Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Vogue 1440 - White cotton tunic w/ back yoke detail

I'm taking a break from making silk blouses to add some cotton to my wardrobe. It's much easier to wear here in the summer and doesn't stick to sweaty skin as easily. I used Vogue 1440, a separates pattern by Donna Karan. Now this is a great pattern! You get three designer pieces that are very wearable for the price of one. The blouse was what called my name first, but I do plan to make both the jacket and the pants at some point.


What I loved about this design was the armhole bands and interesting back yoke feature. It calls for a solid color to show off those areas, and I picked a crisp white cotton shirting from Mood fabrics. This is a nice medium weight fabric that holds its shape well. Good quality cottons are always fun to sew with as they press well and don't slip around on you.


I really deliberated about what size to cut. Usually I cut a 12 for Vogue patterns but the bust measurements printed on the pattern were really big. My measurements put me at an 6 but I never wear that small of a size so I went for the 10 just to be safe. I'm so glad I did as the bust measurements are just plain wrong. The size 10, for example, is suppose to be 37.5" around, which I would be swimming in. As you can see, it is pretty fitted. If you decide to make this blouse, I advise actually measuring the pattern for yourself to determine which size to cut. I folded 1.5" out of each front pattern piece between the dart and the center front before I cut into the fabric. I wanted an easy-fitting blouse but it is really voluminous as drafted. This pattern could easily be used for maternity wear!


I just adore the back!!! Anyone with a muscular back or shoulders should make this top. I have neither but still think it's flattering. I'm seeing lots of RTW with that back slit detail which is another nice feature.


After I got the blouse to a stage where I could try it on but didn't yet have the collar attached, I noticed that the front neckline was really high. And then I really got to looking at the blouses others have made from this pattern and noticed how those collars folded over past the armbands. I think it's drafted that way on purpose to give it more of a relaxed look, and I can't tell if the original is like that or not. However, I wanted more of a traditional collar look for my blouse. I cut the center fronts down by 1" and used the collar and collar stand from another Vogue pattern. If I make this pattern again I will raise the center back neckline a little as I think it's pulling the collar down in the back. Weird. The front was too high and the back is too low.


Does anyone else get excited about reading pattern directions? I couldn't wait to get my hands on this pattern so I could figure out how that back band was attached. It's so unique. I did change the order of stitching the bands to the fabric in order to avoid lumpy shoulders. Being precise while topstitching is always fun to me so I enjoyed those parts a lot.

More dressform pictures:


The concealed button closure has no interfacing called for. This made me a little nervous but it turned out fine in the end and isn't floppy at all. If using a fabric that is lighter weight you may want to add interfacing to this area.


Something else I love about this pattern are the beautifully finished insides included in the directions. All fabric edges are enclosed in some manner and there's no overlocking needed. There is a bias hem facing pattern piece which I was super excited about. Wow, that made making the hem SO MUCH EASIER then the usual double folded hem that puckers and never will lay completely flat. I am using a bias hem facing for all shaped hems from now on.


This was such a fun project to work on! I think I might use the top part of this blouse again and make more of a fitted/shorter garment just for some variety. It's too lovely of a design not to make a second time.

Note: This fabric was purchased with my Mood Fabrics monthly allowance, as part of my participation in the Mood Sewing Network.

54 comments:

  1. Wow! That is just gorgeous. You did such a beautiful job. I've never seen a bias hem facing before. I also love to read sewing instructions, so I think I will have to get this pattern too!

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    1. Thanks Ann! I'm glad I'm not the only weirdo with sewing instructions! ;)

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  2. I just love it!! What a wonderful top this is, agreed the back is really nice!... Great job..

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  3. I've made this blouse and love mine, too. I agree, great pattern with fantastic finishing and details. Yours is gorgeous!!

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    1. Your review of this top was actually really helpful to me and I loved the linen look you went for. Thanks Jenny!

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  4. I just adore everything you make! I'm always so happy to see your projects. You are such a fine seamstress! This top is so beautiful and classy!

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  5. Wow! What at first glance appears to be a regular white shirt is a beautiful, elegant garment. Impeccable sewing, as always! I might have to get that pattern. It's just gorgeous on you!

