Vogue patterns have had an “Easy” section for years and it is supposed to encourage/
fool the public into thinking that they are getting a high end couture pattern with perfect matching lines and complete instructions…Guess Again!
A very wise woman told me years ago that “Easy” means less pieces (although not always) and designer shortcuts like not checking pattern pieces actually can be sewn to each other. Maybe if I was in a hurry to crank out a dress to wear to a holiday dinner it would not bother me that nothing lined up front or back. Or if I was a beginner sewer and didn’t know that one form of good design requires that vertical lines match up to draw the eye up and down to make the sewer look thinner.
Enter Vogue Easy Options 8413 view D.
Now before you all go rush off to Pattern Review and check out all the blissfully happy sewers who have made this dress in one version or the other for the past 3 years my complaint is not ease of construction but results of construction.
I cut the size 16 and added at the side seams and also did a sway back adjustment of 1.5 inches center back winding itself around to nothing at center front. Other than those corrections I went with what was in the envelope except I did not cut the huge neckline facings. The following pictures show what was really bugging me:
Maybe this would not bother folks but when the back princess line on the bodice cannot match the skirt dart I think it is just plain LAZY! If I had cut a size 8 or 10, nothing would have even come close! I narrowed the back skirt dart a little so it was easier to scoot the lines closer together. Click on the thumbnails for a closer look.
If you are not in the habit of previewing your pattern tissue to discover really crappy design…now is the time! Who wants to find this out later after you have cut into really pricey wool like this project for a client. Below are photos of the finished back with lines matching…(how slimming and attractive) but imagine them off by an inch or so. BTW on the back of the pattern envelope the drawing has everything lining up…wouldn’t you know that! An artist’s dream! The white stitching is just the lining basted for the moment.
Here are the pattern pieces with corrections which allowed me to make the back fit so well: See how the actual excess is cut and overlapped from 1.5 to 1 inch at the side seam. Yes it is weird looking but if you don’t do this the bodice hangs below the waist and then causes the skirt to droop and buckle on the hips. Since I had made a dress for this client before, I suspected this would be needed again. OK, so what happens to the front pieces?
The excess is reduced down to less than 1/8 inch at center front since she has a full bust and needs the original measurement. Next I measure the front bodice against the front skirt. This puppy came with unflattering center meeting pleats on the tummy and where the princess lines SHOULD have met for that continuous vertical line. The client had tried on the dress and asked if the center-most pleats could be flipped inward to be more flattering. Why would a pattern company put those bulky fluffy poking out pleats over a tummy? Did someone run out of ideas?
So after re-drawing the pleat arrows I pinned the seams to see what the result would be…you know what is coming….
Let’s try to think of a more unflattering and fattening design…other than gathers…your eye is drawn to those lumps on the waist…and your eye stops at the front princess lines going nowhere. Maybe the designer thought “What the heck, they don’t meet in the back, why should they meet in the front?”
There is no lining in the envelope so is this their idea of a nice finish? If one chooses to line the dress why would you want one more layer of fabric there?
The final touch for me is the collar….it is big, it is floppy, it is bias and on the back of the envelope it just lies flat thus distorting the front of itself and just looking sad. As a child of the 60’s, I remember Jackie-O style dress with high collars had hooks and thread eyes to hold center back together and give the back some lift…how simple, so that is what I offered to the client…let’s escape that homemade look shall we?
The final photo shows the cotton lining (not my first choice, wish it had been rayon Ambiance) that extends from neckline to hem and sleeves. Now all that’s left is for the client to come for her final fitting for hemming and possible tweaking and pressing.
If you are thinking about making this little honey soon, read the reviews, measure youself, measure the pattern pieces, check the finished measurements on the pattern front piece and decide if you need more ease somewhere.
If it ends up being a “wadder” and thrown in the trash…you have been warned…ha ha.