Vogue Patterns 8772: Easy Options Blouses

Readers,

Even though summer can be the easiest and most fun season to sew for, I didn’t sew much for summer during our years in Minnesota.  After all, it wasn’t till May that I was finally convinced I could probably go outdoors without a coat, and in September I was bracing myself for the first coworker to make a nasty crack about when the first snowflakes could be expected to fall.

I made this sleeveless blouse but in a shorter version.

To shrink the summer-sewing window of opportunity smaller yet, we often traveled in June, July, or August–sometimes to places with fabric stores selling wonderful cottons and linens for light dresses and sleeveless blouses.  In New York, Chicago, and even Glasgow a citrus-colored handkerchief linen or snappy seersucker would catch my eye and sneak into my suitcase for the trip home–where it would languish desolately in the chill of my basement sewing domain.

Vogue 8772: the muslin

Oh sure, I can hear you say, I could have sewn for summer at another time of year–but that would have required me to, number 1, take off my thermal underwear to try on that dress or blouse, and, number 2, believe that warm weather would ever return.  Ha–I was nobody’s fool!  And so I lived with a serviceable but hardly extensive summer wardrobe for years–not that anybody noticed.

Extra fabric at the waist interferes with a smooth line.

Now that I’m back in central Ohio, I’ve noticed.  In reality and in spirit, summer is definitely here.  The peach trees here are set to produce an unheard-of two crops this season.  Strawberries, corn, tomatoes are all showing up early and in abundance, begging to be used–just like my summer fabric stash.

That gaping armhole must go!

Rummaging through the back of my closet a few weeks ago, I found muslins I’d put away late last August– too late for slowpoke me to fit, alter, and sew those patterns into summer attire. But now, for once, I could consider myself ahead of the game.  I tried on my muslin of Vogue Easy Options 8772, read through my notes from last year, and it really wasn’t long before I had produced a wearable test and three well-fitting sleeveless blouses.

To improve the fit and look called for some simple changes within my very limited but adequate alteration abilities:

  • moving the armhole up a little to avoid annoying gaping
  • raising the bust dart half an inch
  • tucking out an inch or so of excess length in the back waist and shortening the front to match
  • changing the armhole finish from a bias strip to a facing

    Drafting a facing to replace the simple bias strip the pattern called for.

    In the muslin I found the bias-strip facing bulky and I wanted a finish that would distribute the bulk more nicely: a facing.

Wearable test: the armhole gap is still there.

In this drapey linen-rayon the excess at the waist really shows.

Another view of that unsightly, but fixable, ripple of extra fabric in the back.

Could I just fold this out and make it disappear, please?

Next: a seersucker. I do like this blouse, despite my inscrutable expression.

I tucked out about an inch in the back pattern piece. Maybe I could have fussed more with it but I’m happy.

Given my limited fitting skills, I’m fine with this result.

Very important: the armhole passes the volleyball test. (And no, I was not the gym class volleyball star.)

Now I’m happy with the fit. I rifled my stashes to make this version from a cross-dye cotton shirting and handsome black mother of pearl buttons.

Should I take in a little more in the back darts, or would that be overfitting? Possibly the latter.

Pass/fail? It’s a pass. Oh, but what’s going on with that left shoulder?

The armhole passes the hailing-a-taxi test.

Having worked out the fit issues I could confidently cut into a favorite fabric: a summery John Kaldor stretch cotton

Nice.

The–crisp?–feel to this cotton may be due to the spandex, so this fabric doesn’t drape. But the pattern is well suited to this fabric so all is well.

The armhole passes the hailing-a-drone test.

This Vogue Easy Options blouse lives up to its name:  it is easy to sew, and just the sleeveless option by itself is putting variety into my summer wardrobe at a swift pace.

I’ve since sewn a short-sleeved version that was equally successful with a couple of tweaks, which will appear in a future post.

(Photos of me are by Cynthia DeGrand)

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15 thoughts on “Vogue Patterns 8772: Easy Options Blouses

  1. Your tops are really nice, especially that last one – you look great in that fabric! I don’t do a lot of sleeveless summer sewing due to air conditioning that seems to be cranked up every where I go.

  2. Hi, Paula! So happy to see you in this post! I’m much like you with being slightly off season with my sewing. Right now I should be sifting through my wools but I’m drawn to those summery items and even if I do make a wearable item, the wearing window starts to close in rapidly!
    Your blouses all look so nice and crisp! I’m partial to sleeveless tops with shirt collars. One thing I have noticed is that patterns from the 50s and 60s do have smaller armholes. I have a few junior petite blouse and dress patterns that solved both the short waist and armhole issues at the same time without modification. The newer patterns seem to be drafted to a much larger frame than you or I…hence the tucking and reshaping of pattern pieces to fit. Have you used a junior petite pattern?
    Oh…how’s the Italian coming along? Molto bene?

    • Marguerite, I don’t think I’ve ever used a junior petite pattern, but I think I do have a few from the ’40s and ’50s. My Italian has been shelved till I get more things sewn, both for myself and for the house. Studying a language is the ultimate chew-toy for my brain, so I will go back. Thanks for writing!

  3. So good to see you posting. 🙂 Lovely summer tops! Thank you for sharing your fitting issues and fixes. I need to work out some kinks with one of my shirt patterns. Your blog post has inspired me to get to it.

    • Thanks, Pamela! Have you ever used Sandra Betzina’s book Fast Fit? Maybe it could help. Good luck!

    • Well, I made the muslin, and then the test garment, which still had the armhole gap and excess at the waist, and then three that are in my wardrobe now. Plus, another blouse, a short-sleeved version, which will get its own post after I sew another short-sleever. This pattern is looking like a keeper in my sewing repertoire.

    • That’s very kind of you, Steve! I am in no way ready for those extremely particular State Fair judges like you are, though!

  4. Cute set of blouses. I sat studying the back of the blue one, with the vertical fabric fold at the left shoulder and thought to myself, “sloping shoulder.” I’m no fitting expert, but I envisioned sticking my finger into the top of that armshole and lifting it up, and in my imagination anyway, the fold disappeared. I expect the pattern is designed for shoulders that are more square than yours. And it looks like you only need that adjustment on the one side.

    • Yup, I’m sure you’re right, and I would bet that any Pilates teacher would catch that posture fault a block away. Thanks!

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