THE SEWING DIVAS sewing, design, fashion

August 20, 2009

Vogue 1132, Fall 2009

Filed under: Mary Beth,Pattern Drafting,Pattern Reviews — Mary Beth @ 4:02 pm

A tricky, tricky pattern….  Did it attract your attention when you first saw it?  I know many liked it:  so urbane and stylish in Vogue’s envelope photo with it’s bias cut wide A-line (not circle) skirt, nipped waist  and flounced peplum.


It is offered in size 8 (bust 31.5, waist 24, hip 33.5) to size 22 (bust 44, waist 37, hip 46).

Let me start by saying that this is the hardest post I’ve ever done since I started blogging in 2006.    I have taken days to work up my courage.   I have had a total Blogger’s Meltdown and been paralyzed with fear.

This is a test.  It is not a wearable muslin.  Please don’t tell me how to fix this thing.

Just take the facts from this humiliating and public display of raw, un-photoshopped photos and determine if this is really a style that would work for you. Warning:  some photos maybe too graphic for delicate sensibilities.  Viewer discretion is advised.

First:  the skirt is 36″ long from the waist and 98″ in circumference at the hem.  That’s a whole lot of skirt for a short person and even a whole lot of skirt for a tall person.  It might work for someone who is over 6 foot tall.  I am not.  I ran up a test of my test to try to get a good length, cutting off 10 inches so it would be long but not too long and decided on this proportion for me:

Test Skirt

OK, the length is not bad but look at how the skirt front dips down? That’s because the waist band needs to be tighter to hold the skirt level at the waist. So cut it smaller than you normally would.

Also oddly, there is only one pattern piece for the front and the back. A back piece should be wider than the front by an inch or so as most people are wider across the back.

I only had an RPL (rayon polyester lycra) in a comparably sized plaid and I had plenty of it with no real plans for a serious garment. It is a bit beefier than a woven wool suiting but not by much so it became my “muslin” fabric.

Here’s the skirt:

skirt back

The plaid on the bias widens the back view…need I say more? It demands a jacket.

Here’s the jacket:

full back

Hmmmm, maybe I can stand to see it from the front???

side front

Oh , no, not so good either…well maybe a quarter turn will do?


Enough with the plaid already!

Not even adding a wide belt would help.

Perhaps done in a more muted plaid like the dark grey shown on the envelope…naw.  I don’t think that this jacket and skirt would work well together on anyone shorter than 6 foot tall and really, it’s not a good look for anyone who is over a size 2.  Oh wait, it’s not offered in a size 2.

So, to get on with this exploration and to relieve our eyes I’ll try to discuss the jacket while in some brown slacks


that’s a bit of relief from the plaid but, HMMMMM,  that peplum sticking out there…


It might lie flatter if made from a fabric with a looser weave but here’s the pattern pieces:

Peplum pieces

On top of the fact that there’s almost one and a half full circles of fabric over your behind, the jacket instructions and lining pattern piece have you line to the edge so there is an added line of stitching to stiffen those folds.

And the lining shows in the folds (you’re not warned, too bad I didn’t read the whole instruction sheet first!)

Peplum Lifted

Huh? You can’t see that in the photos on the envelope


I even have toyed with the idea of tacking the back folds into place but

what about those sleeves? They look nice and tight in the photo, even the armscye is low enough so as to compensate for the tightness of the sleeve

Sleeve Taper

but the pattern piece does not taper as much as it should to produce such tight sleeves

Sleeve Pattern piece

Refer back up to my jacket photos. I have cut an 18 and taken out an extra inch of width tapering from the elbow dart down to the sleeve hem.

Hmmm.   Somehow, it just does not look like the same outfit.

So my dear readers (I hope after these shocking photos I can still call you friends) I am going to close this chapter now.  I have mustered up the courage to post this and, if I were a rational person, I’d go on a week long vacation or a major margarita bender, which ever comes easiest, but when it comes to sewing and art, I’m just not that rational.

No loss to me of the fabric and my time is not as precious as it once was.  I’ll be all right.

