Thursday, July 10, 2014

Vogue 8953 Surprise

There are simply some patterns that I skip right over in the pattern books.  Most of the time it's because the style is too bare/youthful for me Vogue 1342 too kitschy/vintage Vogue 8789 or too what the heck why would I want to wear that in public Vogue 1372
Vogue 8953 fell into that last category.  I actually like some of the new boho looks with the more current skinny jeans and pants in my wardrobe but this tunic looked like the old shapeless sack with a belt when I saw the line drawing.  I zoomed right past that page when it came out in the catalog. Vogue 8953  But surprise.....not really a sack after all.
Vogue 8953, version #1

Vogue 8953 with flared bottom peplum, not the sack like drawing

This is where sewing friends are the bestest!!  I was at the June meeting of my "neighborhood" ASG sewing group (my "neighborhood group is about 50+ miles away in Northern VA but what's distance between friends) and one of the group had sewn this pattern for her daughter.  She didn't love the directions but I loved the look of it for one significant reason.  Turns out that the bottom section is actually two separate pattern pieces in a lovely flattering circle skirt design so it drapes nicely as a peplum rather than merely being bunched up fabric below the belt.  She let me try on her daughter's top and it fit almost perfectly....or at least enough for me to know that it was worth pursuing on my own.  I bought it at the next Vogue sale and worked on my mock up by the end of June.  The mock up showed me that I still needed a few adjustments. I was hoping against hope but no, I still needed a FBA even in this full a top because the front was pulling forward to I added a 3/4 inch FBA and moved it to the top pleats.  
FBA moved to the top gathers
I also had to do my usual swayback and added a center back seam so I could take out 1" in length in the back above the waist.  I lengthened the sleeves 1 1/2 inches.  I made some small changes to the front and back neckline.  I lowered the front neckline by 1" and raised the back neckline by 1" tapering to nothing by the shoulder seams.  That meant that I had to make three separate facing patterns to create the interior band.  
Three facing top band pattern pieces

I also liked the neckline ruffle to be a little wider since I frames the face nicely.  I stitched the top seam at 3/8" not 5/8 and also moved the gathering stitching lines right down to the edge so my ruffle is about 1/2 " wider" than the pattern calls for. 
Finished ruffle width is wider than Vogue designed it.
My friend had a valid complaint that the Vogue patterns presume you don't have a serger so there's a lot of fussing with turning 1/4" and stitching in order to finish raw edges.  Grrrrr, I wish they would make the opposite assumption....."serge those edges or you don't have a serger, finish them like this...."
Serged on the inside ...and a view of my zig zag understitching
The boho look is not my most flattering look and I have to be careful of treading too close to the "mutton dressed as lamb" ledge.  But I have been wanting some very lightweight woven tops for our humid summer days and this is one of the patterns that fits the bill.  I have a medium blue denim pencil skirt that I think will be cool and comfortable with this first version sewn up in Fabric Mart voile that has been aging for a few years. 

Another instruction change is that I used the famous Steam a Seam to "seal" the seam allowances inside the seams where the drawstrings are attached.  That way no matter what tool you use (I use a safety pin) the drawstring won't get caught as you try to ease it through the casing.
1/4 " Steam a Seam applied to edge of seam allowance for the width of the casing seam
Ironed and sealed in place so that it will let the safety pin glide over it inside the casing.
Next time I used the Steam a Seam 2 Lite version....just as strong but less stiff
I liked that gathered neckline of this Vogue pattern so much that I went right ahead and tried out a straight tunic for version #2, merely lengthening the top pattern pieces from the bust area for about 14 more inches.  Here it is in a very wrinkly cotton cheap voile.  Very wearable for this summer but I think I'll add an inch or so of side seam ease before I make it up in a lightweight silk or rayon.  
Vogue 8953 Version #2 straight tunic
A little longer with more ease back there next time...Lucky agrees.


  1. Those are some cute tops. My favorite is the last one with the white and coral.

  2. Perfect for those steamy summer days! I plan to be in B'more in August. Maybe I need to make one of those.

  3. Both tops look really nice. Sometimes patterns surprise you in a good way!

  4. The floral tops are just perfect for the hot summer weather! Nicely done.

  5. I, too, have passed right by some patterns that, when I see made up later, wish I had gotten them. I'd have done the same with this one. For the same reasons as you. But look at how the surprise peplum makes it so flattering! Love your versions. Oh and I'm going to save your tip about using SAS to anchor down the seam allowances for casings. Thanks for this great tip!

  6. Love both versions...great pattern and fabric choices!

  7. I like your new tops, and your oak-leaf hydrangeas, too!

  8. Aren't ASG groups the best for making you notice a pattern you wouldn't have given a 2nd glance. I go home from a meeting with more projects that I came with. I didn't even notice this pattern, but really like how both versions look on you. Great summer tops.

  9. Both tops are really cute and the fitting adjustments make your garment look really great on you. The second one seems to be a bit more fitted or maybe it just looks different in that fabric? I'll have to check that pattern out. I love boho.

  10. Both tops are really cute and the fitting adjustments make your garment look really great on you. The second one seems to be a bit more fitted or maybe it just looks different in that fabric? I'll have to check that pattern out. I love boho.


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