SEW BAD Saturday #3

This week we have a another brave soul, Kate from blog who wanted to share her wadder:

Why did you pick this pattern?

The pattern I used was Vogue 1247, a Rachel Comey pattern. This pattern is beloved by many on the internet – SewRuth, Did you make that, and Sew Busy Lizzie to name just three. I bought it for the skirt, which I like and have made up three times. However I don’t like to see a pattern go to waste, and am interested in learning new techniques, so I thought I would make this up. It has French seams throughout. I usually like Kimono sleeves and this pattern has them, with cuffs.


What size did you think you were according to their envelope numbers?

I am a size 10 according to the pattern envelope. I measured the pattern pieces and thought this would drown me.

What size did you cut and did you alter before cutting?

I cut out the smallest size, the size 6, flaring out to a 10 at the hips. Even so I shaped the side seams to create the semblance of a waist.

Did you encounter difficulties others would like to avoid?

Its actually quite fun to make, especially joining up six sections to make the front. It is a bit like the union jack! The main issue is the huge amount of ease, and for me, the very unflattering design. The curved hem seems to emphasise the size of my hips and thighs in an unhelpful way too.3-back


Is there anything in the photos we cannot see that you wanted us to know about?

The photographs do not lie. There are no fastenings so it doesn’t gape and is pulled on over the head like a T shirt.


Is this garment wearable with tweaking or not?

I think it is probably a good pattern if you

  • are bigger at the top than at the bottom
  • suit V necks
  • like your clothes to billow about the body
  • enjoy patchwork but don’t get the time
  • are in the first trimester and don’t want to tell people yet5-front

Thumbs up or thumbs down on buying this? Worth the effort?

I don’t think this works as a “set” with the skirt. I have noticed people using the top and hating the skirt and vice versa. The very short skirt is ideal for a youthful figure (or lengthen and wear tights), the top, well? I think it would not be out of place on my dentist, or an intensive care nurse. Woe betide the person who made it up in green.

Do you want to make any suggestions on how to “make it work” or is it beyond that?

Lie on the operating table, breathe deeply and count from 10 to zero.


Please leave your suggestions and comments to Kate in the comment box below.

Thank you again, Kate for sharing your version of this pattern with a great commentary!

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18 Responses to SEW BAD Saturday #3

  1. ha ha! I LIKE the top- but then, I’m a nurse!

  2. karen says:

    I had to laugh because I had exactly the same thought when I sewed this top – I looked like I was wearing scrubs…..

  3. sewbusylizzy says:

    I found this post really interesting as this top seems to look on every body it’s made for.
    I do like the skirt & the top. I made mine in rayon, made the smallest size & it swims on me. The v-neck is very deep and I can’t wear it without a cami underneath. All that said, I get lots of compliments when I wear it – so perhaps swimming in a big pool of flowers suits me…
    I’d be interested to know what the fabric is that is made in? It doesn’t seem to have a lot of drape and I wonder if the fabric was a bit softer it would drape better around the body. I think it’s meant to be a wide, roomy, loose top.
    I actually love the loose fit of the top with the slim/structure of the 1247 skirt. I think they balance nicely. However I love loose tops with fitted bottoms – it’s just one of my wardrobe preferences.
    I don’t think any of my comments are helping about saving this particular top… they are just observations in comparison to mine – and what I do like about the pattern & why mine works for me.
    Thanks for sharing!

    • fabrickated says:

      Thanks SBL! I used a good quality pure cotton, with a soft feel, but it’s not drapey. No heavier than a nice blouse fabric (slightly see through). I imagine the top would be completely different in a drapey fabric and I think this is what is was designed for. Also the French seams add a little structure. In terms of wardrobe I like a fitted top with a looser bottom.

  4. jay says:

    Kate, I have no sensible suggestions. A strong pattern and a drapey fabric might drown out the style blips – but also hide the complicated seams in the front. Why are they there btw? Not sure it would work any better with ‘bigger at the top’ figures. That’s me and DD2, and the combination of shoulder pleats, baggy waist, and plunge would raise a red flag. You made it perfectly, but I have to agree, it has that medical air.

  5. prttynpnk says:

    Ive made 3 of these- each with a large variety of tweaks and changes. It isnt fit friendly- its immodestly low (even to me) it makes me look like Im smuggling. Hey, why do I love this? Damn. I have no idea.

  6. Laura says:

    I think this top needs drapey fabric, something like a chiffon or charmeuse. I don’t think it works in cotton at all actually, you need silk-like fabric for it.

    I agree with the other comment that the looseness of the top is designed to complement something very fitted, like skinny jeans or fitted and short, like the skirt that comes with the pattern.

  7. Cindy says:

    I don’t have anything positive to say about the shirt but I love her hair cut,

  8. Valerie says:

    The top is supposed to be loose and drapey and I think you would have more success with a different material.

  9. sewruth says:

    I made this top in a stripe – perfectly matched the stripes and created chevrons to die for. When I put it on I looked like Zoey from Nurse Jackie! Make it in silk – not too many nurses wear that in the OR

  10. QSSSue says:

    This top does not work when over-fitted. If you like fitted tops, don’t make this one! However made as per the pattern, it is a lovely top. What is wrong with a loose fit that I am missing? Read the pattern description and stay away if it is not what you usually prefer to wear!

  11. Rosemary Coole says:

    Is it only me who seems to see a problem with the sleeves?

  12. lozzen says:

    I made this top based on the positive reviews in PR. It looked terrible on me. And, as other commenters have said, it was basically surgical scrubs. Also it is for the slim woman. Sorry to be parroting what others said but it does need a very drapey fabric. I made a muslin and still went ahead made it in a fashion fabric and just hated it. So glad to have my experience validated here. I did learn a lot though.

  13. I love to see detailed patterns like this. I agree with many others about the soft fabric needed. After looking up the pattern on the Vogue website, it confirms the fabric choices recommended like soft charmeuse. Or lightweight linen which is very soft usually. And it isn’t meant to be overfitted. Just my opinion. Thanks.

  14. Ines says:

    I’m sorry your top didn’t work out, and I don’t think it did. I haven’t made this one but I do plan to since its very similar to several I have. Mine are all made of silk, very light weight and with lots of drape. I think silk is a must for this or a light weight rayon too. When you make something basically square with no shape if you use a stiff fabric like cotton it will look like a sac. On the other hand something slinky like silk moves and sways and contours your body giving it a shape. So to summarize a thin rayon or crepe de chine silk would make it look very different.FYI: I wash mine in the sink with cold water and shampoo and hand dry , they are very low maintenance .

  15. Alli says:

    pwahahaha, Kate is hilarious! 😀

  16. Tia Dia says:

    I’m sorry to see that this top didn’t work out for you, but I’m sure it’s due to fabric choice and, imho, it’s a lot snugger than the designer intended. It should be loose and drapey and shapeless (one of Mrs. Mole’s favourite horrors). I am not slim or young anymore, but my silk chiffon version in a modern-ish swirly print looks great – paired with the lengthened skirt – so if you’re interested in trying it again, I’d use a different fabric – much like Ines suggested just above.

  17. Summerflies says:

    I bought the pattern and noticed that it is suitable for inverted triangle the complete opposite of me, hence I didn’t make the top. I did however made a skirt albeit 15-20 cm longer and had cut another one but it’s not sewn yet. Rayon or silk is much better suited to the deliberate oversize top.

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