I hope I have saved at least one of  you some time, fabric and effort.

sewing hugs to all 🙂


  1. SO tragic! This appears to be an excellent case of a deceiving pattern picture. Ugh. I think we’ve all been there.

    Comment by Amanda — August 20, 2009 @ 5:03 pm

  2. Thanks so much for your courage!

    Comment by Rachelle — August 20, 2009 @ 5:05 pm

  3. Okay after I stopped laughing at the commentary, you just reassured me that there was no way that pattern would work for anyone. Anyone with sizeable buttocks and those pleats on that jacket would be blowing in the wind like Sally Field’s habit in the Flying Nun! But thank you, thank you, thank you for taking the time to show us the “real deal” about this pattern!

    Comment by Carolyn — August 20, 2009 @ 5:14 pm

    • I was just thinking that i dodged a big bullet with that pattern. I was really looking at that one for my collection when they were on sale at handcock fabric. my buttocks is about 42 inches at the hips and the pleats would make the illusion worse!! but good effort all the same!!


      Comment by Lacey — August 21, 2009 @ 2:25 pm

  4. Don’t wad it yet!! Maybe it needs a good dry cleaner’s press. They flatten out everything.

    Comment by susan — August 20, 2009 @ 5:22 pm

  5. Perhaps you have to stand with your pelvis thrust forward so that the pleated peplum lays in the same plane as the skirt. My goodness that model’s back is arched, isn’t it?

    Well you get a gold medal for your attempt and your generosity in showing us all the results. You no doubt have saved me time, fabric and effort. My head knows that peplums + my hips = tragedy but I still want to imagine that the outfit will magically transform me into the 100 pound model on the pattern envelope. Perhaps if I thrust my pelvis forward…

    Comment by Lori — August 20, 2009 @ 5:31 pm

  6. You are very brave in showing your ….less than pleasing results. I agree not a good look, move on.

    Comment by Lisette — August 20, 2009 @ 5:44 pm

  7. How lucky you are to have such a great sense of humor! Thank you so much for sharing your adventure.

    Comment by Martha — August 20, 2009 @ 5:50 pm

  8. Don’t ya just hate when that happens? Thanks for the heads up on this pattern and for the humourous post!

    Comment by Shannon — August 20, 2009 @ 5:52 pm

  9. 🙂 Thank you for such an honest review and sharing
    detailed photos. It’s a shame it didn’t work out.
    However I actually do like the fabric and it looks great
    paired with the brown pants 🙂

    Comment by Ann's Fashion Studio — August 20, 2009 @ 6:02 pm

  10. I really love that jacket, although I certainly could not wear all that back fluff. It looks rather like a bustle. It definitely has a vintage feel. Sigh.

    Comment by Gwen — August 20, 2009 @ 6:09 pm

  11. Now that I have stop laughing, I must commend you for trying it. You were so very brave.

    My sister-in-law has a rule: if she can remember wearing a style when it was last fashionable, she won’t wear it again. Why? Because she knows it won’t look as good the second time around. Peplums were popular 20 years ago and I was four pattern sizes smaller. I am not going anywhere near a peplum! I would definitely look like a duck from the rear. LOL.

    BTW. I worked for a pattern company for 12 years. Unless things have changed in the last 20 years, that model is wearing a sample suit made from a size 10 pattern, is about 5’7” tall and a B cup. There’s not a style that wouldn’t look good on her!

    Comment by Mpressive Threadz — August 20, 2009 @ 6:34 pm

  12. *lol* You’ve convinced me I need to immediately find and sew up this pattern..

    But.. I am really into the neo-victorian / steampunk / historical costuming thing. To me a jacket with a bustle on the back of it is a prize indeed!!

    I can totally understand for most people this would be a down-side though.. but thank you very much for the heads up!

    Comment by Omega — August 20, 2009 @ 6:37 pm

  13. Thanks for the courage and the smile! Some patterns are just wadders… The length on the plaid was great on you though!

    Comment by Arlene — August 20, 2009 @ 6:53 pm

  14. Thanks so much for the great review and for confirming my suspicions about that pattern. I had added it to my wishlist when the fall patterns first came out but then had second thoughts when I got to the fabric store and had the pattern envelope in my hot little hands. I’m still kind of keen to try out a jacket with a peplum (I missed them the last time around and I’m slightly deficient in the lower half so the extra fluff might balance me out a bit) but I don’t think it will be this one. You can add me to the list of those grateful souls you have saved from wasting time, energy and fabric.


