Saturday, 9 August 2014

Sunburst Bolero - Vogue 8027

Wikipedia- Vogue 8027
Vogue 8027 is a lovely pattern for a bolero and sundress from 1953.  While the dress is nice enough, with lovely angled dart details and unique circular straps, it was the bolero that really caught my attention.  It features three sunbrust-like darts shaping the shoulder/bust area, a shoulder dart, and a band which is also a folded almost shawl collar.

When I recently purchased some remnant fabric and was contemplating how many patterns I had which could fit in a meter of less, I remembered this bolero and decided to test it out.  I was skeptical as to how well it would fit and look given that the cover illustrations always glamorize the end product, but I was intrigued by the pattern pieces and wanted to see how this little beauty of a puzzle would fit together.

The pattern is unprinted and while the pieces themselves were in fine condition, the envelope and instructions of my copy were literally crumbling in my hands.  I traced out the pieces and immediately took a photo of the instructions to work from so I could put the original safely away.  Happily, there are only two pieces.

The fabric I used is a nice sage linen which wrinkles if you look at it.  After I pre-washed it I realized why it had been so cheap, even for a remnant- there were sun faded sections on one side which I would have to cut around or strategically place.  I'm not sure exactly how much I had to start, but after cutting all I had was a handful of little scraps left.

It came together very well and quickly.  I tried it on partway through and was rather horrified by the arm gape and flap of loose fabric floating around the back of the arm which I think this is due to the pattern being a size 18 and probably intended for those with larger upper arms.  I was pretty stuck as to how to fix the gape.  Take a look at that pattern piece and try to wrap your head around what to do to fix that!  I took a deep breath and it turned out to be a super simple solution- simply stitch the armhole on further than the pattern indicates and it fits much better.  Another think I added was to add some rows of top stitching to the band in addition to the instructed interfacing to help firm it up even more and to make it look a bit more RTW.

before fix                                                                 after fix


Here's the result.  Not too bad.  I think it may make my shoulders look almost comically large, but I think it is a dramatic enough garment to make it look purposeful.  It reminds me of a turtle shell to be honest.

Now, if I were to make it again, I think I would accentuate the drama even more.  Use a long haired fur for the collar band, make it a much, much wider collar around the neck (to look a bit like this) and maybe add some piping or triangular sun ray shaped top stitching around the darts.  It would be useless for everyday wear, but by gad it would be starlet worthy.

What it looks like after a full day at work.  The nice thing is that since it wrinkles immediately, it looks just as good at the end of the day as it did at the start.  :P


  1. I love this bolero! The arm and shoulder detail with those darts is great! I'm adding this to my list of patterns to find. Thanks.

    1. This is a pretty rare one I think. I'd love to be able to post a PDF- the pieces are definitely small enough to do that, but I'm not sure if I would end up with Vogue breathing down my neck....

  2. Very, very interesting! Love the bias back - it would look great in a lightweight tweed that highlights that aspect of it.

    1. I hadn't thought of that aspect of the pattern. That would be an awesome detail!