Saturday, January 19, 2013

Vogue 8208 - Pattern Alterations

Vogue 8208 is an out of print pattern that was issued in 2006.  There are four reviews of the jacket on Pattern Review.

The pattern envelope's description of the pattern is ~ loose fitting, unlined jacket, below waist or below hip has collar, pockets with flaps and short sleeves with turnback cuffs or long, two-piece effect sleeves with button cuffs.

I chose to make this jacket because one of the top trends for Fall 2012 was military. I thought this jacket emphasized this look. Plus I've wanted to use this pattern for the last six years, so it's about time it took it's turn in the spotlight. Now even though this jacket has no lining, I will line it...more about that later.  I want to describe the pattern alterations in this post.

Of course, there were several alterations to the body of the jacket because the finished hemline measurements were 53" and I wanted a little more space in the jacket.  This jacket is being made to coordinate with the skirt and pants already sewn for "The City in Winter Collection", as well as, a future dress.  So I wanted some additional width in the jacket for turtlenecks, tops and dresses to fit under it comfortably. 

However, the most extensive alterations were made to the sleeves.  You see the fact is that even though the treadmill is strengthening my legs and helping with the measurements on my bottom half, my arms/biceps are increasing in width...incremental 1/4 inches but growing just the same.  Now I don't want to turn this into an exercise/surgical discussion because they are what they are but it is requiring me to rethink how I do pattern alterations to sleeve pattern pieces.

Last year I took the easy way out.  I used jacket patterns with raglan sleeves because the sleeve has a lot of design ease that I used as fitting ease.  I also think it's why I'm unhappy wearing jackets...the need to get sleeves to fit without binding my arms throughout the day.  Sweaters and cardigans from knit fabrics are just easier to wear and probably accounts for my current love affair with them.

All of that to say that I'm experimenting with how to get more ease into the biceps area of a pattern without adding a lot of space at the sleeve's hemline, especially since I have smaller wrists.  Please realize that this is my journey.  I'm not sure if this is the correct way to make these alterations.  I'm borrowing from a whole lot of places to get the pattern to work for me and honestly that's what I'm most concerned with...getting a sleeve pattern that will work for my body! 

The good thing about this sleeve pattern is that it has tucks in the pattern to assist you with inserting it into the cuff.  This is fantastic because any additional space at the hemline can be pleated into the cuff. Yes!

Here are my sleeve alterations:

Original sleeve pattern

Sleeve folded to figure out where to add
space to the sleeve

Lines made in the pattern to add space in 2 places

New sleeve traced out after adding to the biceps

New sleeve pattern over sleeve pattern
that was cut & spread

I was reading how Lynn made some changes to a sleeve pattern on her blog, "Wonderfully Made" and had an aha moment.  You see Lynn made this wonderful Chanel-esque jacket and she had some challenges with the sleeve.  Her solution is in this post and upon reading it I thought I can use that. Using her idea is how I added the needed space to the bicep area of my sleeve pattern ~ pictured above. Thanks Lynn for sharing that!

I've moved onto cutting out the fashion fabric, lining and silk organza underlining. Yeah, I'm going all out in sewing this jacket...mind you sewing a jacket not tailoring one!  I'll be back tomorrow with construction info. Hope you're having a wonderful sewing weekend! always more later!


  1. I hope that works out for you, Carolyn. I employed the same technique today for a one piece sleeve just like yours on a shirt dress and had to think through how to re-situate that tuck. No doubt we'll have the best fitting sleeves in blogland!

  2. A very inventive technique, Carolyn, for altering the sleeve! I often have to widen the bicep of Style Arc sleeves, but those have a conventional sleeve shape and I use the Betzina (I think) method. It looks to me like this will work.

  3. Thanks for sharing the details of your alterations - most interesting. I have used the method in the Palmer Pletsch 'Fit' books where you make a cross shaped slash and spread at the place where you need the width, leaving the cuff at the same measurement.

    I look forward to seeing your finished jacket!

  4. This is a very interesting adjustment. I think it should work. I was thinking something along the lines of Nancy Z's pivot and slide - but then going back to the original wrist size. I'm excited to see this jacket - it's going to be fabulous. g

  5. I'm curious to see how this alteration works out. I use the Sandra Betzina method of sleeve adjustment. However it is good to know many different ways to solve the bicep adjustment issue. I love this pattern and I can't wait to see your version.

  6. I often need upper arm adjustments and this is what I found in a tutorial years ago. If you do not need to make the armhole size any different, or resize the lower part of the sleeve, this pattern alteration works to increase only the upper arm. Slit the sleeve pattern in the middle of the sleeve, beginning where you need added width and going within 2-3 inches of the cap. Also make a diagonal cut on each side of the slit, going to the sleeve cap seam but not through it. Spread the sleeve as much as needed. The outer seams will all remain intact, but the upper sleeve will be wider. The amount of increase can easily be measured by measuring the space where the pattern has been spread. It is hard to describe this adequately; I hope it's reasonably clear! You may already know about this, but I thought I'd share it, just in case. I enjoy your blog and read it daily. Thank you for sharing with us.

  7. I hope it works out for you! I cannot wait to see the finished garment.

  8. Thanks for updating with the pattern and its status :) so kind of you. I salute you for breaking out a pattern from a 6)year hibernation, adding a lining to it, and doing so with spring around the corner. Wow! Fortunately for those of us who admire the pattren it has the same basic shape as a shirt collar jacket with added belt, loops and patch pockets. BTW cardio has just made me a smaller version of my same shape, but lifting weights as heavy as I can do is the only thing that has slimmed me down. I just lost 2kg since New Year's without deprivation by using Livestrong's MyPlate app (set for 0.5lb loss /wk because I love chocolate too much)and trying 20 mins of kettlebells on DVD 3x/wk + bike commuting 3 miles RT 3x/wk. Ideas :)

  9. I know exactly what it means to avoid certain garments because the fitting is so elusive. So good on ya for tackling this and getting the fit you want. I bet we'll be seeing a TNT pattern emerge and then the sky is the limit! We already know about your prowess with your TNT dress pattern!

  10. Thanks for sharing. Sleeves seem to be a challenge for a lot of people, including me. I just have the opposite problem: toothpick arms despite weight traing. I look forward to seeing the finished jacket.

  11. I also have larger biceps than the sleeves generally allow for. My solution was in one of my sewing books, and involves cutting open the sleeve in a cross shape leaving the seam allowances intact, then spreading the bicep are until it is large enough, then redrawing the sleeve cap slightly. I'm sure there is a name for this alteration, though I don't know. I also have had some success with 2 piece sleeves as the two sleeves allow you to add extra in two places without altering the sleeve cap.

  12. Great looking jacket and interesting alteration. As usual good design and good technique. Thanks for sharing this.

  13. This will be a nice looking jacket on you. Thanks for the sleeve alteration suggestion. I'm working with a client that has somewhat large biceps so this in helpful;)

  14. Lynn is really good at fitting solutions, so I know your version will be another winner.
    I'm getting used to checking all sorts of measurements now that I've started sewing for the family because RTW just doesn't cut it anymore.
    Thanks for sharing again Carolyn.


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