Thursday, May 08, 2014

Chloe by Victory Patterns: fit adjustments

If you're visiting from Britex, welcome to Nicole at Home!

There's a more in-depth post on the Britex blog today, highlighting some tips on working with napped fabric.  Here, I'll talk more about my fit adjustments for the Chloe dress by Victory Patterns.  While the final product fits well, I had some issues with the initial sizing of the dress.  I learned a few years ago that comparing your measurements to the size chart are only one step to determine the size to cut. Ideally, the company also provides garment measurements.  I like my clothes more fitted than the Big 4 design for, so using the garment measurements gives me the expected ease for a particular set of body measurements.  Victory gives final garment measurements and I consulted those to determine that I would cut a size 2 for the dress.  Unfortunately, at the first point I could to try on the dress, it was significantly too big and the bust dart was positioned an inch or two below where it ought to (bust darts should point directly at your bust apex).

I pinned the dress while wearing it to see what needed to be taken in to adjust the bust dart height and also take in the side seams to make it more fitted through the bust and waist.
The shoulder seams were taken in about 1 1/4" (front and back).  The yellow line is the new sew line. The back neckline was redrawn a bit to get the proper curve.
For the sides, I took in both front and back by about 7/8', tapering to 1/2" at the hips. (That's the armhole, at the bottom of the image.)
Here's the fit after those adjustments.  Much better!

Since I significantly changed the length of the armhole (mostly to bring up the bust dart), the sleeve also had to be redrafted.  All of the changes were made to the pattern itself, since the same pieces are used to create the lining.  Other changes made to the pattern are highlighted at the Britex blog post (using the lining to finish the neck and sleeve hems and making "faux-buttons").  After all the fit changes, I think the end product looks great!

Some details of the construction:
Button on the welt pocket
Snap and faux button
Invisible zip
Pretty buttons
Sleeve hem understitching
Overall, I love the shape and details of the Chloe dress. I would love to try it out in a more casual fabric, like linen or stretch trill. For me, the fit wasn't perfect, but there are few that don't require some kind of adjustments!  

In an effort to find an interesting backdrop for the Britex homepage photo, we did a "photo shoot" at one of the newer buildings on the Google campus.  Here's some of our various shots and backdrops that didn't make the cut (FYI, they are all the same size and shifted placement for the homepage image):

And then a goofy version set, where I try to look sultry on a swinging basket chair.  Not so convincing!

Yes, those are all shots from the same building (and grounds).  You should see the ones I didn't 'okay'! 

Thank you to Britex and Victory Patterns for the fabric, notions and pattern for this great project!  I can't wait to wear this to work! 


  1. Thank you for a great introduction to altering this pattern! I have wanted to try the chloe for a while now. But I was whit the impression that the pattern is made for ponte-knit-like fabrics??
    I wonder if I would have to do so many alterations. It is a little scary:p

    1. I think the pattern would work well with almost any fabric, but it would probably be more comfy made with fabric with at least a little stretch (this velveteen had a slight stretch to it). Ponte would probably work well.

      As for the alterations, you could do a quick muslin. I didn't (shame on me!), but the alterations were actually pretty simple. Don't be scared!

  2. It's very chic on you. I've always loved it's 60's vibe, and wanted to make it up one day.

  3. It turned out wonderful! Thanks for sharing your experience.

  4. I love the pictures on the basket chair!!

  5. I love the coloring blocking you did here! Your final dress looks fabulous, and I appreciate that you make the fitting process seem fairly easy.

  6. Amazing job on the fitting! And, hooray for fun photo shoots!