    Comment by Sara — August 20, 2009 @ 7:09 pm

  15. Ohhh nnnnooo!

    I can’t imagine anyone who’d look really good in this. It’s a total time and energy sink.

    Comment by Nancy (nanflan) — August 20, 2009 @ 7:10 pm

  16. It’s more likely the model is taller than 5’7″, but you are right, anything would look good on her. On the rest of us, no. I’d have to join the crowd in running from this pattern and I am 5’9″ though definitely not a size 10 B. You are a brave soul Mary Beth.

    Comment by Theresa in Tucson — August 20, 2009 @ 7:11 pm

    • No, that model is only 5’7″ – look at those heels! And she may be what the pattern company calls a “size 10”, but she’s actually closer to a 6 or 4! I have seen, up close & personal, a pattern model (in an Andrea Schewe design, no less), and that girl was at least 15-20 pounds lighter than I was when I was a 10, in college (And I never thought I’d see an adult with less breasts than I had in high school!!!).

      That being said, I am 5’10, and may go get that pattern – when it’s on sale….

      Comment by Susan — August 30, 2009 @ 11:05 pm

  17. I must say….. I just love your blog. I am a new reader and you are great. I don’t think I will ever sew as well as you can, but I do enjoy hearing about your sewing adventures and hope that some of your knowledge rubs off on me 🙂

    Comment by Tracie — August 20, 2009 @ 7:31 pm

  18. This is a lesson for us all. Try to choose a pattern with a made-up photo not just line drawing (which you did); be analytical about what makes it work in the photo and how you compare to that in reality. So this is a very generous post (as usual).

    That being said (and not knowing you), I actually love the peplum. You have a very saucy/sassy shape and the jacket has a feel of librarian from the front and Johnny Depp’s first-mate from the back. You could certainly shake your tail-feathers in it!

    Comment by susan — August 20, 2009 @ 9:26 pm

  19. I actually think the jacket and skirt look nice on you when paired together–makes a nice hourglass look with the peplum. It seems to be an outfit that works best together and not as seperates.

    Comment by kim — August 20, 2009 @ 10:52 pm

  20. You are funny!! and have lots of courage. Thanks for sharing. I know you ask not to tell you how to fix… and I will not:-) Ok… just a little please? 🙂 But from what I see here, I think the “thingys” in the back of the jacket are folded toward the “back” (kind of towards the inside seams) , which would make their (the thingys) seam in the middle, and, may be, the lining not to show…

    Comment by Creative Busy Hands — August 20, 2009 @ 11:22 pm

  21. Sorry this didn’t turn out as you’d hoped. Thanks for sharing anyway! I remember seeing this pattern and thinking that peplum couldn’t be flattering on anyone. It does look great in the model photo, though, of course. 🙂

    Comment by Jenny — August 21, 2009 @ 3:27 am

  22. Ouch!

    Thank you it WAS on my TO BUY list!

    Comment by Sue — August 21, 2009 @ 3:33 am

  23. OMG, thank you so much for this! I have that pattern and I was contemplating making it for fall. Now? No way. You saved a lot of people a lot of headaches.

    Comment by Gorgeous Things — August 21, 2009 @ 5:56 am

  24. Well, I don’t know. Don’t you think it sort of looks like something from the 1940s?

    Comment by sharon — August 21, 2009 @ 6:13 am

  25. Oh no, no, no, this can’t be true! This was the *only* new Vogue that made my heart go pitter-pat when I saw it!!! I love this style, and I’m certainly not 6ft tall, nor a size 2. I’ve contemplated making it because the gorgeous 40’s/50’s jacket I recently bought has similar style lines. When I tried that jacket on, I loved it, I loved the way it made me look (very hourglass figure). It has been a long time since I really fell in love with a garment and loved how I looked in it. I might just have to try this one anyway . . .

    Comment by Summerset — August 21, 2009 @ 7:24 am

  26. Not a successful style for you perhaps, but a great post about what happened along the way.

    There are aspects to this pattern that could be salvaged if one needed to translate some of the details, but only if one is willing to go thru all that work and frustration for uncertain results.

    You look great, even if your garment fell short. (Much better than me in my muslin of the vintage sheath dress, revealing not just the flaws of the fit…)

    BTW, did you notice that your plaid matching was much better on the back than Vogue’s envelope photo? I admire your courage in attacking this project in a large scale plaid.

