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Vogue 1192

September 6th, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

So I’m spending this year getting fit, and I’ve decided that I’m tired of wearing boxy, over-sized clothes that look good in theory, but pretty awful on actual bodies.  Now I want clothes that are shaped like me, not like inhuman geometry.

I began with Vogue 1192, an Anne Klein design.  I checked Vogue’s size table, and this is what I discovered:   My measurements are 37-28-36.  Size 14 in Vogue is 36-28-38.  Pretty close, right?  I realized I might need to take in the hip, but, on the other hand, maybe not, as the dress looked a little slim.  The critical measurement was the bust, so I cut my  muslin in a 14, realizing that the bust might need some tweaking.  (This dress is the muslin; matters went no further.)

And whoa, Mama, did it need tweaking!  I whipped up the muslin, and it looked like a sack.  Everywhere — bust, waist, hips.  You could have wrapped me in several layers of cotton wool, and it still wouldn’t have fit.

So I re-cut the sleeves and shoulder seams to a size 12.  Then I removed nearly 3 inches each from the waist and the bust!  Yep, the very same bust that was supposed to fit one an inch smaller than mine.   And that hip?  It lost two and a half inches, and there’s still plenty of ease.

This fit, nicely

and still with plenty of ease.

I realize that the dress is supposed to be lined, but this amount of ease is absurd for lining, isn’t it?  If I’d lined the dress, I still would have been swimming in the thing.

Not to mention that the size chart wasn’t the only issue with this pattern.  There’s something seriously strange about the left side bodice piece.  Part of the problem is the giant, one-size dart which is on the left bodice only.  One size, Vogue?  For women who wear Vogue sizes 8 to 14?  How on earth could all those busts get a proper fit with a one-size dart?

Not to mention that the complete lack of a taper leaves a cute, pointy little pocket.  If you’re wearing a Jane Russell bra, this might work, but, in my case, I was grateful for the busy print, which makes the ohh-la-la point a little difficult to see:

It’s only on the left side; there’s no dart on the right.  I couldn’t help but notice that the woman modeling the dress on the pattern envelope has no bust at all.  This would make fitting simple, as long as you 1) ignored the dart or 2) buried it completely under the pleats, and just hoped for the best.

The other part of the problem has to do with the cut of the left bodice.  It floats strangely; if I’d lined the dress, I would have had to anchor it to the lining.  It’s boxy where the dress, and  my body, aren’t.

The right crossover goes across the fullest part of my breast (if the Vogue’s model had one, it would go right across hers, too); and the left cross-under bunches weirdly under the bust.  In order to keep the bodice smooth, I had to tack the two layers together at the center front neckline.  It’s a fakeout, though, not a real solution.  I was waaaay too sick of this dress to even consider re-drafting the left bodice.

I added two small darts at the back neckline, but that probably wasn’t a Vogue problem — I may be a little round-shouldered.  A lifetime of wearing knits may have successfully obscured this.

The pleat actually falls nicely; I’m standing with my left leg forward for some reason.  Art?  Perhaps.  Also, I haven’t hemmed the skirt yet, and probably  never will (it’s just basted here).  Enough, already, with this dress.

There’s another little bit of deception on the pattern envelope:  The hem appears to fall mid-knee on the model.  I’m going to go out on a limb here, and guess that the model is not 5 feet, 3 inches tall; they never are.  This dress, cut in Vogue’s size 14, goes to my mid-knee.  Unhemmed.  I claim I’m 5-foot-3, but it’s not really true.  I’m 5 feet, 2.5 inches on a good day, which, you’ll understand, this wasn’t.  The size 14 length  hits just above mid-knee on me, and that’s with a 3/4ths inch hem!

Also, can anyone explain why there are different cutting lines for the front hem in all size versions, but only one cutting line for the back hem?   Is there a reason why you’d cut the front to a size 8 length, but then attach it to a size 14 length back?  Just asking, because, d’oh, that just makes no sense at all.

Auntie Allyn made this dress in a knit; the pattern calls for woven yardage.  Allyn’s version worked very well for her; maybe using a knit is part of the secret.  Hers looks fantastic; she didn’t line it either, and just finished the edges by turning and stitching.  I used bias tape to finish the neck and armholes on my woven fabric; it was quick and clean.

Pattern:  FAIL

Dress:  It’s just kind of meh.  I thought it would be a more chic version of the ubiquitous wrap dress, but it’s just kind of neither here nor there.  I will never, ever make it again.  Kludgey fixes do not make for good repeat projects.  And Vogue?  Favorite pattern-maker of my youth?  I’m not loving you so much these days.

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  1. joan cairns
    February 6th, 2011 at 21:56 | #1

    I am a professionsl dressmaker and have just made up this dress. The bodice turned out asymetrical with the lining on the right side bulging out. I spent ages comparing the pattern pieces as thought I must have had a funny turn whilst cutting out – no, nothing corresponds! The lining on the right has far more fabric in width. The right side is far smaller in width than the left. I thought it strange whilst I was making it up that the lining was bigger, but thought the extra fabric would be taken up in the fitting. I stabilized both front edges as there is often gaping if this is not done. A very disappointing pattern and even more annoying that I made it in silk. I have contacted Vogue in Australia to ask their opinion as feel it should definitely be withdrawn.

    • February 14th, 2011 at 09:31 | #2

      This pattern’s definitely got issues, Joan. This was not a shining moment for Vogue. If a professional dressmaker has trouble with it, the rest of us are truly doomed!

  2. September 17th, 2010 at 09:56 | #3

    Sorry, it didn’t work out for you. I personally wouldn’t bother with trying to fix that pattern, but find another one. Usually they do a simplified version of these designs for Butterick and perhaps that one would work better.

  3. September 7th, 2010 at 05:13 | #4

    Wow, that’s weird to have only one dart size! Yikes.

    My guess on the back vs front sizes is that the back piece has the size shift at the top of the pattern- is there a greater space between sizes on the bottom of the armhole curve on the back than on the front? They might have just shifted the graded pieces to line up the bottom hem, which makes the top of the pieces shift more, for printing reasons.

    • September 7th, 2010 at 10:23 | #5

      That’s a good guess, Wendy, on the hem problem, and that was my first thought, but the answer is no, there’s no discrepancy in the curve, back vs front. It’s really bizarre.

  4. Shams
    September 6th, 2010 at 22:27 | #6

    I hear what you are saying that the dress is a bit of a disappointment, but, really, I think it’s very cute on you. You’ve fit it well and the fabric is very cute.

    • September 7th, 2010 at 10:24 | #7

      Thanks! I’m not going to toss it just yet — maybe I’ll feel better about it in a little bit.

  5. September 6th, 2010 at 11:52 | #8

    I had the same experience with that dress… the drafting is awful, and it fit like a sack. I also noticed that it was rather shorter than I thought it was going to be. It makes a nice cover for my dressform, because I’m never wearing it.

    I think it’s unusual though… I’ve made plenty of vogue patterns and not had issues (though I do check the finished measurements on the tissue, and usually size down 1 size in the bust from the recommendations… it’s still less than the 2 or 3 I have to size down for Simplicity.)

    • September 6th, 2010 at 13:06 | #9

      I’m not giving up on Vogue, but I really wish sizing was 1) more predictable, and 2) more accurate. Though if it were the former, I guess it would automatically be the latter. Bet the dress is great on your dress form!

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