Vogue 1247 Winner

So, all the names were entered into the Cossack hat (it took ages! lol) and the winner of the Vogue 1247 Pattern Giveaway is……………. Tulle and Tweed!

Congratulations Annie.  Please email me a postal address.  I look forward to seeing what you make of this pattern!

Everybody else: it’s this baby blog’s 1st birthday soon and I’m planning a special giveaway so do tune in the next few weeks!

Those thinking of making the V1247 skirt: you have my blessing.  My daughter says it looks like a “work skirt”, possibly because I used pinstripe.  But the fabric is actually a stripe-print moleskin so though I look like a bossy-boots, I feel quite soft and cuddly!  And unlike wool pinstripe, I don’t see this one wearing out or going shiny with wear.

But was it worth buying a fairly expensive pattern for a skirt that I’ve made before using my Basic Skirt Block,  a bit of guesswork and an old IKEA curtain doubled up at the front?!

Well, yes and no.  There wasn’t much construction difference between them.  Here’s old, inside out:

And here’s new:

The case against:

  • I had to do the usual pattern adjustment of changing the outward curve on the sides, i.e. I changed the line from waist to hip to a straight, not curved, diagonal.  Is this a common alternation, I wonder?  Do my readers do this or am I the only one who tries on skirts and finds pouches of excess fabric some 3-5cm below the waist?!  However, I was impressed by how much size 12 of the pattern fitted my shape at the waist and the widest part of the hips, with an ideal amount of ease.  Not that I’m giving Vogue the credit for that: it’s all my own good work in eating the right amount of pies!
  • The pattern had to be lengthened to make it more of a skirt and less of a … belt?
  • The waistband: the pattern was cut too small to fit the skirt IMO.  I made two waistbands thinking I’d mistraced the pattern the first time.  At the second go, the waistband was still 4cm too narrow to fit a tab with hook and eye.  Luckily it was salvageable (by skin of teeth).  Recommendation: before cutting the waistband, measure twice, nay, thrice!
  • The other disadvantage of a waistband is that it’s relentlessly fitted at the waist.  When I pull in my stomach muscles – which, being a former student of Greenwich Pilates, I remember to do every now and then –  the once-perfectly sized skirt becomes too big as the waistband moves away from the body.  This wouldn’t happen if the waist had been finished off with facing: the skirt would just slide down slightly.  See what I mean?
The case for buying the pattern:

This skirt is so good-looking on the inside that I’d rank it as one of two most pro-looking garments I’ve ever made (the other is Julie’s dress).  Now I’ve had a go at seam binding, I’ll be looking for any other opportunity to incorporate it: a real means of progressing to couture.  But a Recommendation: if, like me, you’re using thick fabric, you’ll probably want to press the side seams open and not bind them together as instructed – that’d be way too bulky at the hips.  In which case, I suggest you make 1.2m more bias binding than specified.

Shame that photos of a black skirt taken in our winter gloomph don’t show it off well, but here are the pics of me getting high on its awesomeness.  Ok, so maybe the sexy fumes of our newly varnished floor helped…

Vogue 1247 Giveaway

This is the Vogue 1247 top, designed by Rachel Comey and sewn hurriedly by Marianna as she felt an immediate need for a garment that would disguise her mince-pie-thickened, post-Christmas waistline!

Today was an unusual day in that it rained less and actually dawned.  After going stir-crazy from eating and drinking solidly for a week, we took our sluggish selves for a walk along the Thames Path in Greenwich (and a long walk, I may add, hence the trench boots).  From the scandalized-looking faces of the passers-by, I got the impression that standing in the cold wind with one’s coat off posing for photos is not the done thing these days….  😯

Was it, I wonder, that strikingly revealing gash of a neckline?  Not my favourite feature of this top.  I wonder if it looking like a shark bite wasn’t something of an oversight after the interesting design that went into the front, the shoulder pleats and the sleeves?

Or maybe the aghast glances were aimed at my fishnets, i.e. Mary Portas for Charnos fishnet Armery, a Christmas present from a friend.  Though a very warming addition to the outfit, I can see from the black-pink sausage arms in the pic that fishnet doesn’t photograph well!

Quick Capsule Pattern Review for the V1247 Top

Accuracy of difficulty rating:

They got that right!  The pattern is “intermediate” for a reason.  It takes the attention to detail of a rocket scientist to line up the back and front shoulder pleats and the French Seams connection at the front.  The best my patience could afford was this:

If I make this top again, I’ll first invest in a walking foot!

