Category Archives: 1012 Madagascar

A Comparison Loes Hinse Rochelle with Madagascar

It’s not De Je Vu, I’ve posted this information on SG before.

I’m a real fan of Loes Hinse patterns and style. I think she creates basic garments that are wonderful wardrobe builders. The patterns are pricey, but I use them multiple times. My only failures have been pants. Her pants draft just doesn’t work for me.OTOH her tops are the cornerstone of my closet.  Recently there was some question as to whether it was worth while to purchase the Rochelle (1011) because it looked so similar to the Madagascar (1012). At first glance, it looks like Loes had added sleeves to the Madagascar and sold it as a separate pattern. Not true. Let me show you:


I’ve traced the Madagascar on canary tracing paper. The Rochelle is on purple tissue. I’ve already fit the Madagascar so the back waist length has been shortened 1″, I’ve trimmed 1/8″ from the side and shoulder seams because I like to serge these. My default serger seam is 1/4″.  I also, regrettably, straightened the center front because I’m not chesty and I wanted to lay the CF on the fold. By default both patterns have shaping at all 4 seams: center front, center back and both side seams.

From this view-point, the patterns do look a lot alike. The Rochelle looks longer and may be 1/4″ taller at the shoulder. However the extra tissue at the bottom is because the Canary already has the 1″BWL.  I notice additional ease under the arms at bust and waist. There may be extra ease across the upper torso but I think it’s from the new armscye and wider shoulder. The Madagascar looks more like a raglan sleeve line.  It is not.

Madagascar Armscye

I’ve overlapped the front at back at the shoulder (by the amount of the seam allowance).  The armscye curves up into a peak but is not the same shape as a raglin sleeve would be.

Inserting the Rochelle sleeve would be difficult

I think that takes care of the thought that the Rochelle is a sleeved Madagascar.  The Madagascar sleeve cap is at least 1.5″ taller. Additionally, the curved underarm areas do not match from seam to notch. Both are longer than the Madagascar underarm.  I could make it fit, but do I want to?

Owning both patterns is an individual choice. Having made the comparison, I’m glad I do.




Madagascar V2

Rather stunned, I re-read the fabric recommendations:

Suggested Fabrics – View A & B: All drapey wovens, knits, velvets, and laces.”

I’m sorry but there is some obvious gap between the recommended size, fabric and my body. You’d think I would have been more cautious after the Ascona fiasco. Recalling the LH tops I’ve tried to fit this year, you’d think I would have at least allowed some fit insurance, but I didn’t.  Now, I looked at the blouse on me and thought “it’s drafted for knits not wovens”.  So I pulled out a jersey fabric and cut without any changes to the tissue.


Now were cookin’ with gas!  This slips easily over-head and drops into place. It even has too much ease in places. I evaluated fit and decided to increase the side seams under the arms 1″ tapering to zero at the waist. I also curved the center back in just a little more (1/4″) because it gives me a more shapely backside.  I finished the neck and armscyes with FOE. I did not trim the neckline or armscyes and that may have been a mistake. Certainly the underarm is higher and tighter than I expected

Oddly I couldn’t tell this until the garment was done.  I’m thinking had I turned 3/8″ to the inside and top stitched, it would have been fine. But this is OK.  No underwear exposure that’s for sure.

Working on that mass of fabric in the midback, I left a little side vent (2″) and added weights to the back hem

I know someone is going to look at the back views and ask “does she know about sway back”?  The reason I don’t immediately apply the sway back solution is shown in the side view.  The back hem is higher than the front. It does that when a) there isn’t enough length in back b) the hip has insufficient ease.  Every time I think I’m going to need a swayback alteration, I add 1/2″ ease to the back. The back drops into place taking with it all the mess in the center of the back and the  hem self-levels. I’m working with the weights because the shape of my butt creates a condition often called “Velcro Butt” in which the fabric tends to hang up on the back high hip. The more nap a fabric has, the more likely it is to cling up there instead of dropping into place.

