a few things out. Not because I was hopeful of winning the prize.

Ha-ha. Not much chance of that when you see the talent that did enter the competition!

I used both fabrics – the larger diagonal crosses for most of the jacket and the smaller squares for the collar, belt and part of the neck facing.

I used silk organza as the second layer of the collar. I like how this looks, but overall the width and height of the collar at the neck is overwhelming on me. The height of the collar even looks a bit much on my dressmaking dummy.

The necks tucks might not be helping the collar situation, but this is how the collar was drafted, so I went with it.

Silk organza was also used as interfacing on the neck and front facings,

I ‘interfaced’ the facings with the organza by sewing the organza to the facing at the outside edges, right sides together, and then turning the right side out. This meant the outside edge was enclosed. I then stitched the facings down, so I probably didn’t need to worry about enclosing the organza! But at least this stopped bits of raw edge poking though the eyelet holes.

See! No raw edges poking out!

Silk organza was also used in the sleeve hems and in the middle part of the belt that goes around your body, but not the parts you tie – it’s a nice touch that keeps the knot softer and the tie ends drapier.

Super unsuccessful sewing if success is ending up with a garment I like and wear, but successful in terms of a learning experience. Silk organza is brilliant as an interfacing.

There. Knew I’d find a silver lining!

Orange shirt: BurdaStyle 06/2009 #136

I’ve been admiring the collar on the Myosotis dress for some time. Then it dawned on me – there’ll be a BurdaStyle magazine pattern for that.

After a pleasant hour or so trawling through my Burda magazine collection I found just what I was looking for in the June 2009 issue – a long line loose shirt with this type of collar and bishop-ish sleeves. In my size range. Happy days!

Image source: the Russian Burda site

I traced off a size 46 bust and waist and size 48 hips, petite-ed 1 cm above the bust and cut it out in a beautiful cotton linen blend shirting weight Japanese twill from The Drapery.

The fit is very loose through the waist. Since taking these photos I’ve added fisheye darts to the back for shaping and to remove 4 cm in total in width through the waist. Its still delightfully loose.

I used 2 layers of self fabric to ‘interface’ the front bands and cuffs and one for the collar band. Why? The fabric has a looser weave than cotton shirting I’d usually use so I was a bit concerned that the heavier weight iron on interfacing I had on hand would cause bubbling or puckering after repeated washing. I probably should just up my interfacing game…

I didn’t consult the instructions for the cuffs, and didn’t realise I should have left a considerable underlap past the slit to allow for two rows of buttons

I really like this feature, but its too late now! I have one button and a considerable underlap including the slit. Trying to make up for it with a button of contrasting colour and contrasting thread.

Yes my hair does have a hint of pink. My hair salon changed over to a new brand of hair colour and this is what happened. We toned it down on the next visit. I’m already most of the stereotypes of a middle aged woman – I don’t feel ready for pink hair too. Yet.

Another feature no-one else sees when its being worn is the fun bias finish to the hem. This fabric was a souvenir from Denver purchased in 2011. I used it as trim on an unsuccessful dress project in 2013. Now very happily used on this shirt. There’s a bit of a theme here isn’t there? Pattern from 11 years ago, bias from 9. Only the fabric was brand new – purchased only weeks before being sewn.

I love the colour, the rumply linen goodness of the fabric and all the features of this pattern. Looks great with jeans and leggings too.

I probably shouldn’t jinx it and make this pattern ever again.

The last of the summer sewing

The season has turned, I’ve brought my winter coats back into the wardrobe. It’s almost too late to be blogging about summer sewing… but not quite!

This top is Burdastyle 06/2016 #129

Crepe Tunic 129 | 06/16

I’ve even used a similar colour to Burda.

Crepe Tunic 129 | 06/16

Mine is made from a floaty cotton voile that has been in my stash almost forever (9 years – I’ve patted it appreciatively and admired its colour and hand many times since it came to live with me). This fabric is designer deadstock – from Gay Naffine/Lucy Giles.

I made several adjustments to the pattern to get the fit better.

