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Pattern Reviews> Vogue Patterns> 7903 (Betzina's Semi-fitted Shirt)

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Reviewed by:Kbenco

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Member since: 11/8/06
Reviews: 203 (patterns: 202)
Skill level:Intermediate
Favored by: 47 people
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Posted on:6/21/08 10:33 PM
Review Rating:
Helpful by 3 people    Very Helpful by 11 people   
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19 Comments      Login to Add a Comment    
Gidget98233 said... (1/11/11 6:33 PM) Reply
I think the people who commented before me have addressed all of your fitting issues really well. I like the look of your green blouse. I can see that there is a bit more to do with the fine-tuning but I do think it will be an excellent top once you get the fit perfect. I have a similar problem with needing a FBA for every top I make but with SB patterns, I get to make a small adjustmenet instead of a hige one (I wear a size 22 but have an F cup). I had decided I want to make some basic blouses and spent hours online and at my local fabric stoe looking for a pattern that would not require huge amounts of redrafting. You and I are not of a similar size but we both have similar fitting issues - FBA, straight back, "rugby shoulders". Now I am realizing that the perfect pattern has been in my house untouched all this time! Thanks for sharing how you have made your adjustments - hopefully you can critique my efforts soon!
moushka said... (10/26/08 11:05 AM) Reply
Despite your fitting challenges, your blouses are beautiful. I'd like to second L/L's recommendation of David Coffin's book on shirtmaking. It's one of the best! With your experience, I think you'd especially appreciate Coffin's approach to sewing. Perhaps you can find it at your local library. Thanks for a thorough, detailed review.
Lucia/Lyonel said... (6/24/08 10:24 PM) Reply
A lot of Islander methods are similar to the methods in David Coffin's book "Shirtmaking"... I cannot recommend that book enough! Shirts are almost the only things I am really confident sewing, and he's the reason.
yorkshire lass said... (6/23/08 9:01 AM) Reply
As others have said, you are so nearly there. I can't advise on fitting, I struggle myself with that. But wanted to thank you for your very helpful review. I have this on my table ready to cut, and have had to do quite a bit of alteration to the tissue following flat measuring and tissue fitting so its nice to know it isn't just me that is having trouble with the pattern.
Kbenco said... (6/23/08 6:17 AM) Reply
Thank you very much to everyone who commented on the blouse. I really was not happy with it yesterday, but now feel more hopeful that I will get further with it. I have lots of fitting plans now, and several internet sites to check out, I will be busy! Mssewcrazy, is this pattern OOP in the USA? I bought it less than 10 days ago from Spotlight, so it is not yet OOP in Australia, it was 50% off and still $13 or so, so you did better than me!.
mssewcrazy said... (6/22/08 8:13 PM) Reply
I am no help with the fit issues but do like your blouse. I decided before this pattern evaporated from the aftermarket, it wanted to live in my pattern stash. I had considered it once before and decided to pay the $12 that the ebay vendor wanted for it while it was still available. I really like the look of this pattern if I can like you get it to fit,
Heatherrique said... (6/22/08 3:12 PM) Reply
Sensational looking blouse! You look fabulous!
Rita K said... (6/22/08 3:09 PM) Reply
Love your blouse & styling details. Today's Fit is based on different sizing than other patterns. Check out the SB website: I don't know how to make it a 'hot' link.
Peggy L said... (6/22/08 9:28 AM) Reply
Excellent review! I have this on my cutting table so appreciate all your comments. I think you are getting real close to "perfect". I do think you need to do the FBA. I would also make sure the waist hits you in the right place.
CarolynGM said... (6/22/08 7:24 AM) Reply
Excellent review. Thanks for all the fitting info. As others have said, SB sizing is very different from regular Vogue sizing. For some of us, it takes a lot more tweaking. You are well on your way to a great fit.
oracle said... (6/22/08 7:00 AM) Reply
I, too, think that shirt works in lots of ways for you, and I agree with others that you need to do an FBA, lower the bust point, and do a forward-shoulder adjustment. I admire you keeping at it; my own fitting problems are also challenging and can really get me down! Anyway, this is important: Betzina's sizing is very different from regular Vogue sizing; it's not based on the same sloper in any way. This is the point of the Betzina line. Although the information is not as easy to find as it used to be, her cup sizes are not the standard "B" across the board as they are in other, standard patterns. Rather, she drafts for a "B" cup in her ABC sizes; "C" cup in DEF, and "D" cup in EFGH. See this useful PR tip, "Sizing help for 'Today's Fit' by Sandra Betzina" at: In my view, the cup sizing info should be front and centre on all Betzina patterns, her website, and in the pattern catalogues. Anyway, good luck!
Nancywin said... (6/22/08 3:25 AM) Reply
I commented on your blog, but just want to say that I agree with the others. You've almost got the fit and just need a little bigger FBA. I think this will turn out to be a great pattern for you.
