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Monday, 29 July 2013

Vogue 1343 Tracy Reese Dress

I've just finished this dress by Tracey Reese.  I really like the details in this design, but in case you are the type to scroll over posts let me do you all a favour and say DO NOT BUY THIS PATTERN!

Vogue 1343




The details are great
The skirt is great
The back is great
The instructions are even really good and give you a nice finish on the inside (not so good when you need to rip it all out)

BUT

The drafting for the bodice front is appallingly BAD.  Seriously the drape on the cowl was heading towards my waist and although the bodice is meant to be loose fitting I don't think this is what the designer intended!

I know lots of people have trouble with the amount of ease in the Big 4 patterns and I have been one of them, but I have generally found Vogue designer patterns to be at least consistent, and especially within the pattern.  It feels like the front got mixed up with a different grading system entirely.

In Vogue's defence I used a knit (one of the recommended fabrics is a matte jersey which I think must mean a stable not very stretchy jersey, like a double knit) and I did not cut it on the bias, although I suspect it would have come to my knees if I had.  And in my defence, the only review I can find had exactly the same problems, I bet there are a lot of unfinished versions out there too.  Interestingly Merche has just had similar unexpected sizing issues with a Rachel Comey pattern so maybe something weird is going on at Vogue.  Anyway I used a combination of the fixes used by the pattern reviewer and Merche to come up with this.






The fabric is a camel & black printed jersey, and for those of you who wanted me to pair my last outfit with red accessories, your advice didn't completely fall on deaf ears, wearing a pop of red with these colours helps bring the dress to life.





Hopefully I've convinced you not to try this, but if you do I really recommend using a cowl front from a different pattern.  After making my changes I really didn't have the heart to do all the neat finishing on the inside again so I changed the construction.  Briefly the changes I made were;

  • First I tried to not have to undo all the perfectly finished yokes so I took it up at the shoulder seams by at least 2 inches and reshaped the armhole a bit to compensate.  This helped but more was needed if I wanted to ever move in this dress without flashing everything to the world.
  • Begrudgingly unpicked the front yokes and front facings
  • Added an elastic casing to the front bodice
  • Shortened the front yokes by another inch or so
  • Joined them at the neck edge so I had a finished edge there and serged them onto the bodice front
  • Applied a facing strip to the back neck edge
  • Serged the shoulder seams and applied facings to the armholes




So all in all a very frustrating project and I'm glad it's over and that I managed to rescue the dress.  I feel all wound up just from typing this!

33 comments:

Gabrielle said...

It still looks lovely on you, but it's really disappointing that the bodice front is so large. I wonder what went wrong with the pattern drafting process???

I had wanted to make this dress with a brown silk - and like you, I usually find the Vogue designer pattern sizing pretty consistent - but after reading the PR review and now yours I'll have to rethink this dress...

the craftytraveller said...

Oh no, how frustrating for you! The dress looks nice now - you'd never know the hassle it had caused - so I hope you can forget that and enjoy wearing it (it suits you well). Thanks for the tips, as I have literally just cut this out over the weekend... feeling nervous now! Rachel :-)

Alexandra said...

It looks lovely on you but wow, how frustrating it must have been! Thank you for the warning.

Paloma said...

Thank you so much for the review. I've almost bought this pattern several times because I like the idea of it so much but something looked a little off on the model on the envelope and I was worried I wouldn't be able to make it work. Glad to have suspicions confirmed!

Nancy K said...

It was worth the agravation, or at least in my eyes, since it looks great on you.
BTW. There is no bias in knits and the greatest stretch is usually on the cross grain, so cutting it as you did works fine except that knits generally have a lot less ease than a dress like this for wovens.
I made a Vogue top some years ago that called for either woven or matte jersey; I made it in matte jersey and it was huge. I don't ever get how they can specify woven and even a matte jersey for the same pattern.

Beth (SunnyGal Studio) said...

thanks for the warning. and in their photo the top half looks huge. for these Vogue patterns it does pay to heed the photo, if the tiny but presumably tall models look overwhelmed in fabric then I as a mere mortal will be swimming in it. Great save and it is a nice dress despite all the frustrations. I would be so interested to see you try the Donna Karan Vogue that I just made with the cowl neck, Very little ease in that one and it comes out very well.

Angela said...

Oh no! Thanks for the warning! I love the design lines on this pattern and snapped it up. Sorry it didn't work out according to plan, but great save!

Louise said...

when I saw this pattern I thought it was lovely, how disappointing. thanks for the sound advice. It still look great on you.

Sigrid said...

