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Vogue 8151 – Darted Tee

September 14th, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

I’ve never been a big fan of Sandra Betzina’s patterns; they seem a little, just slightly, on the matronly side.  Really nice patterns, if you were inclined that way, but, I don’t know, blocky maybe?  Maybe kind of matronly?  And I’ve always thought this had something to do with the “Today’s Fit” sizing, which I read as being for bigger, more “mature” women.

Well, whether or not the rest of me is following, my bust seems to have joined the “bigger, more mature” category.  I’m having fit issues, so, Sandra, here I come!  I still can’t get my head around the style issues, but I’m looking for a tee I can live with, so I started with this Betzina tee:

The one one the right.  Yep, a tee shirt with a dart.  It’s come to this .  .  .

This poor thing’s been through a hard day, and my pose is wonky, so please forgive both of us for looking so, well, ratty.  This pattern comes in Betzina’s A, B, C sizing.  I cut a size C, except in the shoulders, where I cut an A.  (Betzina’s Today’s Sizing has a bust size similar to Vogue, but a much larger waist, and a larger hip.  Only the bust size was relevant for my top, of course.)

We’re not going to discuss the fact that my bust is asymmetrical, and that I’m not going to wear the kind of armor that would correct this normal, human issue.  Suffice to say, the darts are symmetrical, even if I’m not.  It does look as if there’s a little bit of pulling across the chest, though, so I need to address that.  My bust is one inch larger than the C size, so, in this case, I guess I should have trusted Vogue sizing.

I dropped the bust dart by 1.5 inches, to accommodate my real bust, and shortened the dart by .5 inch, so it didn’t run across the front of my chest.  I also lengthened the top by one inch, and took .25 inch out of each side of the back neck to conform to my shape there.  (I remembered to alter the neckband to accommodate that change; that’s a critical step.)

The dart placement is just right, though there’s a little pulling at the lower front of the armhole.  Is that fit, or the result of my bizarre, chicken-wings pose???  I haven’t gotten this “modeling garments” thing down yet.

The back is fine, but someday I really am going to have to address the swayback issues.

Other reviewers have noted that these sleeves are tight; they are, but I like this fit.  I think most people wouldn’t, and if I were actually as big everywhere as Betzina’s size C, these sleeves wouldn’t work on me.

So, does it make sense to wear a tee shirt with darts to accommodate a larger bust?  I kind of think maybe it does.  If  I buy RTW tee shirts that fit my bust, I’m swimming in the rest of the shirt, because the rest of me just isn’t that big.  I’d rather feel relaxed in a tee shirt than slobby, so maybe this is a better choice.  Interestingly, I really liked wearing this shirt — it felt like clothes, not like a sack I’d pulled on, but was still just as easy-to-wear as any old tee.

Incidentally, I cut this shirt from a heavyweight Fruit of the Loom men’s tee.  Ever noticed what great colors men’s tees come in these days?  Much nicer than the pastel, icky women’s shades.  And the fabric, while nothing to write home about, is about 1000% nicer than cotton knits at JoAnn’s.  Lots cheaper, also, even if you need two.

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  1. Rachel
    September 23rd, 2010 at 17:20 | #1


    I’ve spent the past couple of days reading your entire blog and I just love it to bits! I am jealous of your ‘get on and do it’ attitude with patterns and alterations. I’m only at the stage of figuring out double fold bias tape but I’m determined to get there 🙂


    PS I do think, however, I might have caught your obsession with D rings – such handy, little bits!

    • September 23rd, 2010 at 17:32 | #2

      Thanks, Rachel! Stick with the bias tape; it’s tricky at first, but such a treat once you’ve mastered it!

  2. Echo
    September 19th, 2010 at 17:56 | #3

    This looks really good and you are so very right about the colour. When you decide what is going on with the pulling around the underarms at the front, I’d love to know as I have similar questions about fit for me. We seem to all be wrestling with changing shapes….

    I am interested in the darts too as recently made a turtleneck for my mum out of a lovely merino jersey. It didn’t have darts but mum was thinking we should try them though it turned out great without probably due to the lovely give of the fabric. I think I will try darts too if I use a fabric that has less give.

    • September 21st, 2010 at 08:34 | #4

      Hi, Echo — I’ve actually made another one of these shirts, and will post a review in a couple of weeks, once the deck is cleared abound here. I’ve decided the darts really do make a difference in a less-drapey fabric, and I just love these shirts!

  3. Shams
    September 14th, 2010 at 21:39 | #5

    It looks great! This is a popular pattern in my sewing group, but I haven’t made it yet since I have a TNT t-shirt pattern. I tend not to sew the darts, though, I ease them. 🙂

    • September 15th, 2010 at 21:19 | #6

      I’ll have to try easing them, too, Shams. But not for a while; I’m too thrilled that this version worked!

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