Shirtmaking: The Journey So Far

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Vogue 8747  is a crappy pattern.  Crap.  And it pains me to say that because I instantly fell in love with the style and just like in real life, falling rashly in love is not a good thing.  My experience with this pattern is like your first serious relationship where you fell head over heels in love and yet it still didn’t work out.  I tried so hard.  I kept going back and working on it.  Things would get incrementally better but not in ways that felt satisfying.  Finally I came to the conclusion that it wasn’t me.  It’s  a crap pattern that’s all there is to it, it’s nothing personal, that’s just the way it is and after I finally came to this realization I went looking for something better.  Fortunately, Simplicity 2339, which is part of their “Amazing Fit” collection, is in every way a superior Big 4 shirt pattern.

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So let me quickly show you my biggest issue with Vogue:  the draft of the armysyce – look at this thing!  The difference compared with Simplicity is pretty stark in the photo.   The Vogue armhole is very unconformable to wear, the sleeve binds badly through the back when I move my arms forward and I have normal arms  too.   This defect is pretty evident in this photo notice how long and deep the armhole is (Vogue is on the right).   However I do still love the style of Vogue and maybe I can re-draft my Simplicity sloper to incorporate the design details from Vogue.  In terms of my  shirt-making skill set, I think I’m a B minus student at this point.  If you look closely there are many flaws!

For now however I just wanted to make up some basic shirts to get my fitting down and then I can re-style.  This fabric comes from a summer trip to Mood, it’s a soft broadcloth with tiny alternating black and blue stripes.   I have to say, Mood has a really great selection of shirtings.  The ruffle is cut on the bias and the edges have a raw fringe, all I did there was use a really small stitch and a crewel needle to pull and fluff the fibers.  The curved hem comes from a RTW shirt that I really love, I just laid it on top and traced off the  shape.  The only other design change is that I used the roll cuff sleeve pattern piece because it corresponds to the current RTW trend of a narrow shirt sleeve with minimal blousing at the cuff.

Simplicity 2339 is a well drafted basic shirt pattern and the armsyce draft alone makes this one worth adding to your stash.

11 Responses to Shirtmaking: The Journey So Far

  1. Meg October 28, 2012 at 6:46 pm #

    I love it, Phyllis! Your attention to detail really shows.

  2. Nancy k October 28, 2012 at 7:14 pm #

    It’s a nice shirt. That’s a big difference in armscyes. Can you overlay the Vogue and copy the armscye and use the rest of the shirt or at least the front?

  3. coudremode October 28, 2012 at 7:44 pm #

    I thought about doing that, however the basic lines of each shirt are so different – princess vs. darted, back yoke vs. no back yoke and dropped shoulder vs. regular shoulder that I think it might just be more accurate to re-draft the Simplicity pattern with the Vogue details that I like.

  4. Linda L October 28, 2012 at 8:11 pm #

    Your shirt looks good to me. I like how you did the ruffle fringe.

  5. Lisa Laree October 28, 2012 at 8:17 pm #

    Oh, Phyllis! I just told myself I Must. Stop. Buying. Patterns….and now you wave the Holy Grail before me in a pattern I don’t already own. Guess I’ll be watching those Hancock’s flyers for a Simplicity sale so I can check out that armsceye draft…

    Wonder if it’s the same draft in all their Amazing Fit blouses? I do have a couple of other ones…

  6. Karin October 28, 2012 at 11:08 pm #

    I like your unfinished ruffled hem detail!

  7. Bunny October 29, 2012 at 10:34 am #

    I love those Amazing Fit shirt patterns. Yours looks great.

  8. Pam E ~Off The Cuff~ October 29, 2012 at 1:51 pm #

    It sucks that it doesn’t fit. However…the fabric is lovely, it’s beautifully sewn, and your attention to detail really shows! Brava!

  9. PVE October 29, 2012 at 10:19 pm #

    The differences in such goes back to Memom’s pattern using days. Which explains why some of her stash had sections missing. Most often she’d neglect to put the piece back into it’s original envelope.
    For certain, any redraft you decide to do will serve you well.

  10. Karlene Robinson January 16, 2013 at 11:02 pm #

    Can I suggest another approach? In Lesson Nine of the “Sew the Perfect Fit” online class (, Lynda Maynard outlines how to get good movement in a sleeve by raising the armscye and adding a ‘gusset’ to the sleeve itself. I haven’t yet had a chance to do this myself but she says that, although it is a little more difficult to sew it is well worth the effort.

  11. Testosterone February 8, 2013 at 9:49 pm #

    You had me laughing out loud!

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