Monday, July 14, 2014

Embarrassment of Riches - Vogue Early Fall Patterns, 2014


What's happened?!

Have I died?!

Am I dreaming?!

I just laid eyes on the Fall 2014 collection of patterns from Vogue and I can't believe what I am seeing.


I barely know where to start.

They've been listening!

Now, before I go further, let me say that there are far too many ruffles, jabots, cravats, and pussy bows in this collection for my liking, but that is really a small quibble given the bounty of riches. Women who favor a classic look and have a bust that can pull off these embellishments should be happy. For example, I normally love Mizono designs, but this one, as cute as it is, would overwhelm many women and would never work on me.

Vogue 1413

Another example of the ubiquitous pussy bow is on this Guy Laroche top:

The technical drawing shows a very interesting sleeve and a center front zipper under that pussy bow. (OK, I admit it. I really hate pussy bows.)

Vogue 1416

There are lots of dresses, yes, but there are some cool dresses. And, overall, there seems to be a much better mix of dresses and separates. I see a decent selection of pants, skirts, and tops. There are some basic patterns with "twists", but also some challenging patterns. It feels like a better mix than we have been seeing in past seasons. This also seems like the largest offering of patterns that we've seen from Vogue (at one go) in recent memory.

Am I wrong?

There is some great detailing and interesting seaming galore. There are lots of princess seams (and variations thereof), which give you great opportunities for fitting.

I love the direction that I am seeing!

To do a proper review, I should probably break this up into multiple posts, but I don't have time for a proper review, so I'll just dive in.

Here goes...


First, they have heard that we want more interesting details. Oh yes. There is a bounty of patterns with interesting seaming. Look at this LBD from DKNY. At first glance, it might look cute but conventional:

But check out the seaming:

Vogue 1408

This top is also unusual. It has forward front seams (and no side seams):

And see those horizontal lines? Those are darts! That's thinking outside the box.

Vogue 9020

Margy was looking for skirt patterns recently. How about this beauty?

Vogue 9031

The fall offerings include many variations on a sheath dress, which is a popular silhouette right now. Here's one, a DKNY that I can see on Carolyn (Diary of a Sewing Fanatic):

Vogue 1407

And another, this one a Donna Karan, which is her high-end line. (To be truthful, I don't care for the fabrication they've used, but I respect the seaming!)

Vogue 1409

Oh, Ralph Rucci, how do I love thee? He is a Prince of Seams. (I won't be making these garments for myself, but I admire the unusual construction.)

Vogue 1419

Vogue 1404


I love asymmetry and it's very big right now. So much asymmetric goodness in these patterns! It is fussier to cut and sew an asymmetric pattern, but the result is really worth the effort.

Do you have a double sided ponte and a penchant for a fitted dress? This one is fun and can show a double-sided fabric to advantage:

Vogue 9024

I've been thinking of drafting a top similar to this Linda and Tom Platt design:

But I actually prefer the second view on this pattern:

Vogue 1415

This Rachel Comey dress has an asymmetric neckline, waistline ruching, and a kicky back godet. It has a real retro feel to it and would be great on the right woman. (I can see this on Laura Mae!)

Vogue 1406


There are some interesting silhouettes. Look at Lynn Mizono's other offering. It would be difficult to carry this off with my uber busty figure, but, wow, it would be gorgeous on the right woman. (I am thinking that my friends Heather and Dorothy would rock this one.)

Vogue 1410

This Donna Karan pattern features such a dramatic top! And just look at the back seaming on those pants! Such a pity that the pants feature front pleats. Front pleats are very unflattering on most women except for the very thin. Believe me... I lived through the pleated pants craze of the 80s. They really do not flatter most women who don't have model thin bodies.

Vogue 1417

Another sheath dress. This pattern is classic and seems to be straightforward.

But look at the technical drawing. See that gentle curve on the shoulder yoke? That's the sort of detail that appeals to me. It exhibits a subtle sense of good design that has been mostly lacking in recent years. It's very good to see.

Vogue 9019

If you have a waist and can wear a wrap style, this top looks like a winner to me. It has sewn-in tucks and is worn on top of a skirt or pants. The pointed hem is flattering and the soft peplum effect would help to obscure a belly. The sewn-in tucks mean that it should stay put better than most wrap tops - it should be less fussy to wear. And you can easily close it with snaps or buttons if you want to avoid using the belt. (I see that the pattern actually calls for snaps.) I can see this one on TinyJunco!