    Well, at least you saved your nice woolen for another day.

    Comment by georgene — August 21, 2009 @ 11:12 am

  27. I have to say, I think the plaid looked great. The jacket armscye had some issues, but the peplum was cute as pie!! I say, if you have junk in the trunk, celebrate it, show it off!!! But that’s me, I wore a bustle gown for my wedding!

    I would have basted and steamed the heck out the peplum pleats to get them to lie better. Thanks for the demo!

    Comment by Rachel T — August 21, 2009 @ 11:50 am

  28. This numbers among one of the greatest sewing blog posts I have ever read. Thank you for sharing this. I learned oodles about Vogue patterns (which had been pretty much the only pattern company I ever bought patterns from until recently); and about picturing oneself in the pattern. Not to mention the necessity of muslins………(grin!) Thank you!

    Comment by Peg in South Carolina — August 21, 2009 @ 1:28 pm

  29. Thanks so much for the review. I concur, sometimes what looks great in the photo just doesn’t translate to real life. I love jackets like that, so your review was particularly helpful. Think I’ll opt for something else.

    Comment by Suzy — August 21, 2009 @ 1:38 pm

  30. I love your sense of humour, I was too busy laughing about your warning I was not traumatized from watching your photos. Thanks for your review. I didn’t know wadder was until I made one last month ^hikko^`¸¸¸^;;;p^p^;`4log

    Comment by chantal — August 21, 2009 @ 2:42 pm

  31. Thank you for a good laugh!! I thoroughly enjoyed your review! It is a shame the pattern envelope is so deceptive. Your construction is superb, though.

    Comment by Kathi — August 21, 2009 @ 8:15 pm

  32. I had been eyeing that pattern too. Thanks so much for your honest display. You have helped so many so much.

    Comment by Bunny — August 21, 2009 @ 8:30 pm

  33. I think the length was perfect on you and the skirt looked nice. The jacket did not do the outfit justice. I think the skirt would look nice with a white shirt and black sweater.

    Comment by melanie — August 21, 2009 @ 10:57 pm

  34. I have done this type of mess many times.Usually I am not smart enough to start with material that does not matter. I love the way you detail all the flaws. Thanks for the honest review.

    Comment by Karon Scott(Nana) — August 22, 2009 @ 8:02 am

  35. I think it actually looks quite nice! Non-sewers would never notice the things you mentioned in your post.

    Comment by Julie — August 22, 2009 @ 9:04 am

  36. Thanks for the humor in sharing a project that didn’t quite work out as you hoped! That said, I think the general cut of this pattern looks good on you! I do think that it would look better in a subtle plaid, or plain fabric, but then I grew up having to wear wild plaid pants (hand-me-downs from my sister) several years AFTER they were in style and ever since then, I’ve stuck so plain or subtle prints, especially on the bottom.

    As far as the fit of the jacket, thanks for the warning about the armscye and the lining showing. I have this pattern, I think I’ll print this out and put it in the envelope, just in case I work up the courage to give it a try.

    Oh my, I’m still giggling…..Thanks!

    Comment by JustGail — August 22, 2009 @ 12:31 pm

  37. Ok, regardless of how the practice garment turned out, I have to give you props for your mad plaid-matching skills. It’s beautifully sewn, even though it didn’t turn out the way you’d hoped.

    Comment by Heidi — August 22, 2009 @ 3:41 pm

  38. Oh, thank you for the laugh, and for sharing your experience.
    Of course, I already sewed some garnments that looked good on the picture, and awful on me. It is a relief to know that this happens also to advanced sewists. 🙂
    I loved the picture of this patten too, but experience already told me it was not for me. It is a shame, because the pattern in itself is beautiful.

    Comment by vero — August 23, 2009 @ 1:38 am

  39. Thank you for this great review. Believe it or not, I’m still crazy enough to try this pattern, but I have learned a few things from your review. One is not to use the fabric that I had originally picked out (similar color scheme to your plaid). I will, instead, go with something dark. For some reason, I always loved the peplum and still do. It appears that, if I do choose to wear it after I’ve sewn it up, I’ll look like Mrs. Swiggins from the Carol Burnett Show. I don’t know why I plan to torture myself, but I do.

