Skip to main content

A vintage pattern

The muslin of the Burda top is thrown away. I'm not convinced that this will be a good top for me. This really is the last time I tried a top with a front with a twist or a knot. Pity, I like them so much.

Good, that meant 1 basket to fill, and this it is:
A Ralph Lauren pattern from 1986.

The pattern is a size 12, which is my size if I go by high bust measurement, but have to do an FBA (so glad I found the Pattern Review site last year, I did not know about taking high bust measurement before as starting point for a top).
I traced the pattern two weeks ago, and waited the arrival of the book Fitting Finesse from Nancy Zieman, that I bought on e-bay. I'd like to know more of adjusting pattern, and already have the book Fast Fit of Sandra Betzina. Then Nancy of Encue Creations showed Fitting Finesse on her blog, and I asked her if there was a different way of doing a FBA in this book. She kindly replied that there was a difference and that it was well worthwhile to have this book. Yesterday I received it, and she was right. Thanks Nancy.
So this is the result so far, after adding a dart to make more space in the front part. The pattern has no dart, so I added one.

Above are pictures of the further unadapted top.
Points that are OK:
  1. Enough space in front after adding dart
  2. Neckline is fine
  3. Back armhole is fine
  4. Length is good, this was with cut with seam allowance, so it will be a bit shorter if I don't increase the length of the pattern. No problem if it is a bit shorter.
Issues to solve:
  1. there is too much space on the front armhole
  2. the seam allowances of 5/8 inch are also added to this muslin, this will mean that you can see my bra too clearly after taking off 5/8 inch.
  3. I must cut off the seam allowance of the armhole, to know if I want a finished shoulder length as in my pictures, or if the line of the pattern is OK.
On the last picture I pinned away the width in the front armhole. Back to the book to see how I should


  1. I'll suggest another book to look at (you might be able to find in the library) - Fit for Real People - Palmer/Pletsch. Has a slash/spread technique for the full bust adjustment, which I tried for the first time last night (On a K. Ali Simplicity pattern, sleeveless top, sorry it's downstairs so I don't have the number - maybe 3805?). I've used the Nancy Zieman method before, and it does o.k. but I find I have extra fabric just above my bust, lower armhole level. I did get an oddly shaped armhole on the front piece with the Fit for Real People method - but made up it looks fine - no gap, and no extra fabric! I do wonder if the extra is because of needing to add 5 inches in the front (size 16 by high bust measurement, size 20 or 22 by full bust measurement...), and that the slide and pivot adds some extra fabric that I don't need ...

  2. To Anonymous: Thanks a lot for the suggestion of this book. As I'm in the Netherlands this book is in no library over here. And there are simply no Dutch books that cover these subjects, so I bought a few books by reading about them on the internet. Difficult because I simply don't know wheter the book I'm buying works for me (I bought a book on serging that I don't use). I'll remember this one and perhaps buy it sometime.


Post a Comment

Comments are very much appreciated! I read all of them, try to answer the questions but don't always have time to react to comments.

Popular posts from this blog

How to sew a sleeveless top with facings

Edit to make this post only about the technique, not my ramblings on other subjects.
This is about making a sleeveless cowl neck top with a facing for both the front and the back. In this way no special finishing of the arm holes is needed. This method is based on Carolyn’s way of making a top with all seams enclosed.

Let me show you how to do this. It’s a good reminder for myself too, I forget when I haven’t done it in a while.
First you need a pattern that has a facing for the back that extends below the armhole. Also the front facing has to extend below the armhole. Easy enough to adapt a pattern, just trace a line about 5 cm (2 inches) below the armhole. The photo below shows you the facing of the back

Step 1: stabilize the back neckline of the back pattern piece

Step 2: with right sides together, sew the neckline of the back and the back facing, press but do not topstitch

Step 3: With right sides together, sew the armhole of the front to the armhole of the front facing.

Step 4:…

Dress Burda June 2018, construction picture

Once in a while a pattern shows up in a magazine that I want to make immediately. This Burda dress from the June issue is one of those.

It’s mainly the linedrawing that’s interesting, as the fabric they used for the magazine issue is not really showing the design lines. There would have been better accent options for the piping they uses.
If you’re like me and in general don’t look at the Burda instructions but do it by experience or your way anyhow, DON’T go on autopilot with this one.
Sleeveless dress: I close shoulder seams at the last possible moment. Not here, as you have to sew the bias band in between the center and side parts. The band has no seam (and I wouldn’t add one, too many layers of fabric), so the shoulder has to be sewn earlier than I’m used to.
Darts: I was inclined to sew all darts as first step and realised really just in time that the front dart is taking up the edge of the band. Front and back band! I was stupified why the angle of the band was not matching th…

Hilarious description

This week I bought the January Burda issue and browsing through it this top, and especially its description had my attention. Written by someone who has no understanding of modern, functional fabrics and never goes to the gym. Don’t know whether it’s the same in the English issue of the magazine, but in Dutch it says “Sport shirts often have the disadvantage to be close fitted.  This restricts your movement. Our suggestion: make this shirt with a full draped back.“I didn’t care to check their description of sports shirts they published before, but thought this one was hilarious.Off to trace a pattern from this magazine (not this one).