I purchased this pattern
several months ago. I was interested in View A which appeared to be a circle vest with raglan armscye and shawl collar. I want to point out now, that the vest does not appear to be double-breasted. Possibly I’m a victim of seeing what I want to see, because I also thought it was a one piece pattern. Probably, I should have checked Pattern Review, but I didn’t. I thought it would be similar but slightly different from the single-layer vest in Casu 0985.
When I opened the package I found that 5772 is a 3 piece pattern. Front (cut double) back (cut on the fold) and a facing for the collar. Another important fact, according to the envelope, I should use a size XL to fit my frame.
My fabric is a woven (fulfilling my promise to sew knit, old, woven) but it is an upholstery fabric purchased roughly 18 months ago, so fairly recent. It has a hand-woven appeal with thickish yarns and I was intrigued by the weave of orange and teal fibers. I’m sure this is mostly cotton. There is a distinctive front and back. I found this desirable for this particular pattern. While I was intrigued by the weave and colors, it isn’t really my colors. I’m wanting to use the pattern for a lovely wool that’s been marinating about 3 years and so thought to work out any issues using this unusual cloth.
I cut the size XL and, concerned with fraying, immediately serged the edges of my fabric. I proceeded to mark and stay stitch the corners and then seamed the collar pieces together. I did not cut the facing. I have another plan in mind for finishing. So I seamed the collar wrong sides together, pressed the seam open and using the 5-step zig zag, stitched down the center of the seam. Next I stitched the shawl collar to the back neck and then seamed the shoulders together. I carefully folded and pressed these 3 seams flat and then top stitched. I’m fairly sure that between the serging, stitching and top stitching, these seams will stay flat, resist strain and fraying. I immediately finished the armscyes with lace seam binding that’s been in my stash for eons. Then I stitched up the side seams, pressed to one side and top stitched.
Why I nailed down the side seams is beyond me. I mean it makes perfect sense to finish the shoulder and back neckline. Even finishing the armscye is not a bad idea. But stitching and top stitching the side seams would make any fitting alterations a bear. Oh I had not pinned and tried on the pieces. Nor had I measured the pattern or compared to any existing pattern. This was just a dumb move on my part. For it was only now that the side seams were nailed into place that I tried on the vest.
It was gargantuan. There is at least 6 inches excess ease across the bust (and more could be pinched out) and 4 across the hip. On me the vest is double-breasted! Not something I expected. I also was not expecting the collar to be this wide. Underneath the armscye, I pinched out the excess ease forming a huge inverted pleat. I pinned that into place and then finished the raw edge of the collar and hem with fold-over-elastic. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do about the excess ease. Although there is too much at the hem, I could probably call it a tent-vest if it fit at the armscye. Pleating under the arm added a huge drag line, tilted the front up dramatically and did nothing for the double-breasted nature of the front. Also both front and back appear too wide immediately above the armscye. I know that I’m beginning to age, but I hadn’t noticed a dowager’s hump before these photos.
I persisted, because during the planning stage I’d located a perfect trim. Some years ago I became fascinated with selvedges. I collect them if they are really interesting and if I can retrieve at least 2 yards. In that collection was a harmonizing selvage with 1/2″ fringe. I determined that I needed 55″, more or less, and had about 90 inches of selvage. I used my favorite gathering method, 3/8 clear elastic tape, and transformed the 90 inches of flat fringe into a ruffled lovely. I stitched this on the underside of the vest about 1/2″ from the edge. When the collar is turned in place, the fringe is on the public side. There was about 9-10 inches left which curved and curled. It just formed itself into an interesting rosette and I hand stitched that in place on one side.
I sincerely doubt that it makes a trip through the laundry. But then again I seldom launder my vests. My vests are worn, spot, cleaned, pressed and returned to the closet pending the next wearing.
Next I reinforced the closure area on both fronts with a 1″ square of fusible interfacing and then added a coat snap.
Being single layer the stitching was a bit messy on the public side. I added a button, which is non-functional and seen in the final pics, to cover up the stitching.
I could no longer avoid the issue of too much ease beneath the arms. I chose to make 4 1/2-inch-darts beneath each armscye. They are on the public side and folded towards the side seam. Once pinned in place and pressed, I made two rows of top stitching in a V formation. The first row is about 1/2″ down from the armscye. The 2nd row of top stitching is about 3″ down from the armscye. This makes for an interesting armscye and decorative side seam.
It looks a little awkward on Mimie, but is comfortable to wear and not that bad-looking on myself. (Maybe Mimie needs more stuffing?)
The dowager’s hump is somewhat diminished and the extreme drag lines solved. I find I still don’t like the way the front swings forward (reminds me too much of my preggar days). I’m still unhappy that it appears to be double-breasted.
The important question is always, would you recommend this pattern to another? Well it did go together easily. I spent most of my time with the embellishment and finishing. However, I completely discarded the instructions because the recommended procedure for inserting a shawl collar never works for me. As far as a simple vest and first attempt at a shawl collar, this would be a good experience. But I’m extremely disappointed with the sizing. I’m not a slender woman. A size XL is usual for me. In this pattern I’m fairly sure I should have chosen a medium or small. This vest clearly illustrates why I’ve quit using Big 4 patterns–unreliable sizing.
I have other reasons for not liking the pattern. The raglin armscye which I thought would be a nice change, emphasizes my narrow shoulders and wide waistline. As mentioned before, the back with its dowager’s hump suggestion and the front hemline that swings forward and up are truly unflattering. I’m glad I didn’t use my beloved wool . I’m not likely to wear this vest and don’t want another like it. I think the pattern is going directly to the trash and this vest directly to Goodwill.