    Comment by Christy — August 23, 2009 @ 1:37 pm

    • Oh, I do hope you’ll make it up and show us all! Maybe you could come back here and leave a comment with a link? That would be soooo cool.

      I just know this pattern will work much better on the right figger and in the right fabric, taking into account some of the things I’ve found out.

      So if anyone does try it I hope you’ll share!

      Comment by Mary Beth — August 23, 2009 @ 3:44 pm

  40. What a great post, and altho’ I’m sorry it didn’t work out for you, I have to thank you for blazing the trail and making the ride so entertaining. Really that is a special talent, to turn the face of disappointment on its head.

    Comment by Mardel — August 23, 2009 @ 5:28 pm

  41. Thank you Mary Beth. Us shorties have a rough time, don’t we? Still, I really like the skirt on you.

    Comment by Cindy — August 24, 2009 @ 8:19 am

  42. Funnily enough, I’m with Omega – thanks for alerting me to this pattern for my steampunk costuming efforts. I think it will look great on me, since I’m going for that victorian bustle look, and I have a deplorable lack of derriere.

    The plaid matching you did is amazing. I am nowhere near that corageous.

    Finally, looking at the pattern photo, it seems to me that the circles in the peplum were actually ironed or tacked under the smaller rectanguar bits rather than sticking out as you have them. You could try tucking them under and see if the effect is better.

    Comment by Gaidig — August 24, 2009 @ 10:22 am

    • Oh boy! I hope you do make this up and show us!

      I, too, was thinking that tacking/tucking the peplum’s excess would be the way to handle the bustle. I was stopped by the other extra work that this pattern creates: the sleeves. I’m not an expert at drafting sleeves for me. Yet.

      Comment by Mary Beth — August 24, 2009 @ 11:37 am

  43. That is why I make my own patterns. That way I do not have to worry about whether it will fit or not, it just will 🙂

    Comment by irene — August 25, 2009 @ 5:48 am

    • I agree with you. I too can make patterns, but not everyone can. But if you can sew a Vogue Pattern (especially with those MADD PLAID MATCHING SKILLS) you should be able to make the clothes fit the propely. Some ladies get hung up on the size but we need to concentrate on the measurement. Hardly any of us fit those patterns,(especially ethic people) and if the waist fits probably the hip probably won’t. Also, we should always read the pattern directions through before we cut (she said she didn’t). We should also make certain that each pattern piece is the right size for us, and most importantly; just because it don’t look exactly like that jacket cover doesn’t mean it doesn’t look good. Obviously the woman who posted this blog doesn’t look like that model, why should she? Maybe a plaid not as bold. I believe she could have made that pattern fit more flatteringly, if she had wanted to. She wanted to show what was not right with it and she did. I think she did a good job and could have easily made it look fabulous, but she choose not to.

      Comment by MZ ANNE — September 4, 2009 @ 12:43 am

  44. Mary Beth, thanks for your strength and willingness to show your experiences with this pattern. I have generally liked the Vogue Wardrobe line of patterns. This particular one, I liked the bias skirt and the complexity of the jacket. However, I was very hesitant as I went back and examined the photos of the suit. I was concerned how the jacket gapes in front, and, as you pointed out, had a low armscye. Yes, the peplum details can be overly pronounced (IE rooster tail) depending on the hand/drapability of the fabric. I love this in a plaid, but there is a lot of lines to match.
    You did a great job on a very big project. Not everything works out as planned. Thanks for your humor.

    Comment by Molly — August 25, 2009 @ 10:36 pm

  45. maybe, if it had been in a very very muted check or plaid light weight fabric…….it is a bit better with the solid pants. those pattern companies need a swift kick in their peplums…

    Comment by cari b. — August 26, 2009 @ 1:05 pm

  46. Thanks for this very enlightning post.
    I am sure it will save many of us from being disappointed.

    Comment by Marie-Noëlle — August 27, 2009 @ 3:41 am

  47. Oh rats. I was hoping you were going to reveal some magic secret for making that jacket work for a short, rounded lady. I don’t mind my curves, but I generally try to avoid clothes that make me look “fluffy”.