Vogue 9037

This basic 4-gore skirt might seem pedestrian, but it will hang beautifully as it's designed on the bias. It features a raw-edge hem, but you can easily hem it if you prefer.

Vogue 9030

Look at this beautiful princess seamed coat. Again, a fairly classic design, but the front princess seams end in angled pockets - a nice detail. There is a dramatic shawl collar variation, and a Peter Pan collar variation. (OK, here's the truth. I detest Peter Pan collars. I wore them in Kindergarten and Never.Again.)

But this is a great coat, classic, but with a twist. There are several variations for the sleeve hems. If I were to make this and wanted it to be warm, I'd make the Peter Pan variation, as it offers more coverage, but I'd swap out the collar. If I wanted an elegant evening coat, I'd make views D or E, maybe with some special embellishment on the collar. Though, to be completely honest, I'd probably scale back the size and shape of that collar a bit.

Vogue 9040

Misses (D'OH!)

There are a few patterns that you might want to look at very carefully before diving in. I call these "misses", as in "sewist beware."

For example, consider this raglan sleeve top. There is no place where it really fits the body - it hangs from the shoulders (or bust, as the case may be.) This is the sort of top that can easily look like a maternity top.

Vogue 9027

This vest is kind of cool. It has potential, though you will probably be happiest making this with a drapey fabric, and maybe adding a closure. I do like that there are back shoulder darts.

But I would be wary of pairing this vest with this skirt. I think it would skew to frumpy and dumpy very quickly. And the pleated pants... Unfortunate. Not my favorite look.

Vogue 9034


There is a gorgeous jacket and pants pattern for MEN! No dull bathrobe or boring blazer that we've seen a million times before. This pattern is seriously cool.

Vogue 9041


I am past caring about kids patterns (and grandkids are too far off), but they have even brought back classic girls designs with two new patterns. It just seems right that Vogue should have these available, doesn't it? This is for those tykes who need to dress up for Gramma's house on a special holiday, or maybe to see a big production of Nutcracker. (For cool everyday kids wear, stick with Burda or similar.)

Hits (My Favorites)

I've shown a lot of patterns that I admire, but I may not buy, as some don't suit me, or are just not my style.

What do I plan to add to my collection of patterns?

I don't have a long list, but I am fairly enthusiastic about these designs.

This Marcy Tilton jacket and pants are very cool. Unfortunately, I will have to modify the jacket to remove the swing if I want to make it for me (swing jackets/coats really don't flatter me), but the design is quite cool. I looooove the pants, which have a harem vibe. (I am disappointed there is only one new Tilton pattern in this collection, but at least it's separates and includes two garments!)

Vogue 9035

These Sandra Betzina pants are a Must Have for me.

It's easy to think, "oh, just another pair of pants with narrow legs", but look at the delicious seaming! I would wear these for everyday, but they would also make a really fun pair of work-out pants.

Vogue 1411

This Sandra Betzina jacket is interesting. It has a "western shirt" vibe to it.

But I actually prefer the alternate view. What great lines, including French Darts and the collar that slightly stands up! Yes, yes, yes.

Vogue 1418

And I love the funky princess seaming on this jacket and the fun pointed sleeve hems! That little inset contrast neckline is a design feature we've seen many times in RTW, but not that often in patterns. I love it!

Vogue 9039

I've mentioned the following patterns earlier in this review, but I also plan to buy these.

I'd modify this skirt to remove the zipper, and change it to an elastic waistband. I'd probably not color block it (though I might topstitch the seams) and I wouldn't wear anything tucked in. I would probably make it out of a ponte or double knit. Swishy swishy.

Vogue 9031

For this cowl top, I'd remove the flare at the hip and make this out of something with lovely drape, like a sweater knit.

Vogue 1415

Oh, I love this jacket. Yes, it's for men, but I bet it could be adapted. Just look at all that lovely detailing!

Vogue 9041

So, what are YOUR thoughts? Do you see anything you like? Anything you think I missed? (I definitely had to leave some goodies out - there was just too much to cover everything.)

I was hoping to finish my denim coat this evening, but I ran out of hardware!!! ARGH! I have to order more (it's not available locally), so there will be another delay. Besides, I spent my entire evening dashing off this post, which I wrote quickly, but it took hours. :)