Thanks you for the warning. I meant to sew it this summer, but didn't get to it. I can now safely keep it in the drawer with patterns.
Your result is very nice though, worth the trouble you took to get it right.

Clio said...

UUugh! How awful! I hope that the terrible drafting doesn't put you off wearing this dress since it looks great on you! Very nice save.

wendy said...

what a pain that you get all the way through constuction & find drafting issues like that! great save, though, it looks lovely.

Merche Martinez said...

The dress came out so pretty despite the problems. The print is fantastic and it looks great on you.
I don´t think I´ll be buying many Vogue patterns (even designer´s) in the coming years. I actually have a lot of them in my stash and I´m veery scared :)
It´s time to move on to new (to me) pattern resources.

sandysewin said...

Thanks for the warning!

I love the print you used, and it sounds like you made the best of it, but how frustrating.

Thank goodness for Pattern Review and pattern reviewers. :-)

Vicki said...

It may not have been what you were expecting, but it turned out pretty cute in the end. The red necklace does look good with it too.

theperfectnose said...

OMG woman-this is a heroic effort truly on the scale of rescuing the golden fleece or some such toga festooned stage fest. I feel for you. That last line..just. =..S Damn Vogue and all the other bad drafting excess ease idiotas.

T. Sedai said...

Sounds like a total pain! But at least you have a cute dress to show for it. And thanks for the warning about the pattern!

Jenny said...

Oh no! This is one I've been wanting to make. Yours is very nice with your alterations

JT said...

This is really disappointing to me, because I was so excited for this pattern that I already bought some expensive silk for it. Maybe I should rethink the pattern...

I experienced this problem with the depth of a drape once before and my theory was this... If you imagine half of the neckline as a right triangle, the horizontal edge would be half the bust measurement, the vertical line would be the depth of the drape, and the hypotenuse would be half the length of the drape. When sizing up you'd want to make just the bust/horizontal line longer. I'm guessing some inexperienced pattern maker scaled the flat front piece up according to some ratio to the bust measurement, making the hypotenuse longer and therefore BOTH the bust and depth sides of the triangle longer. Grade it up enough this way, and eventually the drape is down to your bellybutton. I wonder what size designer patterns are typically grading from (2? 4?), because maybe you could grade just the front piece from that size. Although it sounds like there were other grading problems as well.

a little sewing said...

GREAT SAVE! I am so impressed with how well the dress looks, and that you finished it.

Catherine Daze said...

Oh how frustrating. Well done for saving it! It does go brilliantly with red. Hopefully in time the sewing memories will fade and you'll just enjoy the dress.

Sewing With a Plan said...

I love the way you managed to save this dress. It would have been a waste of a lovely piece of fabric if you hadn't. I thought these pattern companies were suppose to thoroughly test these patterns before releasing them. Obviously they don't.

toy said...

First of all, great review. I can see that you really thought about how you would get the message across and I totally understand, its so hard to give a less than stellar review because everyone have different results but its very necessary. I too, loved the design lines of this dress when it was first released but I didn't get it. I am happy that you reviewed because I have no desire to add it to my wardrobe. I find that a lot of Vogue's designer patterns are very off in terms of drafting, it makes me very weary of them, I tend to stick to the ones with simple design lines.

MAD14kt said...

AWESOMENESS from rags to riches! Two thumbs up for how you saved it :)

Jean said...

Great save -- your finished dress looks wonderful, even though it isn't the original design. And of course, thank you for the warning!

Adrienne said...

Superb save! The dress is beautiful!

thecuriouskiwi said...

It's always a worry when there is only one review for a pattern huh? Bodice issue are definitely going around! I do love the fabric you used so I'm glad you ended up saving it into a pretty dress, I think you deserve a cuppa now, relax :)

zapaLov said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Slapdash Sewist said...

I'm bummed that this pattern is a bust because I wanted to make it in a gorgeous silk/cotton voile. Thank you for the warning!

Your save is impressive. You'd never know that the pattern is a disaster. Very chic result.

Emily said...

Thank you for posting about this even if it did up your blood pressure! I'm dead impressed with the save too as it looks really good.

Suffice it to say I won't be buying this pattern lol.

Linda said...

What a great save! And thanks for the warning.

Gail said...

Too late! But I might leave it off my sewing list. I didn't like the drafting of another Tracy Reese pattern I sewed.

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

I'm glad you were able to get a well fitted and very pretty dress out of a poorly drafted pattern.

onlinephduk said...

Congratulations on finishing the Tracey Reese dress. It seems that you have a really valid point about the drafting for the bodice front. The finished product came out very well. The dress color is really easy to enjoy as well. Red and black are colors which go very well together.


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