Vado Semi-Fitted Women’s Blouse muslin

I feel it’s important to document my sewing failures as well as successes, so here is my latest flop: the Vado Custom-Fit Sewing Pattern – Semi-Fitted Women’s Blouse. An offering from Bootstrap Patterns, the Vado blouse is drafted to fit from your own measurements. You’d think that would be a sure bet for a great fit, but that was unfortunately not the case.

Pattern image and line drawing of a button up shirt.
Does anyone else find the left picture terrifying?

My muslin looked nothing like the line drawing or pattern images. Instead of a casual, semi-fitted shirt with a slightly dropped shoulder and straight body, my shirt was extremely tight across the shoulders with a low armscye and disproportionate body. All I can say is I’m very glad I made a muslin!

A woman wearing an ill-fitting shirt muslin.

I’ve tried Bootstrap Patterns before with mixed results. Their pattern drafting software, and most patterns themselves, are provided by Lekala. Bootstrap also offers exclusive designs (such as this pattern), and a more refined fit adjustment process for some Leko patterns. In my experience, the more measurements required to create a pattern, the better the fit. With only a few measurements needed for the Vado shirt, there is more room for error (for my body type at least).

A woman wearing an ill-fitting shirt muslin. Her arms are raised and constricted by the shirt.
They are raised a little due to my arms being out but the armholes reach to my bust point.

The fit seems to hinge on the shoulder width measurement, then flares from the bust to the hip (or would narrow if you have a small hip measurement). It’s entirely possible that I got the shoulder measurement wrong, which would throw off the fit of the whole shirt.

A woman wearing an ill-fitting shirt muslin.
You can really see how tight the shoulders are here.

What I find curious is that when Nicole made the fitted variation of this pattern, she had the opposite problem to me. The shoulders on her shirt were too dropped for her liking, despite the closer fit suggested by the pattern listing. The fit on her shirt is more like what I was hoping to achieve with this pattern!

A woman wearing an ill-fitting shirt muslin.

Whether it was the pattern itself or my measurement errors, this project just didn’t work out for me. I’m a bit disappointed I paid nearly $14AUD to find this out (compared to most Bootstrap/Lekala patterns which are far more affordable). I’ve gone back to Burda shirt patterns which provide a more consistent fit, and might only purchase Bootstrap patterns when they have the option of entering more body measurements for a more precise fit.

A woman cleans a pool wearing an inappropriately fancy silk blouse.
Burda’s photoshoots are also much more entertaining. Pattern is Silk Blouse 04/2011 #105.

Author: Siobhan S

20 something, living in country Australia. Spoonie profile: ME/CFS, dysautonomia, anxiety. All about sewing, knitting and food. Unapologetic feminist and disability advocate.

10 thoughts on “Vado Semi-Fitted Women’s Blouse muslin”

  1. Your shape says ‘Style Arc with an FBA’ to me. I love their styles, and my only issue with them is that the shoulders can be narrow, and I have a linebacker build. I know to allow for that though, so all is good. As long as you add in for your voluptuous boobage, you’d be all good. Go on, give ’em a try

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I adore Style Arc designs! I’ve made a few of their patterns, pre and post blog, and one of my next projects lined up is their Dotty Blouse. Thanks for the tip about the shoulders – it’s pretty obvious here I have the same build, so I’ll take care to make a muslin of the blouse.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh boo. Sorry this did not work out. I agree it can be better to stick with a known pattern company for anything fitted. And yes, I always wear my Burda blouses when I clean my pool.


  3. I found you again, via GOMI but in a very good way.
    This was the fit I was after!
    I gave mine away as it was too tight across my shoulders. I decided to go with Burda, as you suggested, and muslin made my perfect shirt.
    I have heard good things about the Liesl+Co shirt but have only seen a few I really liked. I need a narrow shoulder/pop tummy fit…
    Good post, thank you!


  4. Thank you for sharing! I like knowing that other people hit the same obstacles as me. Hope you can make it work in another try as it looks like a nice cut. Also, is that burda model wearing a button down shirt and slacks to clean a pool or pole jump?


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