Sunday, February 2, 2014

Vogue 8536 Leopard print

Hello everyone!

I hope this Superbowl Sunday finds you relaxing and enjoying your day.  I am enjoying mine because I finally finished my Vogue 8536 wadder re-do!!

Apparently, the THIRD TIME is the charm for me!!  I worked on another version of this top in a beautiful striped sweater knit, but I just could not get past the sleeves.  I followed Jenna's advice from my last post by removing the excess ease (there was 1/2 inch more than needed) from the sleeve cap, but it was still giving me problems.  After I finally got the sleeve set in perfectly by sewing it in flat, I ruined my shirt completely when I ran the raw edges through my serger.

By this time I was beginning to think this pattern was a curse!!  Everytime I would make some progress, I would cause another setback.

The good thing is...I never give up easily!!

I thought of the saying that no matter how much you fail, you are only a failure if you quit. I knew I was one step away from a good result if I stayed determined.  So, I went to Hobby Lobby, bought a pretty leopard print cotton knit, and started all over.

Since I was having trouble with sleeves, I started to research what I could be doing wrong with my technique.  I remembered a book I purchased from Amazon when I first started sewing, authored by Nancy Zieman, called 10,20,30 Minutes To Sew.  I found an excellent reference on the easiest way to sew in sleeves, using the stretch of the bias to your advantage.

Ms. Zieman insists that you can ease in your sleeves quickly and accurately, without the use of traditional basting--and resulting in no puckers!  I tried using the two pencil erasers as shown, but decided I liked using my fingers instead.  The erasers do give you more grip, but the gently outward motioning is what really does the trick!

Long story short, I tried it, and it worked!

My sleeves set in perfectly!  I also think that my fabric choice had a lot to do with my sleeve success on this pattern, though.  The cotton knit has a much smaller amount of stretch than the rayon knit I used the first go round. It was much more stable and easier to work with.

I sewed a size 10 with no changes.  It is a bit snug, but it works for me.  I am realizing that the outcome of the final garment when sewing with knits hinges on really thinking about the characteristics of the fabric you are working with, such as stretchiness.  A size 10 worked perfect with the super stretch of the rayon knit, yet was much more snug with this stable cotton knit.  I ended up compensating by sewing my shirt with 1/2 inch seam allowances.

Other than my sleeve challenges from earlier attempts, this pattern was relatively easy to sew.  The V-neckline went through without a hitch, and looks amazing.  I left out the vented hem, and just sewed my side seams together.  For finishing, I used my serger, and a twin needle for topstitching the neckline, hem, and sleeves.


 I am wearing my shirt tonight while watching the Superbowl with my family!!

I would definitely recommend this pattern for someone of all skill levels.  It is a nice basic that will fit perfectly in any wardrobe.  Believe it or not, I plan to sew this again.  I don't believe it is a TNT for me yet, but I would like to make some minor tweaks to it now that I feel a lot more confident sewing it together.

Here are some design changes I would like to make for my next version:

It is true, fit is everything!  I noticed some drag lines near the seam where my arm and shoulder meet.  I consulted a fit reference I have, and discovered that most likely an adjustment for sloping shoulders is necessary.  This adjustment lowers the armhole some, and creates a slight slope in the shoulder seam so that this extra fold is not evident.  I don't know if it will work, but if it does, I'm sure it may be an adjustment I might need to make on other garments I sew.  Also, I would love to see how a swayback adjustment changes the way garments fit me in the back.  I have a prominent butt, so that might not be the only adjustment I need to make, but I would like to start there.

So I spent most of my January on Vogue 8536!!!!  Thanks for hanging in there with me! I will make this one again, but for now I am going to change directions and try a different top.  I will reveal it soon...

In closing, I just wanted to give a "shout out" to my awesome photographer--my husband.  He has been so patient with me, and worked to give me good quality photos so I can accurately display what I have created.

I'll check in again soon!

Stay sew-filled!


  1. Vanessa, you did a great job with your shirt! You look fierce!
    With love from snowy NJ!

  2. Aw!! You linked to me! Thanks :)

    I love your new top! It looks like it was definitely worth the effort that you put into it.

    I have sloping shoulders, too. I dont worry about it much in my knit tops, but I have a feeling as I start working on wovens & dresses, I'm going to have to make some alterations.

    Also, regarding your sway back, I found that using New Look 6735 helped with that because there is a center back seam, which gives some nice shaping. I only mention it because if I remember correctly, you've sewn the skirt view from that pattern, so it's probably in you stash. :)

    Great work! I love it!

  3. ok that fabric is so nice and the tee looks great

    seams ha ha that you are learning

  4. oh forgot to say Hobby Lobby has that type of fabric? who knew

  5. Thanks for the comments! And yes, it would "seam" as though I am learning! LOL!

    Though Hobby Lobby is not my preferred choice for fabric, it worked in a pinch, and I would buy there again. They also have a lot of bright colored jersey. Don't forget, you can always use their 40% off coupon too (it is online).

  6. Such a cute top on you! I need to learn to do a swayback adjustment for knits too so I appreciate reading the comments of others.

  7. Vanessa, this top is so cute on you, you did a wonderful job!

  8. I just used the bias stripe to set a sleeve and, swoon, I am in love with how perfect the sleeve looks! You look amazing in the top - brava!

  9. Great job on the shirt. You and the hubby are both too cute!

  10. Such a cute top! You got a great fit too! I love that book by Nancy Zieman. My mom had that in her library. I must say thanks for the mention of the Hobby Lobby sale in one of your posts! I didn't realize they have pattern sales. Thanks to you (Vielen Dank!) I was able to take advantage of the Simplicity pattern sale this past weekend! Hobby Lobby is one of those stores that - and I'm not sure why not - is in my regular rotation but once I get in there...I don't want to leave!

  11. Vanessa I went to hobby lobby to get that same fabric yeah me


Let me know what you think!