    Comment by Annette — August 27, 2009 @ 11:38 am

    • Annette: If you take a good look at the shape of the peplum you can see why it won’t lie flat (and thus not work so well for the short and round). It really needs to be made with inverted pleats, not a simple flare. A proper pleat with seams would allow pressing and tacking to control the flare. On my muslin, I have too much flare over the hip as well, and that could be easily removed. On us perhaps a pencil skirt would be much better, too. Or wait, even a mini with over-the-knee boots!!!!

      Comment by Mary Beth — August 27, 2009 @ 7:22 pm

  48. OMG, thanks for this public service announcement. The pattern did not match the photos. That is fraud. Did you write Vogue about that?

    Comment by Grace — August 27, 2009 @ 8:31 pm

  49. I thought it looked cute until I saw the side view. Then it was a “super no” in my book. I wonder if making an old-fashioned two piece sleeve would have been a better idea for the pattern makers to give it a more tailored look. I also didn’t like that lining showing– there should have been some option in the pattern to prevent that if you didn’t want two-tone frills on your peplum.

    You were brave and honest and I hope your post helps many people with their decision on whether to buy that pattern or not.

    I’ve had different results than the pattern drawings or photos several times and know how you feel.

    Comment by Amy Lynn — August 27, 2009 @ 10:07 pm

  50. Loved the blog entry !!

    Your struggles with this pattern reminds me of problems I’ve had with photos of knitted and crocheted sweater patterns. If a model is in a forced pose, with limbs and posture “just so”, or scarfs artfully draped over collars, arms folded across the waist, models in a reclining posture .. all hiding the reality of how a design really works up or fits, run, run away from it. If a sample barely works on a tall svelt model, it could be a disaster on a “real” woman.

    I once worked on a magazine fashion shoot. They used doublesided tape, clothes pins, and and even temporary basting to make the clothes look as if they fit right on the models, who were posed in flaw hiding postures. In one photo, which looked great when published, I knew there was an assistant [me!] just out of the camera frame, holding the back of the jacket to keep the shoulders and side seams from riding forward.

    To be fair to designers, not all styles suit all figure types. We need to look carefully at the patterns, with a dispassionate, reality based eye. Long wide skirts with snugly fitted and generously flared peplum jackets are unlikely to flatter anyone short or larger than a size 14. The proportions will be wrong even if it fits, and all the alterations and wishful thinking in the world won’t make the garment a success when worn.

    Comment by Mimi — August 29, 2009 @ 11:32 am

  51. Great review, thanks for the warning about the pattern.

    About that peplum in your test garment….. it looks more like godets, to my eye. The Vogue photo looks like they have pressed theirs down to resemble a box pleat, and probably stitched (ha! more likely pinned or super-glued…) them in place. Have you tried that? The bias plaid is rather distracting back there, and the Vogue photo doesn’t have that at all. (perhaps they had to doctor it up for the photo)

    And there’s always the proverbial wadder bonfire . . . I remember another one here on your blog . . . ;o)

    Comment by Doris W. in TN — August 31, 2009 @ 5:06 pm

  52. I once retrieved a beautiful red velvet Perry Ellis jacket from the “For Goodwill” box at home. I believe it was bought in the 1970s. Although the label said Size 12, it fit me perfectly in the shoulders. I’m a Size 2. But it had a slight peplum, I have a butt, and it was completely unwearable. I finally gave it to one of the most androgynous-looking women I know. She’s straight up and down and can wear anything — damn it.

    In a way, it’s easier knowing I’m pear-shaped and that there are only a few shapes that really flatter me. It saves time.

    Comment by Reader — September 3, 2009 @ 1:33 pm

  53. Loved it. Thanks for the shot of courage, the laughs, and the pictures. You made my day.

    Comment by Savannah — September 8, 2009 @ 12:11 pm

  54. […] the fun with the new Vogue 1132 pattern that I blogged about at The Sewing […]

    Pingback by Sewing Slim Pants and Leggings « The Stitchery — September 11, 2009 @ 4:10 pm

  55. Mary Beth….you and I are of similar figures. Thank-you for saving me from this pattern! But I must add you did a FABULOUS job matching that plaid !

    (also must add, that you are so darned pretty that you look good in anything, even a badly drafted pattern)

    Comment by Pam ~Off The Cuff~ — September 12, 2009 @ 12:36 pm

  56. I actually like the jacket and I think it looks good on you. I like the peplum, then again, I have no booty so I anything that makes me look like I do gets bonus points from me.

