Saturday, August 13, 2011

Disappointing Vogue 1257

I was so happy making Vogue 1250 three times and was very hopeful this DKNY pattern would turn into another TNT for me but, alas, it is not to be. Two muslins later I still do not have a modified pattern to make a dress I will wear. I really feel that not only is the pattern envelope information on this dress very misleading there are some serious design/drafting issues as well.  The pattern description says: Fitted dress has bodice front extending into sleeves, armhole seam on back bodice, straight skirt with front pleats gathered into band to form drape effect, back darts.  First of all the photo on the envelope is made from a fabric that is so dark it is hard to get a good view of the waist...and granted, my envelope pic above is creased right across there, as well. The dress appears to sit somewhat above her waist but not significantly nor did the pattern description say that. So, I relied upon the line art to give me a better idea of where the waist sits. (see below) To me it looks like the dress sits at the waist. Not! Once I began tissue fitting, I discovered that the back bodice is only 14.875" long and the skirt shows it should sit 3" above the waistline. I would not have purchased this pattern knowing how high waisted it was designed to be.

The first flopped muslin I blame myself for inasmuch as I used an ITY knit with not nearly enough lengthwise stretch. What this did show, however, was that the cut of the bodice extending into and comprising the entire sleeve was drafted very poorly...not nearly enough room in the armscye and upper arm to accommodate the indicated sizing. There was enough length, however, for the arm of a Harlem Globetrotter. On the first muslin I  cut a 14 because the tissue fit was so small. So, once that one was deemed a disaster... I was off to buy a rayon/spandex fabric with plenty of stretch in both directions. By this time I am so freaked out by the sizing of the first muslin that I cut a 16 and lengthened the bodice 3". I usually cut a 12 in Vogue, sometimes a 14 depending on the style...I've never cut a 16 in my life! Gasp!  ...just sayin'.

Lengthening the front and back bodices 3" resolved the waist issue. The next issue arose when crossing the right bodice over the left. Going by the markings on the pattern the coverage afforded was scandalous. To rectify that I crossed the right bodice almost to the left waist of the dress which was tricky because it had to line up with the gathered portion on the skirt. By now I'm wondering if the BVM pattern drafter was smoking crack on his lunch's also 3 in the morning and although  I'm on a mission to make this work I turn this project into a wadder and toddle off to bed.

I did revisit the whole matter this morning and have decided to retire this pattern. After glancing through the rest of the instruction sheet I see they are telling you to add an elastic casing around the waist. Why? This is a form fitting, straight skirted dress that already has enough bulk in the front from a lapped bodice and the pleats. I decided BVM must have gotten their instructions mixed up with a pair of pull on sweatpants... 

The pattern did have one redeeming factor in that the construction of the gathered and banded pleats was interesting. The pictures in the directions were not very helpful so I took some photos (see below) of steps 14-24 which might be of some help to you if you decide to embark on this strange odyssey. I wish you better success than I had. I think of patterns the same way I do books...there are way too many good ones out there to plod through one that you're not enjoying!

Step 14

Step 15

Step 16

Step 17 (construction of the band is straightforward)

Step 24


  1. Thanks so much for the thoughtful review of this pattern. I don't make many dresses in this style (retired), but surely won't try this pattern at all now. I'm sorry your efforts didn't have a better result!

  2. Thanks for your excellent and very helpful review of this pattern, I had been considering buying this one but was a little wary because I tend to find that dresses with crossover fronts and pleats can be difficult to fit. Knits can be tricky to work with at the best of times so I think I will give this one a miss for now. Sorry yours didn't work out but I am sure that your next project will be a big success!

  3. Thank you so much for your thorough review of this pattern. I brought it about a month ago and hope to make it this fall. Now, I'm on the fence about making it. If I do I will consider all your observations and changes. Thanks again for the review.

  4. I was so hoping that this pattern would work out (especially since I did already buy it) but it sounds like more work that it is worth. Thanks for detailing your experience for the rest of us.

  5. Thanks so much because I had this pattern on my table for fall sewing and I dont want to cut an sew a wadder. I had been eyeing a design by Micheal Kors and was hoping for a pattern but Vogue deisigners on crack dont help if I have to waste time sewing a dress that wont work.


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