Annette1 said... (6/22/08 1:49 AM) Reply
Well, FIRST of all, you have a GREAT figure (little show-off). :o)) When I clicked on your thumbnail, I thought, oh, man, this is PERFECT! I also think the back looks perfect. I see what you mean about it riding up somewhat in the front, though, which probably means the dreaded full bust adjustment. I really can't add anything to what the others have already said, but if it were me, I'd use everything just the way you have through the shoulders and sleeves, then I'd go to a B size in the bust WITH a FBA. :o( What the heck do I know though? I think it looks GREAT on you just the way it is, but I know how that feels when something riding back like that and you feel like you're having to constantly pull it down. At any rate, you're SO CLOSE, don't give up now! I LOVE the shorter length and the curved hem. I guess if Sandra Betzina makes her patterns for "chubby" sizes, I'd better be looking into them. As for Margaret Islander, I really don't know anything about her either, other than what I've read on The Sewing Place, which you can also read by going to the following link:
HJM said... (6/22/08 1:02 AM) Reply
Your tops make me want to sew this. I think I will have very similar fitting needs so your review covers them for me!
Fictionfan said... (6/22/08 0:33 AM) Reply
Beautiful job on these blouses! You should wear them! They are better than a lot of RTW, and they look nice on you even though you did not achieve look you wanted. My first thought was that this green blouse looks like RTW blouse on you, with the same sort of fit issues one gets from a full bust in a blouse made for a B cup. It is beautifully sewn! I love the contrast at the collar and the piping on the sleeves. RE:fit--all Vogue patterns are drafted for a B-up, and today's fit should be also since they don't state otherwise. In both your blouses, I see the need for FBA, forward shoulder adjustment, shift of armscye to go with FBA. You need the smallest size of today's fit which is equivalent to a medium, approx size 12 bust, size 14+ waist, size 12+ hips. Your main complaint, I think, is more related to the fact that SB has drafted these patterns for a chubbier figure than you have. You have a lovely hourglass figure, and you want to emphasize, not minimize, your waist in the fitted blouse. If you alter this pattern to take out the extra 2 inches SB adds to the waist for today's fit sizing, I think you'll be happier with the fit. I have the same issues with the today's fit sizing. I think you will get a better fit with misses' sizing. Have you tried Vogue 8322? The princess seaming would make the fitting very easy for FBA, and would also make the altering for a closer fit simple. BTW, there are plenty of us in the US who have no idea who M. Islander is, so you aren't alone.
Kbenco said... (6/21/08 11:51 PM) Reply
Thank you Mollyshark, Elona and Flying seamstress, you ladies are fast! My high bust is 34 just like size B is supposed to be, actual bust 36ish but in #2 I have used a size smaller than A, as the shoulders were huge before adjusting. I think I will go back to B at the bust or do a FBA, thanks Elona. I did just lower the widest part of the waist darts and the front looks better, thank you! now I know to move the waist. Re the swayback adjustment, I have already done this on green blouse #2, so I am glad it doesn't still look like I need one! Thanks for pointing out the shoulder adjustment needed. I do have a straight back, which is why I have to do a "narrow shoulder" adjustment even though my shoulders rival those of a Rugby player. I do have some fitting references, but I really appreciate your constructive, critical eyes, it is so hard to know where to start otherwise. Thank you very much.
Flying Seamstress said... (6/21/08 11:17 PM) Reply
This is such a pretty blouse! My first thought when I looked at your side view, the shoulder seam needs to come forward to match your shoulder line. This may be due to an erect posture and/or forward shoulders. Do you have any good fitting reference books?
Elona said... (6/21/08 11:13 PM) Reply
The front view of the green blouse is really, really cute, and I do think this pattern has real potential for you as a TNT: The style suits you. That said, the side view shows that although the shoulder fit is right, you definitely need more room in the bust. The lines you see indicate the need for more girth there. Also, can you see that your bust dart is a little high on your figure, maybe about an inch? I think the bust tightness is the major reason the front of the blouse is shorter than the back; your curves are scavenging all the fabric they can to cover the length and width needed to cover that area. I really don't see any of the horizontal wrinkling in back that would point to the need for a swayback alteration. I also get the impression that the waist curve is perhaps an inch higher than your own waistline. Being unfamiliar with this pattern, I'm wondering if you could do a size A neck/shoulder, tapering to a B at the bustline. I really feel the biggest problem is that you need more room there. The rest of the shirt looks very, very good.
mollyshark said... (6/21/08 11:06 PM) Reply
You may want to start your sizing with matching high bust to the pattern bust size. If your bust across is really a 34, a 12 Vogue (or any of the big 4) will start off quite large on you. Maybe this cut just isn't for you, although I don't think it looks as bad as you ae saying!!! I was almost scared to look at the picture.
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