    Comment by June — September 12, 2009 @ 5:48 pm

  57. hi all
    ive graduated from the london college of fashion and have been following your blog for a in new york on holiday at the moment with my parents.ive always wanted to sew like a diva but never could as in most fashion colleges they focus more on “design” than teaching us how to draft a beautiful pattern,sew/fit/alter it to create the most perfectly made ensemble for one’s client.i have very basic knowledge of pattern cutting but there are lots of loose ends that need to be tied up first, before i can move on to making complicated garments like jackets/suits and evening/bridal gowns.what i want to know is does anyone know of private tutition/classes where they teach you to do all this.i dont want to study at FIT/parsons because a)im an international student so i have to pay a minor fortune + ill have to apply for a student visa b) its going to be the same old “design” oriented course where i eventually learn very little. i believe they have short courses but those are not for foreign students.can anyone hlep me out here.i would like a very short term intensive course and am willing to travel

    Comment by rito — September 26, 2009 @ 11:52 pm

    • i forgot to add-i have a tourist visa, so i can stay here for 6 months at a currently staying with my sister in sudbury, near boston but am willing to shift anywhere nearby, like new york for example.i would like to learn as much pattermaking/draping/tailoring/dressmaking/pattern fitting and alterations as possible in six months so it would have to be pretty intensive, unlike the beginners evening/weekend sewing classes that you sometimes get here in new york.pls pls help!
      a designer with talent but NO sewing

      Comment by rito — September 27, 2009 @ 12:01 am

  58. Rito, I can’t help you as far as recommending a school but I will tell you that it’s going to be near-impossible to perfect these skills in 6 months no matter how intensive the training.

    Comment by Gigi — September 27, 2009 @ 10:32 am

    • what i meant was i can stay for 6 months at a stretch.i have to go back say for a week or two and return to the US and continue with the tuition for another 6 months…and so on and so forth. this option is valid for ten years.i believe one year is enough to learn the basics isnt it?the only condition is i wont be allowed to work(which is fine by me as had i been an international student at FIT i wouldnt be allowed to work anyways) and i will have to show proof of the fact that i can provide food/lodging for myself for the period of stay in the US(what are sisters for???).i would like to learn as much as i can from a good patterncutter/tailor/seamstress or perhaps some vocational school/polytechnic(which doent involve the “design” bit)in a years time and practise on my own when i go back

      Comment by rito — September 27, 2009 @ 11:02 am

    • gigi are you interested?

      Comment by rito — September 27, 2009 @ 11:03 am

      • Rito: I understand your desire to learn to the best sewing techniques. Most of us have been sewing 30-50 years and have invested much time and money, have had great teachers and took classes, built a library, studied, and practiced, practiced, practiced. I suggest that you do the same and wish you well.

        Most sewing persons are very big spirited and willing to help but for us this is a life long skill and cannot be taught without great dedication and time. The Sewing Diva’s blog comment area is not the appropriate place to make this inquiry. You need to ask someone who is actively teaching or soliciting students.

        Diva Emeritas Phyllis has pointed out the Boston Center for Adult Education. Start here.

        Comment by Mary Beth — September 27, 2009 @ 12:06 pm

      • apologies divas.just getting frustrated with the system here.a lot has changed since 9/11. earlier if were an international student and you wanted to attend US colleges/institutes for short courses no one bothered whether you had a student or tourist visa.nowadays its all they care about, even if you just want to learn how to cut and sew women’s dresses! just thought private tuition was going to be my only alternative to the restrictive atmosphere in college courses. never meant to hurt anyone’s feelings.once again sorry ladies…and some gents of course

        Comment by rito — September 27, 2009 @ 8:54 pm

  59. Rito: Apparel Arts [ ] in San Francisco has a program that might suit you. You can work as fast or slow as you like. I have a couple of friends who have gone thru some of the courses there. Check it out…

    Comment by georgene — September 27, 2009 @ 1:57 pm

    • thanks georgene.have emailed them.waiting for the reply

      Comment by rito — September 27, 2009 @ 8:44 pm

  60. Thanks for posting that and making it funny to boot! I have wondered why it is so unrewarding to sew for my 48 year old self and yet lots of fun to sew for my teenage daughters. Maybe it is the pattern grading that isn’t properly done? In anycase I also have problems with arms too tight, lengths too long, and poor fit across the shoulders.

