Friday, March 28, 2014

Vogue 1250 ... Again!

As promised, here is my second version of Vogue 1250. 

I must start on my daughter's prom dress this weekend.  I've procrastinated long enough!

Wish me luck.

Until next something you love!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Vogue 1250 - This is only a TEST garment, or is it?

Overall I am satisfied with the fit.   I should have added about an additional 1 inch in the waist and high hip area.   Because this fabric is a print versus a solid, you can't tell but the skirt cups my belly a little too snuggly for my taste.  BUT I'M IN LOVE with this fabric...AGAIN!   

So here it is Finished and modeled with a basic black cardigan.  

I wore this to work today.  It is oh so comfortable.    And to think I almost gave this fabric away instead of deciding to use it to make test garments.  So glad I did not get rid of it-- I absolutely love this dress!


With the second version of this dress I added a quarter inch to each side seam from the hem tapering back to the original seam line at the underarm.   I will post pics of the second finished dress as soon as my photographer (daughter) finds time in her busy schedule to take them. 

In the meantime-- a picture of the knit print I used . 

  1. I learned that even after getting a great fit in a pattern, it is wise to allow room for additional adjustments by increasing the width of the side seams.  Knit fabrics are not created equal.  I felt safe in using the pencil skirt pattern to alter Vogue 1250 but I did not take into account that the pencil skirt had been made up in a ponte knit which falls away from the body more than the ITY knit I used.  ITY knits drape beautifully and fall closer to the body.   I believe this is why there was a tendency for this fabric to "find" my extra "curves" I should have allowed additional room to compensate for this. 
  2. I now understand why Vogue 1250 has been so popular.  It is flattering on many different figure types, a really classy dress, very versatile and can be whipped up in no time-- all a major plus in my book.  This pattern is definitely a keeper!
  3. What?!? I actually enjoy pattern work?!? This is definitely a surprise to me, but the process of slashing, spreading, and rotating darts to get this pattern to fit my individual curves was more fun than I would have ever imagined. So to all the untouched patterns that now reside in my pattern stash I say:  MWAHAHAHAHA!  Watch out!!!

Until next something you love!


Monday, March 24, 2014

My Adventures With Vogue 1250

Starting this blog has cured my problem with  procrastination.  For one thing, having a self-imposed deadline has been just the push I needed to begin altering Vogue 1250 to fit my figure.  I have been wanting to sew Vogue 1250 ever since I saw so many versions of this pattern on the  Pattern Review website.     This dress seems to be flattering on a number of different figure types but the task of fitting this pattern to my figure was somewhat daunting. 

First of all, this pattern only goes up to a size 20. This normally would not be a problem because I generally choose a size 20 and then  make the necessary adjustments to fit my waist and hip measurements.  However, the second issue with this pattern, the unusual pattern pieces, made me shutter just thinking about how to begin adjusting for fit.  This dress pattern is different from any dress pattern I'd seen before.  Instead of separate front and back bodice and skirt pieces, the front bodice, front skirt and back skirt is all one pattern piece.   Then there is a separate pattern piece for the back bodice.  How on earth do I begin altering this pattern to increase the waist and hip circumference?!?  

I love the internet because if there is a problem, there is usually someone out there who  has at least made an attempt at solving it.  I've fixed a leaky faucet simply by searching the web and finding a video tutorial with step-by-step instructions.  Altering this pattern should be a piece of cake, right?  so, using my favorite search engine, I typed in "altering Vogue 1250" and up popped this post on the  Stitches & Seams  blog. 

Armed with this information I began cutting, adding, and reassembling.  Here is what I did--

A pic of the uncut/unaltered pattern piece for the bodice/skirt front and the skirt back (sorry about the sun rays in pic). 

This post suggested tracing off the dart and setting it aside to use as a template to redraw the dart after reattaching the skirt front and back pieces, but because I was planning to completely eliminate the dart and create side seams I only traced over the dart to make it easier to identify the dart for the size I was using.


Then I drew a line (in red) from the dart point to the hem allowance making sure the line was at a 90 degree angle to the hemline.

Next I drew a line bisecting the dart--

From there I cut the pattern apart along the red line and cut the front bodice and the front skirt apart at the lengthen/shorten line.    I made a 3/8" full bust adjustment ( I am a C cup and this pattern is drafted for a B cup) following the directions in Debbie's post.

I used a pencil skirt pattern that I had already adjusted to fit me to make adjustments to the front and back skirt by lining up the waistline and center front  of the pencil skirt pattern to the waistline and center front of the front skirt pattern piece.  I then traced along the side seam blending back into the original side seam near the hem.   Note:  when making skirt alterations if you plan to include a side seam, you will need to add a side seam allowance.  I did not in this case because my pencil skirt pattern already included a side seam allowance.

