Tuesday, January 20, 2015

What do I think of Vogue Patterns' new spring 2015 collection? Not much.

I got home late last night, unhappily resigned to sitting down at my dining room table until 1:00 finishing the chem homework due the next day that I had put off in favor of sewing, when I checked my email.


Unfortunately, my enthusiasm waned when I actually arrived at the website :(

I had high hopes for Vogue. After a couple of shockingly mediocre collections, their fall 2014 series included several notable gems, such as this mouthwatering Mizono blouse, and this funky DKNY dress, and, my personal obsession, this Ralph Rucci coat, which I wasted no time in making up for myself.

But this time around, I'm afraid my friends, there are once more slim pickings.

Here are some of the better patterns I found. 

Kay Unger dress
This one, V1432, looks so plain in the styling that I almost missed it! Look at this line drawing! 

Isn't that seaming on the bodice so cool?! But if I were to make this dress, I would definitely be using alternating fabric for the strips on the bodice, because on Vogue's rendition you can't even see the detail! 


This Tom and Linda Platt jacket, V1435, looks relatively interesting, until the model turns around and you realize that the gentle draping that makes the back look so delicate and elegant makes your front look enormous and absurd because your dog ate the bottom half of your jacket! Oddly, I don't think I would mind the drapey silhouette if it were waist-length in the front as well; but something about the uneven hem seems to make her breast look saggy and her tummy look prominent...(which doesn't even make sense because the jacket doesn't even approach her stomach! It's just not good.)


Another jacket, this one V1437 from Ralph Rucci. It looks like he's reprising some of the silhouette he used for my favorite coat, with a lack of shoulder seams and interesting seam detailing. Unfortunately, this jacket is not nearly as flattering. Still, I think it's worth a look at the line drawing to appreciate the design. 

At first, I really adored this jacket (blouse?), V9096: 

Don't you love that layering? Those aren't just seam lines: they are actually overlaid flaps of fabric. Unfortunately, the more I looked at this design, the more I realized I would never make it because of how completely unfitted it is, and how difficult it would be to tweak it. The side seams are entirely straight--it makes the model look like a box. Looks like interesting but unflattering jackets are a theme this season. :/

Ok, the styling on this Donna Karan jacket V1440 is absolutely unforgivable. The fraying on the edges make it look like a cheapy jacket you would get at Forever 21. But if you look at the line drawing

It's actually kind of cool. I think it might look pretty sharp if you ditched the fringe! Plus the pattern comes with a basic pair of leggings (which is actually something I've been looking for...)

Bear with me (and try not to look too hard at that coat; it should come with a seizure warning!). 
I took a complete double take when I saw the line drawing for this coat (V1441)! Are those curlie-cues on the sides/back actually built into the pattern? Are those black lines the self-made "bias tape" mentioned in the description? Are those irregular roundish sections the "appliques" alluded to in the description, or are they pattern pieces that you pin down and cut out on the grainline and everything? In other words, are those wonky details just stitched and ironed on, or are they actually part of the construction of the coat? Even in the best case scenario, in which the construction of this coat is actually pieced together by sewing roller-coaster loops into the back of your coat, would I ever make this pattern? Probably not. It's a little too whimsical and much too loose-fitting...but at least I'm intrigued! 

I'm just including this Vintage Vogue pattern, V9082, because I'm almost viscerally drawn to vintage styling, and after so many unflattering and ill-fitting garments, this clean, snugly-fitting design provides a refreshing contrast.

I actually kind of like the little jacket :D

Look at this cute one!!!!

Oh, I was talking about the model, not the pattern...

(Though my brother might be excited about the prospect of a custom suit. Don't get any ideas, Max!) 

And then some of the patterns are just plain misses...

Today's fit blouse, V1443
That's one way to ensure elbow room! (Maybe I should make myself one to wear in the cafeteria...)

Vogue Easy Options dress, V9078
I don't even know what to say except who would wear this? The fabric doesn't go together, the design isn't interesting, and what's with the half-prairie skirt tacked onto the bottom?

Non-designer dress, V9076
This dress looks like an ugly nightgown. Or something that a barmaid in the Old West would wear. Or seafaring garb for a privateering wench. Seriously, if you made this in black and red and stripes with a big old brown belt, you could be a pirate for Halloween! 

But mainly, overridingly, this batch of Vogue patterns is just boring. 

Isaac Mizrahi dress, V1434
Tracy Reese, I'm disappointed in you! V1433
Basic blouse in boring fabric. V1436
There are more examples, none of which are worth linking to here. I mean, all of these are basic designs that everyone has seen a thousand times before. I can understand maybe putting out some Very Easy Vogue patterns to this tune--after all, everyone needs a simple block pattern once in a while--but from name designers? I expect better. 

If you want to browse further, here's the link to the new Vogue collection.

In sum: Do I desperately need any of these patterns? Nope. Will I buy any of them? Probably not (with the possible exception of the first Kay Unger dress I talked about). Am I disappointed? Yes. :( 

I think I've ultimately come to the conclusion that it's time to diversify the patterns I draw from. That probably means splurging on some Marfy patterns, sampling some Style Arc, taking advantage of the sale Joanns is having this week on Burda, experimenting with printing and assembling PDF patterns, buying some vintage designs, and digging into my mom's stash :) 

I'd love to hear what you think of the newest Vogue collection, and where you get your favorite patterns! What patterns are on your wish list? Comment and share!


  1. My taste is much plainer than yours but I wasn't blown away by this collection either (paradoxically, I'll admit to feel strangely drawn to 9076...) Sometimes it takes me awhile to see the potential for patterns, though. I think Marfy and Style Arc are next on my list, too, but I'm in no rush - I just purged my pattern collection and I still have more than I can possibly sew!

    1. Hopefully some of the designs will grow on me! Wow, I admire your fortitude in clearing out your collection! Ever since my mom showed me on ebay some amazing vintage patterns she used to own and had given away, I've taken a vow never to dispose of a pattern :)

  2. It seems to me that many modern patterns are designed to be dramatic instead of flattering. This is one of the main reasons I prefer to sew from vintage patterns, when Vogue had the starring role! Definitely check out your mom's patterns... Thanks for the perceptive review of the Spring designs!

    1. I think that's definitely the case with the newest Vogue release. I think the current fashion zeitgeist is to prioritize trendiness or styling over a flattering fit, which is a big mistake because the function of clothing is to make you look stunning! I always look for patterns that are both intriguing and flattering.

      Oh no, don't start me on vintage patterns! I adore vintage designs--especially from the 20s and 30s. The problem is, if I make the mistake of Google-surfing old patterns, it leads to a black hole of dejection and disappointment because it can be so hard to find copies of such old designs! I have my eye on a beautiful late 60s Vogue Paris Original pattern right now...I might be buying it with my Christmas money :) Thank you for your comment!

  3. Yeah, that mullet jacket would flatter exactly no one. And that's some tricky seaming on that yellow dress. It could look cool with alternating strips on the bodice, but then the rest of it is "eh" - like "we just did a sheath on the bottom."

  4. True--compared to that detailed bodice, the skirt is kind of a throwaway! But I don't really mind that too much--it lets the top shine.