Friday, April 21, 2017

Vogue 9171 pas de deux

Version 2

Vogue 9171 is a relatively recent pattern developed by Marcy Tilton for Vogue. This signature tunic style seems to be very current now from my vantage point. This one has several interesting style features.

  • There is a center front seam. I almost never complain about a vertical line in a pattern. I like this.
  • The front pieces wrap to the back creating an angular shoulder seam, that sits forward about an inch or so. .
  • The pocket is inserted into a corner formed by piece 1 and 14 so that it falls in soft folds

Marcy's silhouette is often one with a lantern shape, perhaps not the best on a quasi-pear shaped person like me. I tend to fall between pear-shaped and straight-up-and-down. I have convinced myself that these tunics work as long as I pair them with narrow leg pants or leggings.

Version 1

Having said that, making these Marcy Tilton patterns with puzzler pockets are enough fun that I almost don't mind if it stays in the closet. But it won't.

This particular pattern came to my attention when I met someone (Hi, Mary of Tennessee!) at the Atlanta ACC show wearing it. She looked great in it, pairing it with leggings. She mentioned making changes to it. Now I wish I had made a note of her changes.

I made a few changes and some were intentional. My first one was not. I had several clues. The pattern only lists fabric requirements for 60" wide fabric. Mine was 45 and I had no problem cutting it out. Also it called for about a yard more than I used in cutting it out. There was a *missing* grainline on pattern piece 14. And there were all these circles lined up on one edge of piece 1 and also on piece 14.

These things did not register until I had cut out the brown and began to read the instructions. That's when I discovered that pieces 1 and 14 were to be taped together and cut as one. I decided to go ahead and make it because my cotton sateen was not terribly expensive. Also the overlap provided for taping was about a seam allowance in each case.

incorrect grain

correct grain

The result is that the side backs are off grain by quite a bit. But I'm not terribly upset. I still like this pattern as well as my result.

Folds created due to incorrect grain on side backs

Still I was curious about the effects of the grain and so I made another one in blue Brussels washer. This time I cut it out correctly. Note that it would be fine to cut pieces 1 and 14 out separately as long as 14 is cut on the correct grain.

These pockets are so much fun to make. Of course, all the markings and instructions make it easy to assemble. The folds are magically constructed.

I made a few other changes deliberately: I narrowed the sleeves to eliminate the gathering at the hem. I raised the neckline by about an inch in front. I know from experience that Marcy's necklines are often too low for me.

Two of these tunics may be enough for now, but it is a super cute pattern and such great fun to make, so I highly recommend it. In each case, I'll enjoy wearing a necklace or scarf with it, as it is a kind-of blank canvas. This one by Marcy almost has me cutting out a third one.

Marcy Tilton's version of her design for Vogue 9171, The collar is lovely, I think.


  1. such an interesting pattern! grainlines grainlines - these lantern-shape garments really work them...I appreciate all the info and tips you included here - I know that I will purchase this pattern for fall! BTW, I think it looks great on you with narrow pants - very becoming!

  2. If I've seen this pattern, it didn't register with me. Both of your versions look great on you. I may have to pick this one up even tho I told myself no more patterns for a while......

  3. I really appreciate you going over this does look you think your could lengthen this and make it a dress? Have no interest in leggings come summer-

  4. I just bought this pattern yesterday so this is perfect timing, and it came right to my inbox :) Thanks for sharing your observations about changes and grainlines. Very helpful. I'd be curious to hear what you (and your readers) think about lengthening this into a dress (Laura's question)

  5. Mary from Tennessee here. Your versions are lovely. I was a bit stumped when I began my first version of this pattern. But once I got it together I was hooked. Seeing the pattern, I was intrigued, but didn't purchase it at once because I thought it would make me look ginormously hipped. Curiosity got the better of me and I think ii will be making another version for the summer very soon.
    Oh and in my versions, I opted for a 2 1/2" sleeve band rather than sleeves so that I could wear it with tee shirts in cooler weather and without in hot weather. I also cut the neck a bit higher and finished it with an exterior 3/4" bias rather than a facing.