    Comment by Cynthia — October 2, 2009 @ 12:46 am

  61. I enjoyed your blog, your photos, and all the comments—Can’t wait for your next intrepid sewing adventure!
    We’ve all made up a pattern that just didn’t work for us.
    I like to look at the symbols on Vogue patterns for body types; they may have saved me from some mistakes. But they don’t take height into consideration. And they are not foolproof—especially since I often feel like both kinds of triangles and the big “block” too.

    Comment by Meg — October 7, 2009 @ 12:10 pm

  62. Loved that vintag-ey pattern when I first saw it, but at 5’2″ and a zaftig figure there isn’t a hope in h*ll of looking like anything but a short, plaid butterball.

    The only way it would work for me is if the (solid color) fabric is very soft and the skirt is bias cut.

    I would wear the longer length with a high-heeled boot.

    Comment by joanmm — December 11, 2009 @ 12:46 am

  63. Hi there…I am new to your blog and enjoying it immensely!
    I wanted to comment even though this is an older post.
    Could it be that be lengthening the back of the jacket slightly so that the top of the peplum/pleats hit lower changes the silhouette of the jacket to make it more flattering on a less waifish figure (ha how ya like that? Just came up with that one off the cup. lol .. I am the bearer of a non-waifish figure myself. hehe)

    Just what popped into my head. And I do agree that a less bold fabric would probably have suited the cut and style of the pattern also. But my do I LOVE that suit style as its shown on the packaging!

    Comment by Kathie — December 21, 2009 @ 5:32 pm

    • Less waifish figure? LOL, where’s that delete button? Just kidding.

      A very dear lady is making this jacket and she is much more waifish than I. She, in fact, raised the waistline a tad. You can find her blogging away at Pins and Needles, in posts entitled “Vogue 1132 Vintage Plaid Jacket”. She also made it up in a bright red earlier in the Fall.

      Comment by Mary Beth — December 21, 2009 @ 5:53 pm

  64. One thing I can see with the peplum is that the fullness is on the outside. It seems that on the pattern photo they depict the fullness of the peplum folded to the inside. Maybe that is why the lining shows to the outside of the peplum. I’d be interested to see if folding the fullness to the inside and pressing makes a difference.

    Comment by ladyguinevere61 — January 24, 2010 @ 1:34 am

    • Hi Lady Guinevere: if the peplum were shaped differently pleats would work but with a curved bottom edge you would still see the lining. Anyway, that’s why I showed the pattern piece to you all. So, the pattern picture was taken, being pressed down as you suggest, and the bottom edge is not shown in the picture. And now it is obvious why the pattern was photographed this way. It is meant to be a flounce across the back. I would have made a faced hem had I not been in such a rush to finish this muslin.

      Comment by Mary Beth — January 25, 2010 @ 9:45 am

  65. I am relieved it was not just me that had this experience with this pattern – particularly the jacket. I had exactly the same disappointment with my ‘proper’ muslin of this jacket in a jacket-weight fabric. I also found a lot needed to be taken out of the arms to make them more fitted as suggested in the envelope illustration, but the fundamental problem is entirely with the lined flounce at the back of the jacket. I just couldn’t find any way of getting it to sit in a flattering fashion. I also don’t think it’s a height thing with this pattern – I’m 5′ 10″. It’s just not at all comparable with the pattern photo, and I suspect, beyond any point where pressing will fix all the woes…

    Comment by Another victim of this pattern — February 12, 2010 @ 5:36 am

  66. Well, Mary Beth, I’m so glad you posted this, though I didn’t see it before I made some heroic/hilarious attempts at a bias plaid skirt on my own. I can now retire that effort with honor. I’m four feet ten inches and stretching out of a large in misses clothing. Doomed from the start. But, I thought some of my students in Beginning Sewing might want to do something like this. I can now give them the benefit of my attempt and retreat. Thanks for making it easier for the rest of us. I salute you and think you are beautiful inside and out.


    Comment by Carla — November 13, 2010 @ 1:24 pm

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