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New Clothes for Her and Him

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New Dress Vogue 1224

A New Dress! Such a simple thing and it makes me feel so good.

It’s the oft reviewed Vogue 1224. I cut and sewed most of it yesterday and finished the hems and tie ends this morning.

I just turned the tips of the tie ends inside and took a few stitches to close them. I buried the thread knot inside the long seam, quilting style.


I am a 12 or 14 through the shoulders and upper chest so I cut a 14 and did an FBA, or my version of an FBA, I should say, since I don’t look these things up, I just kind of sew by instinct and who knows, maybe I’ve seen this somewhere, maybe not.

But here’s what I did to accommodate my DD bust and “wider than pattern sizing 14” middle


I added 3/4″ to the length of the front and back bodice and 5/8″ to the underarm side seams. Cut the front and back skirts and extra 5/8″ on the fold, too. I also lengthened the dress and lining by 1″.

Vogue 1224 Back

I have had this fabric in the stash for years and never liked it. Made up it is actually cute. The lining is not the recommended stretch mesh but a nylon lycra in nude from the lingerie stash.

A few thoughts about the pattern:

  • When I do it again I will finish the lining so that the finished side is next to my body, not next to the skirt as the pattern has you do. Or maybe I got that wrong
  • I will add 1/2″ extra width through the back skirt (unless I lose weight again).
  • I will tack the elastic in the bodice neckline so that the shoulder seams will stay on the shoulders and the tie can be untied for the laundry.

A few other musings: Do pattern companies take into consideration the “fun” you have when you sew? Like do they have you take a narrow hem and have you trim off the 5/8″ turn up and think that’s fun? I don’t know, just wondering….

And for HIM: A New Shirt (a mix of Vogue 8759 and the OOP Vogue 8096 (image no longer available). The new version has princess seams down the back but not a full yoke like the old pattern so I started out thinking I wouldn’t use the new pattern at all.

It’s been 3 years since I have made work shirts, in part because I cannot find the denim-look chambray fabric I want to use. So I’ve made one from a new material and we’ll test how well it holds up to weekly washings and the hard work in the shop.

Mr Stitchery seriously likes his new shirt

Seriously Likes

We like how big the pocket is. I have some redesign plans for the pocket in the making. We want things to stay in the pockets but have no time for buttons or snaps. I’ll blog about my trials in a couple of weeks.

But I forgot how far away the pattern places the pocket! Oh DUH, I’ve monogrammed enough pockets to know that they should be about 1.5″ to 2″ away from the edge of the front placket. I had made no notes on the pattern. Gees, Mary Beth, Make Notes! Or at least read your old blog post….


He has an extra long back that requires a shirt longer than any I’ve found in RTW so we add about 4″ to the length. Next time I’ll make the sleeves an inch shorter, and raise the shoulder seam and sleeve cap, too. I’m thinking that there too much width across the upper chest as well. Hmmmmmm.

Full Length

Mr Stitch has not been around very much to take measurements so I had to cut this shirt from a sort of “memory”, maybe you’d call it a physical memory? I knew the collar would be too short for his neck but he doesn’t button the top button ever, so altering for teat seemed a waste of time.

However I did remember the billowing fullness of his last set of shirts and taking an idea from the new Vogue Man’s pattern I cut the back into 3 sections and contoured them like this: (there’s a parralax (if that’s the right term) in this shot, the bottom edge is actually straight)

Contour Back

Somehow that turned out perfectly. I don’t really know how, it was just from visualizing his shape and how much ease I wanted in the shoulders. Yipppeeee!!!

Side Back

I haven’t washed the shirt yet. We do not like work shirts that need ironing when they come out of the dryer. So we’ll see if this fabric is OK for another.

But we DO LOVE the new PRO-WOVEN Shirt Crisp FUSIBLE Interfacing from Fashion Sewing Supply. I interfaced both sides of the collar and stand and used one strip in the left front button placket. Wonderful stuff. Thanks so much, Pam!

Happy to be sewing!


About Mary Beth

I am fascinated by changing patterns and colored threads. I sew garments and am teaching myself to machine knit. Since selling the building that housed my workrooms, The Stitchery, I'm searching for a place to set up the knitting machines again. There must be room here somewhere!

17 responses »

  1. Both garments are so nice, Mary Beth! I just purchased V1224 over the weekend so now I’m jumpin’ on the bandwagon. I can’t tell if you added length but I am sure I will. Love it!

  2. oh, ok, you lengthened by 1”… it sure helps to read 🙂

  3. wow, the dress turned out so pretty and the shirt so handsome.
    Well done!

  4. I think the dress is so cute!! I also like the shirt for DH.

  5. I love this pattern.Your dress is very pretty and it suits you. Great shirt also.

  6. Beautiful Dress! You look absolutely lovely as usual 🙂

    DH’s shirt looks fabulous!!!

    You probably already know this, but to lessen the width of the upper back and chest and get the sleeve/shoulder seam closer to the shoulder joint..all with really simple pattern changes… Take a 1/4″ vertical tuck all way through the middle of the shoulder slope of the yoke pattern piece..redraw the slope (splitting the difference of the now jogged angle)… now the “can-be-trick” yoke alteration is done! Then of course, make the necessary changes to the front and back body pieces. *I* usually do this with a 1/4 vertical tuck smack dab at CB, and then I just “slash/overlap so that the upper front body piece matches the new front yoke length…easy peasy 🙂

    ..and may I butt in and say that I think the front is wrinkling because the neck appears to be a wee bit too small. Making the neck bigger will also help keep the collar from having the tendency to flip up. These are all common adjustments I make to my basic custom pattern draft for many of my clients.

    Hope you didn’t mind me sharing…?

  7. Excellent work! The shirt looks like you purchased it from the store and the dress is a perfect fit. I need to find time for my machine. I have a juki industrial heavy duty machine. ONe day:)

  8. Your dress looks fantastic, as does the Mr’s shirt. Nice sewing. But what I most want to know is–why don’t you ever have bad hair like the rest of us? When it was auburn, I died with jealousy, being a chenmical redhead, myself. It was fabulous. Then you went blond, and it looked great on you, too. Now you are natural and curly, and it looks equally beautiful on you.

  9. Carol in Denver

    Excellent work on both garments! Your husband is a lucky guy to have you make shirts for him and pretty clothes for your pretty self. When I sew long, skinny ties, I machine sew across the tips and leave the opening for turning in the long edge. The tips stay nice & dainty and the opening is easier to stitch closed, in my view.

    So glad you share your sewing experiences!

  10. Your look really great! and you did an awesome job on your husband’s shirt.

  11. Mary Beth your sewing makes me hunger to get back into the sewing room. The dress is just exactly what I’d like to sew for myself and DH would love it if I sewed for him. Your DH is a lucky man, he gets a beautiful custom made shirt.

  12. Beautiful dress and shirt. The fabric really suits you. I’m not into sewing for dh, but the shirt really is very nice as well.

  13. Janie Dearborn Mason

    The dress fits like a dream, the length perfect and colors & pattern youthful – also the fabric matches the dress style to a tee! Kudos to a comfortable, fun outfit! I always love Dave’s shirts and pants – they never look the least bit home made – they appear utterly professional to me. You can be proud of your mastery in tailoring – I am an admirer!

  14. Love it, love it, love it. It looks perfect. Mick is jealous of David’s shirt. I told him I’d show him how to make one for himself.

  15. summersetbanks

    Great pieces for both of you! Love the dress fabric.


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