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V8543 revisited...AGAIN!!!

That's right...!  This is technically my 3rd time tackling Vogue 8543.  Despite that, I'm excited about the prospect of it.  I cut a new muslin and made more pattern adjustments.  By way of review, the first attempt resulted in a beautifully made suit FOR SOMEONE ELSE...because I didn't make the FBA.  So, I gave it to a friend.  The second attempt (a beautiful chocolate brown) met its death with the skirt--consequently, there are some major changes coming to the skirt pattern when I get to it.  This third attempt has been forged in the fires of lessons learned along the way.  Can you tell I really love the pattern--everything about it?!

Special note regarding the accessory:
The beautiful scarf that accents the suit was a gift from someone at church.  Pamela Gaylord was a member of our church and sister in Christ who went to be with the Lord on November 9, 2010.  Her husband wanted to honor her memory and impact on our church family, so he presented a few of her signature belongings to members of our church family.... The scarf was a gift to me.  Though she's no longer with us, she left a powerful legacy of faith in her family and our church community.  I was really honored to wear it with the suit.  In fact, as I searched for buttons, I wanted something that would compliment the scarf as well.

Pattern Description: Jacket w/peplum and skirt

Pattern Sizing: I used 14-20 with a full bust alteration.  I actually cut a size 18.... Praise God retail sizes are smaller than patterns!  It took me two weeks to pin the pattern to the fabric--I kept saying, "there's no way I wear an way!!!!!"  I know...I're all saying, "you have to go by the actual measurements...."  Yeah, yeah, WHATEVER!  I usually make some speech about needing extra room for my bustline.  While that may be true,  my waistline was screaming, "I need room, too!"  At the risk of sounding childishly vain, I was prepared to cut the 16, make the jacket and insist that Vogue has some pattern drafting and manufacturing issues...LOL!  In the end, however, I loved the fabric too much to risk having another "do over" project.  
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Absolutely! I still love this pattern. I couldn't wait to make it in black.  I knew it would be great.  As a boost to my ego, I did have to make larger side seams just below the sleeves.  I added a fourth button as a result of the FBA.  I like the look....

Were the instructions easy to follow? I think the pattern was easy to follow.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? My favorite details are the collar and sleeve. That skirt is "narly." I have some ideas about how to alter some of the details, but I will address that another time.  I passed on the skirt this time and opted for the one from Vogue 8781 (which is fabulous). 
Fabric Used: A twill polyester blend (?); it's great suiting. In fact, I loved it so much, I purchased it again (Hancock Fabrics) in order to make a different suit with slacks.  
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I had to make the full bust alteration in order to fit the jacket well for me.  I really look forward to the day when ALL pattern companies jump on the band wagon and add alternate pattern pieces for C/D cups.  

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I may not make it again; I highly recommend it to others. While I do love it, I think I'm tired of looking at the pattern.  Perhaps I 8543d myself too much! :-)
Conclusion: Love it, love it, love it!!!


  1. Oh don't give a rat's behind what size it is, it looks gorgeous on you!!!! Well done!!

    Lori in VA a quilter who is dipping her plus-sized toe into the waters of garment sewing again after a looooong layoff!!! lol

    1. Thanks Lori! I will boldly move ahead...thanks for the encouragement!

  2. Lori is sooooo right...this suit is a knock out! The big four pattern companies need to go back to school for pattern sizing!

    1. Thanks Myra! I know right?! Until they do, I keep working that FBA and being grateful for multiple cutting lines...;-)

  3. Totally CHIC! fantastic !! I love this look and you are looking great in that suit. Something classic that will last for years in your wardrobe.

  4. Hey Mocha! Your suit is not just's SHARP, SHARP! Third time is a charm for sure! Love the account of the hardly gets any better than that! I'm thinking I need a new suit! Nice work!

    1. Thanks Lady! I'm sure you'd rock the suit as well! Let me know if you decide to make it!!! :-)

  5. What a magnificent suit. Great fit. Looks good on you - you did a great job. Lovely story about the scarf too.

  6. This suit is oh-so-chic!!! It fits you great and it really does do the scarf justice!

  7. Wow. Now I am inspired to try a muslin FBA for this pattern. Thank you very much for posting the FBA photos. Obviously it worked out beautifully!

    I don't have your beautiful hour glass shape but I still think the FBA will likely fix my fitting issue. I cut a size 14 muslin and it is fitting well in the shoulders/upper chest to the bust, but is too tight across the bust. I should have closed the front darts on the muslin before fitting but just figured I know I'll need to add a little at the waist and wanted to see how the top part of the bodice fit.

  8. Hi Vita, I've been studying your photos and the FBA explanations in Palmer/Alto's Fit For Real People (FFRP) and Veblen's The Complete Photo Guide to Perfect Fitting and I have a couple questions:

    1. In your left FBA photo, I seem some blue tissue at the armhole. Did you change the armhole?
    2. Did you use the FFRP FBA or another guide?


    1. Hi Susan,

      No...I didn't alter the armhole. The blue paper was just extra underneath. I love, love, love FFRP. It is my "go to" book for alterations. I also have the dvd "Full Busted?" by Palmer/pletsch. It applies the same techniques; sometimes it's helpful to see someone else do it. I'm much more comfortable with the FBA now, but I also find that I can sometimes just go up a size (depending on the pattern). Post a message when you complete the project. I would love to celebrate with you! Vita

  9. Hi Vita,

    Thank you. Ok. I'm pretty sure I understand what I need to do.

    Tomorrow will be the big scary day doing my very first FBA!

    Btw, I love your term "comfortable" because I think it nicely expresses the transition from novice "fear" to the next stage. If you can relax a bit, it's easier to slow down and plan.

    I'll definitely let you know when I reach the finish line :).


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