Vogue 9075

I’ve been a habitual indie pattern sewist since I came back to dressmaking in recent years. I’ve loved everything about it: the stylish patterns, the sense of community, the fangirl culture. But most of all I’ve appreciated the companies’ efforts to teach people to sew, with detailed instructions and sew-alongs. I’d found the ‘Big Four’ commercial patterns quite intimidating and difficult to fit. My 21st Century measurements didn’t fit neatly into one size, but my skills weren’t yet up to major adjustments.

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Check out the morning hair!

But recently I’ve felt a change. I’d spent much of last year focusing on fit and had developed confidence in my skills. The final shift came when late last year one of my favourite Indie companies launched a pattern that was almost impossible to fit. The ensuing drama made me take a second look at the Big Four on the assumption that their patterns were the product of a more thorough design and production process. I gave up on the toile of said dress, but saved the charcoal grey and silver quilting cotton for something worthy.

So here it is: the culotte dress (aka Vogue 9075). I referred to ‘The Complete Photo Guide for Real Fitting’ by Sarah Veblen to figure out how to fit a princess seam bodice. Following the book’s instructions I made up a size 14 bodice and identified where to release the seam to get the fit right. No FBA required! I just had to let the bust seams out 5mm above the bust and then reduced by 5mm below the bust. It worked!

I made a few other tweaks to improve the bodice fit: I’d got the bust spot on but had to take a curve of 5mm from the side seams, and angle the invisible zipper seams to remove excess whether the fabric was pooling a little at the lower back. This time around I machine basted the seams so i could fit on the fly. It was all going swimmingly until I basted the bodice to the culottes: the result was serious discomfort! My final adjustment was to reduce the culotte waist seam allowance to 10mm and increase the bodice waist seam allowance to 20mm. This raised the waistline to it’s rightful position and gave me just enough room for comfort!

I’m now looking at the Big Four’s catalogues with new eyes…. Any suggestions?

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32 thoughts on “Vogue 9075

  1. The dress looks great and the fabric makes it really special.
    I have never sewn much with indie patterns, so maybe I’m not the right person to comment, but I just wonder whether one doesn’t grow out of indie patterns with experience. I feel many are geared more towards a beginner/intermediate sewist, so after a few years it might be natural to move on.

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    • I think you’re absolutely right. I’ve also noticed that the big 4 do have patterns similar to most indie patterns too, so you can probably find what you’re looking for in the mainstream.

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  2. This looks really stylish, and expensive! And you’re not kidding about nailing the fit. I’d recommend butterick 6390. The Gertie jacket I sewed up in grey faux silk. I toiled it just seeing the back and front and one sleeve. I just needed to shorted the sleeves. It’s one of the moment favourite things I’ve made. Oh and V9082 – the vintage vogue pattern. That’s a great dress! I’ll stop there otherwise I’ll be rambling on forever! 😃

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  3. Ooh I love that. Very stylish, and the sort of thing you’d never get in the shops! And welcome to the Dark Side; I’m something of a Big Four addict 🙂 It really pays to look past the envelope pictures and concentrate on the line drawings with their patterns. I can recommend tracking down Vogue 1247 for the skirt (it’s out of print sadly) and I also had success with McCalls 2401, Vogue 8489, Vogue 1482, and Vogue 1410. I fear M2401 is probably oop too though I bet there’s something similar available .

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  4. This is lovely and the fit is perfect! I love the fabric, it has really come together. Makes me want to keep on sewing as it is great when you make something that fits better than anything you could buy off the shelf.

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  5. I’ve had a similar shirt recently. I’ve always loved indie patterns since learning to sew (not too many years ago), but have since become mostly underwhelmed by the indie options. As my skills have improved I’ve started to look to the Big 4. This pattern is one on my list for example, and your version, from fabric to fit, is spectacular!

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  6. Very very classy! I’ve had great success with a few Big Four patterns and definitely agree with the advice to look at the line drawings – some of the envelope styling is truly hideous! My favourites are New Look 6217 (top and skirt), New Look 6446 (dress version), Simplicity 2154 and Simplicity 2451. x

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