The thoughts, sewing projects, and fabric oglings of a dedicated sewist.

Vogue 8787 - Sleeve Suggestions, Anyone?

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I've had this pattern in my stash for a year or so now and I was finally prompted to make it after seeing Ann's version of it a few weeks ago.  I had some purple ponte knit that I bought on sale at Hancocks, and decided to use that to make a wearable muslin.  I haven't had a lot of luck with the solid ponte knits I've purchased there - the prints seem to wash/wear well, but the solids knits I made up into tops all started to pill after only a few washings (machine cold, line dry).  Meh.  Glad I used my coupon.


I made version A, cut a 12 (my measurements call for a 14 but the finished garment measurements said otherwise), and took the skirt and waistband in an extra 1.5" total after trying it on.  I didn't line the dress and finished the neckline with two strips of fabric cut on the bias.  I didn't make any other adjustments and I'm mostly happy with the fit.  There are two problem areas:

WTH is going on with this back neckline??  It's all . . . gappy.  I haven't had this happen before.  The back shoulder already has a dart in it, and this seems to be more of a center back issue anyway.  I noticed this before I put in the neckline facing.  I tried to remedy the problem by stretching the facing as I went, but all this did was to make the facing want to flip up.  Why is this dress so damn loose in the top of the center back?  I need to do some research, but does anyone know anything about this problem?

And then there's the sleeves.  I am probably overly paranoid about my wide shoulders (they are a good six inches wider than my hips), but there you go.  I think that cap sleeves tend to emphasize my width up there.  I'd like some kind of snug short sleeve and I need to go through my patterns to see if I find something I like better.  But, dear sewing readers, do you have any suggestions?  A friend suggested I make the shoulders more narrow so that the sleeve starts a bit higher up - I tried pinning this and it didn't look right. 

Here I am staring hard out the window because I can't make a decent face looking at the camera.

My master plan is to make this dress with my new magenta/black striped ponte knit so that I can play with stripe directions.  But I'm a little worried this dress is just too straight up and down for my figure.  The more I stare at these pictures, the less I like it.  Does that ever happen to you? 

On another note, if any of you sewing peeps haven't put yourselves on the map, hop to it!  I'm leading the charge for a Chicago meet-up and we need to know who is nearby!

4 comments on "Vogue 8787 - Sleeve Suggestions, Anyone?"
  1. It looks like your back neck is too long in comparison to the front neck opening. I sometimes have this too. . You might try unpicking the shoulder seams and moving the back shoulder further towards the sides. The neck points on your front and back shoulder seams won't align anymore but that doesn't matter as you can re draw the neckline. You can remove the extra fabric you've pushed out towards the back armhole, by reshaping the pattern. It also looks as if you could pull up the shoulder seams at both the back and a little at the front too. Hope you understand this! I can send you a sketch otherwise! Cap sleeves do make shoulders look wider. I would just do sleeveless, as it looks as if you have great arms anyway!

    1. Ah, great advice! I'm going to try all of your suggestions and see how it turns out. I really want my stripey dress to look right! Thank you also for noticing that the shoulder seams need some pulling up. I think I need to make this a standard adjustment as I'm learning that I always need to do it. THANK YOU!

  2. I almost always have gaping at the center back neckline, especially if there is a zipper there for some reason. I've found that straightening the shoulder seam helps a lot. I don't do a typical square shoulder adjustment. I do a pseudo one where I actually lower the shoulder the seam, essentially shortening the upper back. I just cut the angle down so the shoulder seam is straight, if that makes sense. But please don't take my advice if you find a proper fix. I make things up as I go. I've just found that fixing the shoulders helps back neck gaping on most of my makes. And I don't think the fit is too straight up and down. In fact, I think it would look awesome in a stripe!

    1. Thanks, Liza Jane. That does make sense and it's also pretty simple to do. I think I'm going to baste it your way, then try shifting the back shoulder pieces out (as WeLoveSewing suggested) if that does take care of it. Whew. I'm excited about my stripey dress again!