Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Vogue 8747: PR Fit Challenge

Vogue 8747 has been in my cue for about a year, so when the PR fitted shirt contest came around I no I finally decided to make it up. The fitted shirt has been a challenge for me what with my broad upper back and smaller chesticles (think sba in the front and fba in the back – ha!). Using my TNT shirt pattern made fitting this a lot easier. While it's still not perfect, I learned a lot.

I used a purple cotton chambray that must have had some spandex in it, a little contrasting topstitching/button holes, and purple buttons from my stash that I didn't even know I had. I had originally wanted to make a classic white shirt using this pattern, but for this challenge, I thought it would be easier to photograph a colour.

I need a haircut in the worst way.

There's quite a lot of fabric at the upper back, but I really need this for
comfortable arm movement. Plus, the dude from "The Great British Sewing Bee"
says that's okay. But really,  could I carve a bit of excess from the
armscye and still be comfortable? What do you think?

My Alterations: 

Green: Additions; Red: Subtractions

I cut a size 12 for muslin #1.  My arm movement ended up being quite restricted but I wasn't convinced that it was because of my broad upper back (usual cause). The arm holes were quite low and I thought that might have something to do with it, so after comparing to my TNT pattern I made the following revisions:

1. Raise armhole by 5/8" (front, back and sleeve)

2. One the side seam of the FRONT, I cut a size 8 at the arm hole and blended to a size 12 at the waist, so it would match my TNT.

3. I noticed that the neck dart from my TNT pattern had been rotated into the arm hole on V8747. There seemed to be excess fabric there, so I shaved off the width of the dart at the shoulder seam (5/8" at the shoulder seam blending to nothing at the neck.

4. I added 1 3/8" in length matching my TNT pattern in length and hem shape.

5. The sleeves for my TNT and V8747 were almost the same, but since I was familiar with my TNT sleeve and it's fit, I used the top of that (matching at the bicep line) and merged it with the bottom of the Vogue (size 8 on the front of the sleeve and a 10 on the back of the sleeve – to match with what I did in point #2). This lowered the sleeve cap 1/4". I referenced a very timely blog post by ikat bag about sleeves here.

6. cut a size 10 cuff.

Muslin #2 looked a lot better—a closer fitting arm hole and better arm mobility, but I kept pulling the shirt down when assessing the fit in the mirror. At first I thought that I might have to raise the waist, but then tried taking a tuck across the upper chest. Suddenly, the bust gathers and the waist fell in a much better spot.
The sleeves were showing vertical twisting wrinkles towards my wrist. After some online investigation (on PR) I figured that I would have to add back in that 1/4" at the sleeve cap. Here are my final alterations:

1. Took 1/4" tuck across the front and back at the upper chest level.

2. Added 1/4" back on to the sleeve cap.

3. Added 1/4" broad upper back adjustment.

4. Raised the bust gathers 1/4" (I just moved the notches up).

5. Added plackets to the sleeves (see green penis-shapes on my diagram) and had to add another pleat to make the cuff size work.

Things to change for next time: 

1. Shorten the sleeve a little, though I think I need the length to cover arm extension.
2. narrow the sleeve a little, especially near the bottom at the cuff, and use a size smaller cuff.

Sleeves come to wrists when arms out straight, though I could
probably get away with 3/4" less of sleeve length.
See what I mean about needing the room for forward arm movement?

That's pretty much it. I love how the back fits and I think after tweaking the sleeve a little I might have another TNT.


  1. This is a great colour. It's a lovely style. You can move in it. So I would agree you have a great fitting shirt.

  2. Awesome! I've been scared to attempt a reall button up shirt. Yours came out great!

  3. I just checked, and I totally have that same pattern in my stash! Yours looks so great; maybe I'll pull it out now! I'm kind of scared of fitted shirts, because making anything in a woven that fits the vast tracts of land on my chest has not been terribly successful in the past...:p

  4. awesome, i think you got a great fit! i especially love the little diagram of your alterations :)

  5. Your sense of humour is appreciated! This shirt looks terrific on
    you :)

  6. Really lovely fitted shirt. I usually feel a bit "meh" when I see a fitted shirt pattern, but I really love your version of it - maybe it's the fabric, or the good fit that you achieved. Nice work!

  7. I agree with you. You need to be able to move in a fitted shirt. Your version is great.

  8. I loved this shirt because of the way the color looks on you AND for the style. Comfy!