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Too much ease

I apologize to those of you who would like to see the knock-off for the jacket. It’s not happening now. Thought the contest might be a good stimulus to make it in April.
After the muslin wasn’t quite right I gave up. I just have to get to terms with myself that this is not the kind of sewing I can do now.

On Friday night I pulled out a pattern for a summer dress: Vogue 1223

Recently I went to the Amsterdam market with my friend Valerie and bought some wonderful fabrics at good prices. For this dress I’m using a print that doesn’t do the design much justice. The muslin fabric I have was not a lot cheaper, so I just went to make it without making a muslin, hoping to make a “wearable muslin”.

I cut out size 16, the smallest size in the envelope I bought. My bust measurement is exactly the measurement in their size chart for the size 16, and I counted on the pleats in the skirt to give me enough space for my wider hips. That last part is OK, but the bust….. way too large.

The shoulder and side seams are basted with a large stitch. The order of construction is not making these seams until the lining is made too. Very good instructions for a sleeveless dress, but I wanted to get an idea of the fit before proceeding.

Pinned roughly and my hand is keeping the pinned out space down. Now it’s getting some shape instead of being a sack hanging down.

3 centimeters on each side, that’s a total of 12 centimeters (almost 5 inches) that have to be taken out!! That’s a lot.

I’m happy I basted the shoulder and sideseam to test the fit.


  1. The fabric is lovely. Are you going to remove the ease or move on to a new project?

  2. Ah yes, this seems to be a problem that plagues me - the amount of ease they build in is insane.

  3. Well, maybe it's the pattern size you are buying. I buy a 16 by the upper bust measurement and I carry a lot more weight than you do! Of course I make a sizable fba. What's your upper bust measurement? Considering that you took in 5" You probably need to go down 2 sizes and add to the hips.
    I like how it looks once you pinned out the excess. It a flattering shape for you.

  4. What a pretty pattern! I hope you can get the ease out of the top.
    I have the same trouble. The multi sized patterns often don't have both of the sizes I need on the same pattern! I basically need a 12 on top and an 18 on bottom. It seems Vogue can't even imagine a body like mine!

  5. there is no way you are a 16 you look a lot smaller, so I am actually not surprised. Love the pattern, look forward to seeing it made up following your adjustments.

  6. That is a lovely dress pattern. I think you went a bit too big with the size as well and this often happens if you go by the measurements on the back of the envelopes. Or maybe they are just putting in too much ease!

  7. It always pays to baste and fit a new pattern. Always. Always. That is the one lesson from my childhood sewing classes that I ignore at my peril. Glad you took the time to do so -- imagine how disappointed you'd have been with the finished dress, otherwise! I like the intricate piecing on that bodice. Am not patient enough, myself, to mess with it, so I salute you for doing it and showing it to us.

  8. Oh, the ease at the big 4 is crazy. According to the measurements I should be a 10, but I always cut a 8 (or 6 if the fit is loose). I also remember Amanda (from Amanda's adventures in sewing) being very, very disappointed with this pattern.

  9. Agh, the Big 4 Ease of Doom strikes again! Vogue sometimes does it better than the others, but not always. This is going to be a great dress, though. Love that print.

  10. I get frustrated when the patterns don't show the finished bust dimensions (which include the ease). I find that often the ease is so extensive that I can drop a size or two! I love your fabric choice for this dress. It will look amazing when done.

  11. For a dress that is advertised as fitted at the bust, that is frustrating but all too familiar.

    The last Big 4 pattern I sewed based on their measurements, I found over 4" of ease on a kids size 2 dress! Yes chest size 22" with 4" of ease!!! and it was a pinafore style... I now measure the pattern pieces if I sew from Big 4 patterns.

  12. What beautiful fabric for this dress! I have a hard time with Vogues for the bust reason but I hope your dress comes together. It'll be a lovely summer piece.

  13. I have the same issue with every Vogue pattern I make - I think their sloper is huge in the shoulders for some reason.

  14. Love the fabric!!! <3

    Please, tell me on which Amsterdam market you bought it...

    "Groeten uit Amsterdam"


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  16. Ha Palma, dat was de markt op de Westerstraat, op maandagochtend.
    Ik meen dat ik 5 euro de meter heb betaald. Sowieso leuke markt!

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  18. Thanks, Sigrid, 't is inderdaad een leuke markt waar je voor niet al te veel geld uitstekend kunt slagen.

    Een paar maanden geleden nog geweldige, mooie grijze meubelstof gescoord voor 5 euro per meter.

    Mmm, dat wordt een halve vrije dag nemen aanstaande maandag... ;-)


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