I traced off a size 46, petite-ed the bodice by 2 cm above the bust dart and made a 2 cm forward shoulder – which meant I also brought the tucks in the sleeve head forward. Are you supposed to do that?

The adjustments certainly worked for the shoulder fit, but the bust darts ended up a touch high.

The neck depth is good but it is quite wide though – if there is a next time I’ll consider bringing it in a bit.

I didn’t include the front slit but I did keep the idea of regular tacks down the front band by adding pearl buttons (shining in the bad side light of the image above)

I used a very light interfacing for the neck band and the front bands as well as to reinforce those square seams

A KATM tag on the side seam above the slit because I can.

I promise this is the last ‘touching my hair’ photo!

The skirt is an old favourite made in my new larger size – 46 waist and 48 hips – Burdastyle 07/2012 #134

Yes this is from the Russian Burda Site. I have no knowledge of the Russian language, but the site is more useful than the US based one. https://burdastyle.ru/vikroyki/yubki/yubka-burda-2012-7-134/

I love the quirkiness of the darts at the hem. I didn’t sew the darts to the outside as per the pattern for this version. There was already enough going on with the stripes.

This is a stretch cotton that’s been in my stash for even longer – 11 years. Bought in 2010. That’s deep stash. This fabric is also designer deadstock- from Gay Naffine.

The second summer top is Friday Pattern Company’s square neck top.


It is the second version I made – the first one was an XXL as per my measurements but with the neckline raised by 2.5 cm. It was too big in almost every dimension except through my hips. It was made up in a beautiful blue shirting cotton but that wasn’t enough to save it. It has already been donated.

The second one was a XL bust out to XXL hips plus 2.5 cm removed in the bodice above the dart and through the sleeve and then the neck also raised by 2.5 cm.

It’s still not quite right – the cap sleeves pull when I move my arms forward. I doubt I’ll make another one unless I use a knit.

The fabric is lovely though – an embroidered linen cotton remnant from my local Spotlight. It is also from the stash, but it has only been marinating for 3 years.

Stash busting, three garments I can wear and two I love!

***EDITED to add how I do a petite adjustment to the bodice***

I’m very surprised to find that I couldn’t easily point Sandra to a youtube or blog post from someone else that explained how I do this. Either I haven’t looked well enough or what I do is different to what everyone else does. Or perhaps both.

This comes with several warnings:

  1. Writing tutorials is a skill that I don’t have – it’s highly likely that none of this will make sense.
  2. Drawing simple diagrams is also a skill I don’t have – it’s not going to be pleasing to the eye.
  3. This works for me but possibly works for no-one else on the earth – try on something unimportant, like a muslin/toile before you commit to this!

The green lines A, B and C are your cutting lines

  • Line A: draw this in starting at the centre front and perpendicular to centre front, at least 2 cm below neckline (if you’re doing a 2 cm petite-ing, more if you’re doing more, less if less) out to just before before the armscye stitching line
  • Line B: draw this in also perpendicular to centre front but start 2 cm below armscye on the side seam (or more or less depending on your adjustment) and stop at about the same position as Line A.
  • Line C: this line joins Line A and B and is parallel to the centre front

The purple dashed lines are the lines you’re adjusting to.

  • Measure up 2 cm (or more or less, depending on your adjustment) from lines A and B and draw in a line parallel to them (this is the purple dashed lines).

The red bit is the amount you’re going to remove.

  • Cut along your green lines.
  • Shift the pattern piece up to the dashed lines and tape it back together

Now do the same to the back bodice piece

Why I do it this way:

  • It doesn’t change the armscye, which means you don’t have to adjust the sleeve. I don’t usually have an issue with where the sleeve joins the bodice being too low so I avoid having to make this additional change.
  • It takes length out only above the bust, which is where I seem to need it to get the bust point in the right spot for me.

This isn’t what I did on the square neck too (I just took 2 cm out from centre front through the cut on sleeves) but it is what I normally do and what I did for the V neck Burda top.

Sandra: Hope this helps and good luck with your fitting journey

Does this make sense? Does anyone else do this? Is there a better way to do this?