How much did the result look like the pattern cover:

Nah.  My Liberty-style lawn wasn’t slinky enough and neither was my figure!

Were the instructions easy to follow:

Yup, even for a panic-lover me.

Getting away without modifications

Er, dream on…

  • Firstly, drop some sizes (I made 8 and I’m a 12 top).
  • I would make the neckline narrower and less plunging.
  • You might feel the need to add contour darts to an otherwise shapeless back.


Yes, but not for hourglass figures: this top does now’t for poor Anne, she of the wasp waist!!

The Story of the Skirt

The skirt pattern has received some rave reviews and I’ll be making it soon as I find some good pinstripe as Sew Ruth did here.  The denim skirt I’m wearing above is actually a copy of the V1247 design where I used my Basic Skirt Block instead of the patternI’m especially pleased with the zip at the back, made by following Gertie’s exposed zipper tutorial.  It’s given the skirt a RTW look, though those metal teeth and in-yer-face-stitching creep the hell outta the kids!  🙂

It’ll be interesting to see how the two versions compare.

The Giveaway

For a chance to win one of the most blogged about patterns of 2012 (sized 6-12),  leave a comment below by January the 10th midnight (Greenwich Mean Time, natch!).

One Week, One Pattern

Inspired by the blog Tilly and the Buttons, from Saturday 24th to Friday 30th March, we pledge to wear garments made from one pattern.  My chosen favourite is the BSB which is the Skirt Master Pattern in the Reader’s Digest Complete Guide to Sewing.

Saturday 24th: Macculloch’s

It’s 10:30a.m and I’m at Macculloch buying the zip and thread for my Mad Men Challenge Dress.  Being very new to this posing-whilst-looking-presentable business, I got side-tracked by an argument with my photographer  (“Don’t make me look short!”  “But you are!” etc.), and so failed to check if my skirt was on straight.  This Basic Skirt Block is made of claret corduroy and cut on the bias with the ridges meeting in a V in the middle.  To line it, I had valuable help from Slapdash’s tutorial.  The top is Nicotine Surprise.

Sunday 25th, Slummy Mummy

A hybrid of the BSB and Vogue 1247.  I haven’t bought the V1247 pattern, but added pockets to the basic skirt after getting the idea from Vacuuming the LawnHere’s her photo of what the innermost layer looks like.  My internet research suggests that the V1247 is shockingly short and as a rule, it’s best to add a centimetre length for each year over the age of sixteen.  These pockets are deep enough to stash roadkill.

This is the first garment I made where the seams across the zip lined up at first go, so to celebrate the momentous occasion, I enhanced the feature with some yellow top-stitching.  This adds to the jean skirt effect, but the fabric is actually an old,  mock-denim IKEA curtain….

The whole thing is hardly in the Vogue spirit!

Monday 26th, Pattern-Cutting Class

Today, my Pattern-Cutting Course here comes to an end, sadly. 

This skirt is made from a snipet of super-silky faux fur which I bought without checking the length: 43cm!  Finished skirt length: 41cm!!  The jackboots detract from the Cougar Lady effect.

Tuesday 27th, Space Grapes

Today, the claret Basic is teamed with a charity shop top and my old Dune sandals – their first outing of ’12.  The kids have named these sandals Space Grapes.  Apparently, if you eat the grapes, you become very heavy.  That’s probably because they contain heavy metals.

Incidentally, we call this plant Snake Grapes.

Wednesday 28th, Home Education and Brownies

BSB/V1247 Hybrid worn whilst at home with my near-teen and his friend – both turfed out of school due to the teachers’ strike.  In the evening, I help out at a Brownies Egg Decorating session.  Here’s a young artist and her impression of me in Egg:





Thursday 29th, Still Sunny

My plans to wear a woolly Basic for OWOP have had to be trashed in favour of this hybrid.  The top of the dress is New Look 6459 with added waist darts which have been merged into the Basic Skirt Block for the lower part.

This dress looks great with high heels, tanned legs and two months of a lower-stodge diet, but as it’s March I haven’t had two months to prepare!

Friday 30th, Birthday Boots

Out in claret corduroy and Nicotine  as I road-test the new boots I got for my birthday. 

So OWOP, I’ll associate you forever with sunny skies.  You’ve forced me to rethink my wardrobe, I discovered a top I’d forgotten I had and through reading others’ blogs, I’ve got more projects than even in my stash.  Ciao!