Monday, July 18, 2011

Vogue 1109, Sandra Betzina Knit Top

I had myself all dolled up and in my new nautical garb and could not get my remote to work on my camera. Since my devastatingly handsome photographer was not available today, you get the dress form version. Hope this doesn't sound weird but it looks better on a live human than a stiff dress form. Now that all the disclaimers have been filed, here is the good stuff.

Pattern:  Vogue 1109, a Sandra Betzina Today's Fit pattern. It is described as a multi pieced pullover top with pleated sleeves and sleeve bands. The pattern shows it using a stripe or color blocked. I think fabricating this in anything else would be sort of pointless. It is all about playing with those pieces here.

The pattern fits well. I started with a C at the top and moved out to a D as I got to the hips. I found this pattern took me quite a bit of time, at least 8 hours. Part of that was dealing with an ancient machine, no IDT on the machine, and not the greatest zigzag options either. A lot of care needs to be paid to the notches and other marks. I found missing notches and missing directions. Odd, that no one else noticed this on PR.
Direction number 4 tells you to attach the middle front to the upper front, number 2. It never says to connect anything to the front bottom, number 3. I guess you are supposed figure it out from the photo but a beginner who is concentrating on all these stripes and pieces really needs that missing information. I also found that notches were missing. Look at these sleeve pieces. The middle notch is missing and of course I didn't pick that up until I was looking for it on the fabric. Also at the sleeve top back the top is marked with squares. On the sleeve front the top of the sleeve is marked with circles, more confusion. I think if you know this before doing this pattern you will be fine, but this could be a  fwadder for the less experienced.  What's a "fwadder"? A wadder that gets tossed in the corner because you are too frustrated to continue. It happens to all of us!

Fabric: This was listed as a poly/lycra knit. It is from the clearance area in Joann's in Middleton, Mass. I tell you they had quite the knit selection in this store. It's a biggie. It is very stretchy, four way, which the pattern recommends. I did find this much like sewing charmeuse, being very slippery and needing a lot of control. I know the IDT on my Pfaff would have helped a lot here. I used the Crayola markers and washed the top in the sink quickly to remove them before hemming. Worked like a charm.

Construction:  This pattern requires care in matching corners and seams. I would not sew any seam to the end, ending instead 5/8 inch from the edge. This will make match all those corners together easier. I did do the following fit adjustments before starting:
  •  Removed a half inch across the upper bodice in back and front between shoulder and chest.
  •  Added a seam to the center back to facilitate a swayback adjustment. 
  •  For the  swayback adjustment I cut a line across the back bodice at the cb  waist, leaving it hinged at the side. I then overlapped this to take out an inch at CB going out to nothing at the side seam. 
  •  On the sleeves I folded out a 1/2 inch across the cap to match what was taken out of the bodice. I am very short and the sleeves ended right where they should have. If you have long arms you may want to lengthen the sleeve. 
  •  I extended from size C to size D starting at 2 inches below the armhole, Betzina's suggestion. 
The top is not completely hemmed in the pictures above. I merely fused the steam a seam. I am going to wait until my Pfaff returns and double needle the hem. 
    All in all I think the pattern is a winner. It's a great design. The instructions that are there are very clear and more than you usually get. Just be aware of the marking issues if you make this.

    And now to answer some questions from yesterday's post:
    Susan asked:
    "I also sew with a Pfaff machine, love the built-in integrated feed. Do you ever have issues with your thread shredding while embroidering using the Pfaff?"
    Susan, I also am crazy fro the intergrated feed, or IDT. I do not have an embroidery machine. Not sure I ever will as I have never quite felt the need. I enjoy handwork so much so that is how I do my embellishments.

    Sharon asked:
    "When you are matching stripe or plaid do you ever slip baste?"
    I usually do but not being a very experienced knit sewist, I was afraid I might snag the fabric. So instead I chose to use silk pins. They are very fine and sharp. That worked great. 

    Not sure what my next project will be . It may be another top, a simple one or some white pants, or a muslin for my next Chanel. I am also on the prow for some handwork as well. I am trying to think of how to incorporate some handwork into my first attempt at a frame bag. The frame bag should be fun and you will all be learning right along with me. Frame bags are a new experience for me. I just have to find the right glue that is necessary..............Bunny


    1. It looks great on the dress form, but I just bet it looks amazing on you!!

    2. Great stripe work! Will look fab with some white pants.

    3. Awesome! I love the stripes - it gives it so much interest, and you matched them perfectly.

    4. The stripes look amazing! Your top could easily be the cover shot for the pattern itself. It sounds like a fair amount of work for a t-shirt, but what a t-shirt!

    5. Oh my! What a great shirt. I think I want to change my vote about what I like best about your blog...I really enjoy your posts about your garment construction!

    6. Amazing top, you did a fantastic job.

    7. The perfect nautical-inspired top. Just love it!

    8. Oh I just love this top! I bet is looks wonderful on you.
      Beautiful work, as always.

    9. Love, love, love your top. You did a wonderful job with those stripes.
      Thank you for the detailed review and all the tips. I know it takes some time to write, but I appreciate it.
      I am so excited to learn about making a frame bag.

    10. Bunny, Just want to let you know how much I enjoy your blog. I have been away for several weeks and just caught up with all you are doing. Thanks for letting us in your sewing room!

    11. I love a striped top. This one is really unique and fun.

    12. Great top! I love the way the stripes all play nice with each other. I'd be interested to see how this looks on you as I generally steer clear of SB's pattern just due to my size/shape.

    13. Terrific sewing. That's a top that is not run-of-the-mill. White pants, a litttle red scarf and a straw hat, and you are off to a day of boating!

    14. This is fantastic! I'm sure you look amazing in it too!

    15. WOW! Bunny, you continue to amaze me. This would have definitely been a "fwadder" at my house & the "f" would NOT have stood for "frustrated", either. *wink*

      GREAT job on every detail. I bet this accents your figure beautifully, too. Well done, my friend. I do so wish I could sit beside you & learn all these minute details that you know so well.


    16. Hi Bunny:

      You did a fabulous job on this top. Looks amazing! We would love to post a photo and a link to your blog on our website: Please let me know if we may have permission. My email is


      Valery Peters


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