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    1. Thank you Nursebennett! I think it's a universally flattering top. You should definitely make one for yourself!

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  6. you have convinced me, that looks great. I really like your adjustments to the collar, it suits your frame better than as drafted.putting this on on my to do list.

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    1. I can't wait to see the one you make, Beth! Thanks!

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  7. Such an elegant top. Classic but yet trendy. You did a GREAT job & it looks lovely on you.
    See me @ www.sewplus.blogspot.com

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  8. Love! Perfection! Great review and I'm going out to buy it now.

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  9. This is the best version I have seen. Fits you lovely. The back detail would look great on a sheath dress too!

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    1. I totally agree about a dress version. Thank you Vicki!

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  10. Perfection as per usual! Hem facing sounds like a pretty fab idea. Sometimes I read pattern instructions while doing my stretches. :)

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    1. Thanks Kyle! I've used a hem facing for full skirts before, but never a bias facing for a shaped shirt hem. It was really easy with this sturdy cotton.

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  11. Looks fab on you. You're right the back details are just wonderful and I am definitely going to remember the bias hem facing.

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  12. Oh, I love this top! I have to buy it just for the finishing details alone! Great review with lots of helpful information.

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  13. Beautiful shirt and wonderful finishes. I've never seen this pattern before. I think it will look very prtty in a longer version as a dress shirt, don't you think?

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    1. You might have seen it with the jacket over the top and not realized the shirt had and interesting details. For sure it would look great at a shirt dress. Maybe I'll do that instead of a shorter top. Thanks for your comment!

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  14. So pretty! You were really smart to use a different collar on this. I just finished my muslin and got really frustrated with the collar band and collar. I like the appearance of the setback and smaller collar on your band much much better. And it's sure easier to get a clean finish on the ends of the band. Will change up for my next version. You look great!

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    1. Thanks Coco! At first I was just going to cut the front neckline down a little and got out another pattern to guide me. Then I got to looking at the collar and neckband from that other pattern and realized how much less curved this pattern's collar was. Also I didn't even realize the original had no set back for the collar!

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  15. Great looking blouse and you do such nice work Amanda. I really love the back. I find amazingly lax to think that all these issues should exist in a Vogue Designer pattern! Don't the people who sew up these patterns notice that the pattern just isn't working?

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    1. Thanks so much Diana! As I understand it, Vogue makes a pattern from a designer garment and then photographs the original garment for the pattern envelope. I wish they would make one and photograph it too, so the customer could see any possible deviations from the original.

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  16. I have this pattern - bought for the jacket but am now considering the blouse. Your execution is perfection as usual. I agree this is both classic yet trendy. Karen

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  17. Lovely! I've pulled that pattern out a dozen times at home, thinking "I should!" and then backing away thinking "I'm scared!" But, with your detailed review, I think it's moving up in the sewing "to make" pile!

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    1. Yay! I'm sure you will do great on it!

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  18. This top looks great on you. Beautiful job as always, Amanda! Bias hem facing...hmm, I need to try that! —Meg

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  19. wow, this is so beautiful. I like the jacket too, but the pattern is not the cheapest and not sure if I can get it here in Canada.
    Enjoy it!!
    Love, Wilma

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  20. Lovely blouse. As usual your sewing is so impeccable! May I ask what sewing machine{s) you use? Not sure if you've posted about this recently. My relatively new Viking is a disappointment and I need tips to look for a replacement.

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    1. I use a Brother NX-450. I've had it for at least 5 years and really like it. Of course it has it's little quirks, but I think every machine does. Thanks Lynne!

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  21. Love the back side. I agree this would look awesome in a dress.

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  22. It's beautifully done and it looks terrific on you.

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  23. Ooh, this is so cute! I love that back detail- it looks so great on you!

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  24. Hello Amanda,

    I love your new blouse, it's business in the front and party in the back. Your sewing is always neat. You really inspire me to sew more carefully. Well done ! :-)

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  25. I bought this pattern for the jacket(which I'm still looking for the right fabric for), but I hadn't really looked at the top. It's really nice!

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    1. Yeah, I like the jacket too, but the top I just adored. Give me an interesting detail and/or construction and I am sure to buy the pattern! Thanks Radiojane!

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