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.
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!
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).
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.
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!
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.