Sunday, May 25, 2008

Why I don't like Vogue.

I'm not sure what attracted me to this pattern in the first place. Maybe it was the picture in the catalogue, maybe it was the article in the latest Vogue Patterns Magazine, or maybe it was just foolishness. I think I thought the pants look kind of "beachy." I do like the top stitching and the design lines. I do like the elastic in the back waist. I do think they will be comfortable. I am sure they will make me look short and fat. Well, whatever, this is what I did today. I made these pants (the cropped ones.) I used a navy rayon/poly "linen" from Jo Anns. I tissue fit the pattern last night, and let me tell you, I could gain about 30 pounds and these would still fit! There is ample leg room. Like, two of us could fit in there. So, if you decide to make this pattern, buy it by your waist size, not hip! My waist is 29" That's between a 14 and 16 on the vogue chart. They say if you're between sizes to go up. I went down. I probably could have got by with a 12. I have found that many Vogue patterns have more ease than I like. Granted, this is a loose fitting garment.
So, why did I pick a Vogue pattern? I know that of the big 4, Vogue is supposedly "it". Personally, I don't really like Vogue patterns too much. If I can find the style by another company, I'll usually get that first. Here are some reasons why Vogue is not one of my favorites.

  1. they use the cheapest, thinnest, tissue paper and lousy ink. On several patterns that I've purchased, the ink was so light that I could barely read it. Also, because they use such thin paper, their folding machines practically pleat the pattern pieces.
  2. Ease. There is always too much ease.
  3. Pattern sizing. I need an 8-10 on the top and 14-16 on the bottom. Their patterns never come with that combination. Fortunately, since they run big, I can sometimes get by with the 12 bottom and just adjust it to fit.
  4. The pattern I used today had no finished measurements on it. I will say this is not typical for Vogue, but not atypical either. It's kind of hit or miss.
  5. Bust point and hip points are often not printed on the pattern pieces.
  6. Construction method. Todays pattern was a perfect example.
    1. These pants have 8 vertical seams that need to be stitched, pressed, and topstiched. I also added the step of serging the raw edges together because of raveling. They have you stitch, press, and topstitch each seam before going on to the next. Why it took me 4 seams to figure this out, is beyond me. Since you are using in a contrasting thread, each time you topstitch you must change thread. I also changed feet because I like to use my edgestitching foot for top stitching. This was taking FOREVER, Finally, I realized I needed to stitch (almost) all of my seams, serge them and then do all of the topstitching at once. This saved a lot of time.
    2. Another thing is prepressing hems, casings, and facings. Why don't they have you do this before you construct the garment? It is so much easier to do this pressing ahead of time rather than trying to press up the hem on a narrow leg opening. Now, I won't fault just Vogue for this one - all of the big 4 pattern companies seem to do the same thing.
  7. Price - why in the world do they charge more than $25.00 for some of their patterns? (especially since they use such chintzy tissue paper!!) OK, I'm dating myself here, but I used to always sew with Simplicity patterns. They were 45 cents. So were McCalls, and Buttericks were 60 cents. Vogue was "way out of line" - they were $2.00.
Well, all that being said, I do have a number of Vogue patterns, but I really do wish they would change that paper!

I am almost finished with Annie's dress. I had a migraine for 2 days, so didn't get much hand sewing done. I'm still trying to decide whether to replace the zipper or not. I did a hand picked slot style zipper, but I'm not sure it will be strong enough. I only used a single thread instead of double. This dress will be very snug across the rib cage, and I don't want the zipper to gap open. So, should I take it out and redo it with a little more overlap, change it to a lapped application, or do it by machine?

Tomorrow I will take pictures of my "clown pants" I think they are funny looking, but they really are comfortable. for the beach maybe.


Marji said...

well, I like Vogue, but I agree those Marci Tilton pants are a bit roomy, even on the envelope.

As far as the fastening on the prom dress - which is just beautiful - have you considered an inner belt at the empire waistline that is attached at the side seams, and fastens inside underneath, prior to zipping the dress, to take some of the stress off the zipper?
you can even buy bra-back extenders to stitch to the ends of gros-grain ribbon to construct your inner belt.
Either that, or I'd consider a layer underneath of that hook and eye tape, however I don't think you've got anything left underneath to attach it to.

Elaray said...

As I was reading your post, I decided the brown pans would have been my choice -- if that pattern were my style. They do look roomy - even on the mannekin - but they look like great beach pants. Good luck with tham.

Summerset said...

Regarding the zipper, can you go back and hand stitch it a second time, thus strengthening it with another strand of thread? If you do that and there is room between the original stitches, can you place the second stitches between the first ones? Has she tried it on at this point to check for the gap? There might not be one after all. If you don't have to rip it out and you've already put the time into the handpicked zip, it's worth checking.

Nancy Winningham said...

Well, I didn't think of putting a grossgrain stay ahead of time, becausei I wasn't thinking "waist." I'm going to try to get her over here today to have her try it on to see if there is a gap. If so, I may go back and either redo the zipper, or restitch it as Summerset suggested, depending on what it looks like it needs.

Anonymous said...

Found your blog through Patternreview (I'm RobinMCPA on there)- I hate Vogue as well and I don't know why they are supposedly "it". My fave is New Look patterns. Their tops always fit great; the bottoms either fit perfectly or they are a bit big but not crazy big.