I made the corresponding changes to the back skirt pattern piece.  Necessary changes were made to the front and back bodice pieces to ensure everything lined up.  I taped the front bodice and skirt pieces back together and extended the back underarm (based on suggestions from reviewers on the Pattern Review website).  I did not reconnect the back skirt to the front skirt as I wanted side seams on the skirt.  The final pattern adjustment was to the front bodice neck line to which I extended the drape in length and tapered back to the original line. 

Here are the pattern pieces after adjustments have been made--

Now off I go to sew a muslin using this fabric.
I found this fabric in the red tag bin at Joann's, liked it in the store but had second thoughts once I got it home.  Stay tuned...

Until next something you love!


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Adventures In Choosing The Correct Size Sewing Pattern or Huh?!?Oooohhh!!


I generally sew with patterns from the Big 4 pattern companies. These companies suggest that when choosing the correct size pattern if you are larger than a B cup ( more than a 2 inch difference between your full bust (FB) measurement and your high bust (HB) measurement according to this Cup Size Chart) you should choose your pattern size using your  HB measurement instead of your FB measurement.  This will allow for a better fit in the shoulders which is the most difficult area to alter.  Hmmmm, makes sense. 

So, armed with my understanding of this information and my measurements (HB = 40, FB = 43) I consulted the  size chart for one of the Big 4 pattern companies and chose a size 18 (40 inch FB).   From there I learned how to make a full bust adjustment (FBA) and I went to work... Except after completing my very first FBA  the bust dart was waaaaay too big. Ugh!  Huh?!?  Oh boy!  This can't be right?!?


I'm surfing the net  one day and I come across a Craftsy course entitled "Adjust The Bust". In this class the instructor Kathleen Cheetham makes the same recommendation -- choose your pattern size by your HB measurement if you are larger than a B cup. However, after watching the example Kathleen gave ( several times I might add)  here is what I learned:   
  1. The major pattern companies typically draft for a B cup.
  2. The pattern size charts for these pattern companies list the FB measurement, not the HB measurement which means in order to determine the HB measurement for a particular size, you must subtract 2 inches from the FB measurement.  Ooooooooohhhhhhhhhh!!!!!  

Here is the math--

The size 18 FB measurement of 40 inches minus 2 inches ( remembering the pattern company drafts for a B cup) equals a 38" HB measurement.   This means the pattern size I chose was 2 inches smaller than my actual high bust measurement and  3 inches smaller than my FB measurement.  No wonder the bust dart was huge.  I should have been using the size 20 which has. 42" FB and a 40" HB.

Remember, my HB measurement is 3 inches smaller than my FB  which, again using the Cup Size Chart , means I am a C cup.  This means that my full bust adjustment is more like 3/8 to 1/2 inch based on information I learned in the Craftsy course "Adjust The Bust" .


  1. Cup size as determined by the pattern companies does not necessarily coincide with your actual bra cup size.  So if you determine the amount of FBA needed based on your bra cup size you might be terribly disappointed-- ask me how I know!
  2. It is important to know what cup size a particular pattern company drafts for.  For example, if  you are a C cup and you purchase a pattern from a company that drafts for a C cup, or a 3 inch difference between the FB and the HB measurement you may not need a FBA at all.  So you may want to check with the pattern company before assuming you will need an adjustment. 

For more information on bust alterations I highly recommend the Craftsy course "Adjust The Bust" .


The information in this post is based on my personal experience, research, and opinion. I have not received any compensation .
I AM NOT an expert.  I am sharing what has worked for me in hopes that it may help someone else.  

Until next time... sew something you love!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Hello and... Uh Oh!

I've always wanted to try blogging and have been thinking about starting a blog  for some time now. Today I decided to just do it.

When I began typing two things came to mind-- "Hello" I'm a new blogger and "Uh Oh"-- what the heck have I done?!  I am not a writer and I have never published anything in my life and I'm about to share my sewing experiences with the world?!  OMG!

Well, enough of that-- here goes-- my first blog post...

My name is Melody.  I love to sew and I love to knit. My maternal grandmother taught me to sew when I was in the 6th grade.  I learned to knit while attending a Girl Scout troop leader meeting about 8 years ago. In both cases I learned the basics of the craft, the rest is pretty much self taught.

I am plus sized and I love to sew with knit fabrics. I am learning how to fit MY figure.  I have a lot more to learn. I hope you will enjoy this process with me.



I am currently getting up the nerve to begin sewing a prom dress for my daughter's dress for Senior Prom using Vogue 2929.  This is not my first time sewing a prom dress but this will be the first time I sewed any garment that is cut on the bias.  I must admit that I am a little intimidated.
I will try to blog about my progress and wouldn't mind a little encouragement and helpful tips along the way so please feel free to leave a comment.

Until next time... sew something you love!