However, sway back is a good observation.  I’ve known for years that my back has slightly more curve than normal. As a teen, my mother had a doctor check me.  (His recommendation was “watch your posture”.)   With my upper back also rounding (due to age), I keep expecting to need a center back seam in all my tops so I can correct my tops for both issues. So far, my solution keeps being a little more ease across the hips.

The final fit:



While not perfect, this is wearable. Anticipating a future version,  I trimmed 1/2″ from the front side seam at the underarm. I need all the ease in back and maybe a little in front. I prefer a straight center front seam.  I like having the option to eliminate it and I don’t need the extra ease to cover my B cup.  So I lined up a ruler with CF neckline and CF hem and trimmed the 3/16″ curve that extended beyond the ruler.  I curved the CB inward 3/8″. The 1/4″ I made in fitting was not quite enough. Then I added 1/4″ to the side seams from hip to them — just a smidge — for fit insurance.

I marked the pattern “Knits Only”.  I don’t think even going up to the next size would have been enough ease for non-stretch fabrics. Not on my body.  I will make this pattern many times. I love the elegance of Loes Hinse patterns. They’re always well drafted and fit together with little fuss.  Until recently, I didn’t have fitting issues beyond my standard NSA and BWL. Once tweaked for some of my individual preferences (neckline depth, length to hem etc), they are wonderful TNT’s and I made dozens. I expect to use this pattern every time I want a knit tank top.  It is that fabulous.

Loes Hinse Madagascar Tank


This tank is comprised of only 2 pieces a front and a back. The directions have you finish using Loes standard  turn and stitch neckline and armscyes. I will use bias tape or FOE because I prefer a more finished edge.  Shaping is in the side seams, center  front and center back seams.  The center back seam is rounded for waist, hip and upper back. I’ve never purchased another pattern with obvious rounded back shaping. The side seam is curved for bust, waist and hip as is the center front seam. This has obviously been shaped for mature women; women with curves;  not preteens.  Another fit option is the side seam between hip and hem. There are two on the pattern. You can choose a slimmer fit or easily trace just a bit more. I think you could choose more ease for the front or for the back i.e. that you don’t have to choose an even amount of ease but can adapt for where you need the ease.

I checked the envelope for my recommended size. I chose by bust and then measured the pattern.  It is  easier for me to determine the bust location than determining hip.  Bust darts always fall in the right place for me. While there were no darts, the side and front bumps were good indicators.   I think there is 3″ of ease across the bust.  I make most my tank tops from knits and 3″ may be too much. But I’m going to start with this size. I did not check shoulder slope. There really isn’t much slope on a 2″ shoulder.  I did pull out my sloper (CC1201) and check over all ease and length.  The only alteration I made after tracing was my BLW.

From the site: “Suggested Fabrics – View A & B: All drapey wovens, knits, velvets, and laces.” I chose a lawn remnant from my stash. It isn’t really stiff or firm, but I can’t call it drapey either. It’s a nice light weight fabric without being transparent.  Definitely a good fabric for summer. I serged shoulder, center front and back seams at 1/4″; basted the  side seams at 3/8″  because the directions say that all the seams are 3/8″. Then I pulled it over my head; and immediately pulled it off. I ripped then stitched the side seams at the minimum like almost 1/4″ and pulled it on over my head a second time.  I ripped out the basted  side seam between hip and hem.  Finally it dropped over my hips. I was mindlessly struggling, trying to pinch in the armscye bust-darts that insisted upon forming:

when I stopped in my tracks. Something was really wrong. I thought I compared this with my blouse sloper which has plenty of ease because it’s expected to, you know, blouse. But this top did not have adequate ease. I mean I was sweating trying to pull the dang thing on and off. Reaching up to pinch the dart was painful.


Two pictures and this post looks too dang long already.  Oh well, come back tomorrow.