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. :)


  1. Saw the new release earlier and I was hoping you would do a review as I love to hear your take on them. I suppose because autumn sewing doesn't do it for me but I didn't see anything that called my name. However I did see a few that I think will be great on others. The Rachel Comey dress is very pretty. And the little gir's coat is cute, as someone who has made a few a new pattern is very welcome.

  2. I completely agree - there is something for everyone in this collection, I think! There are lots that I love for their seaming and detailing, but in term of those that I'll be buying because they work best with my body shape and lifestyle are 9035, the Marcy Tilton separates; 1410, the Mizono dress; those fantastic 1411 seamed pants; Very Easy Vogue 9022; and possibly 9026, the knit top with angled seams and neckline variations. I adore the DKNY and Ralph Rucci ones too but cannot imagine them on me. An excellent selection, and I'm looking forward to seeing completed garments appearing on the blogosphere.

  3. I agree...this is an exciting collection. I'm always pleased to read your reviews. I was ambivalent about a few that you renewed my interest in! We'll see if I can narrow down my list of must haves tomorrow :)

  4. I definitely agree – there are some wonderful design details here. I rushed right over to the site when I received the email notice, and while I could pretend to be disappointed that there are only one or two that I will purchase (and you caught one of them!) I am thrilled to see complexity!!

    To be fair to Vogue, most of the runway/magazine fashion is not thrilling me of late so I would not expect contemporary patterns to do any different, but when the pendulum swings back I am crossing my fingers that the awesome seaming and details will remain in their drafting.

    1. Laura - can I add an amen to the runway/magazine fashion not so thrilling lately! I've been so uninspired by what the designers have been showing recently. So happy there were at least two from this very varied collection that you liked.

  5. Wow. How exciting - so many interesting seam lines and design features. I may actually be tempted to make a purchase this release!

  6. Interesting indeed! Loving all the details.

  7. Thank you for the great review, I love the Marcy Tilton and I hadn't noticed the second view of the Sandra Betzina jacket so thanks for pointing it out it's totally my style . I am with you on pussy bows and Peter Pan collars , ugh !

  8. I thought it was a nice collection! I added several looks to my wish list.

  9. So glad you liked the collection!

  10. What a great service you provide with your detailed review...I had already put my first likes in my wish list, but, as always, your sharp eyes uncovered some details that I missed on my first run-through. Yay to Vogue for listening and doing!

  11. I hadn't noticed the Marcy Tilton harem-esqe pant until you pointed it out...very cool! I don't normally like that type of pant, but I really want it now. All in all, the collection is great. I think they took a step forward to make each pattern unique instead of making them all generic to try to appeal to everyone. Not everyone will like each pattern...but we all have favorites that we're super excited about. And instead of just buying the patterns and stashing them, we'll buy and make!

  12. Good review Sharon!! I always learn something from these posts. Like Margy, I already have a few on my wishlist but perhaps I will add more after reading your words. The classic blouses really work for me, with some slight frilliness for a special occasion.

  13. oh, nice review Sharon! my first thought on these grouping was 'it's like the olden days! yay!'

    i agree with you on the lovely details and nice variety of gala/office-business/casual pieces. I loved Vogue in my teens and twenties because you could get those elegant design touches like the lack of side seams plus mucho front and back seams on the DKNY dress, the great little inset on the jacket collar, combo of princess seaming + darts plus spread back slit on the 9019 sheath dress. This collection also seems much more on-trend, and on multiple trends, than collections of the last several seasons.

    I noticed that 9020 separates look like an interpretation of Hot Patterns Plan and Simple Essential Shift Dress and Top.

    That wrap top is very nice, how fun of you to think of me! i am thinking of it with the shawl collar and the longer length for an equestrienne vibe. And my faves are pry the two at the top - i looove the nice, non obvious waist definition on the Mizono top with all those gorgeous ruffles! It would be easy enough to make the ruffles either less wide or fold out some of the fullness and leave off the 'fall' off the waist for a less dramatic take on this top.

    And that Guy Laroche pussybow blouse is TDF! Sharon, i know you hate the bow but one could easily convert it to a stand worn open to showcase those incredible voluminous sleeves. Yum! talk about a splurgey luxe blouse for winter in a heavy silk :)

    I am really digging that Ralph Rucci dress, i think i could leave off the sleeves and make it up in linen for a v. wearable summer piece. I also am very keen on both of the Mizono dresses, i like the bubble hem on the shorter one but would like it better a bit longer. Maybe i could lengthen the shorter one? Both looks would be heaven here in our evil hot summers.

    All in all this collection is very exciting to see - let's give our encouragement to Vogue to keep on in this direction!! steph

  14. My first look at the new ones left me with a "meh" response, However, as Margy mentioned, you brought out details and ideas I'd not imagined. I'll have to re-survey the offerings now.

  15. It's always fun to read your accounts every season. I love all of the details you pointed out!

  16. I was surprised to see such an extensive fall collection and although I doubt I will purchase any of these patterns (although I'm considering that Ralph Rucci coat) as they are not my style. I was a bit sad to not see any vintage vogues. I do commend vogue for such a fashion forward offering and how they are listening to their customers. I actually did think of you for some of those designs they chose!!

  17. It was interesting! I thought I would buy some patterns right on the spot in anticipation of the fall release however, not so much. I love Marcy Tilton but her styling is not flattering for my figure. I keep looking and buying her patterns, but have only made a T shirt pattern by her so far. I love the fabrication of her latest ensemble. I am sold on the Sandra Betzina Jacket, without the trim. I think that is the only one I am considering purchasing. I will be looking on her Power Sewing website for support videos too. It is fun to share in the excitement of the vogue fall pattern release. (others in my life don't get as excited….)

  18. I would have completely missed some of the goodness just by skimming over the line art (the horizontal bust darts on V9020, for example, which is a recommended fit adjustment for my build). I looked at the patterns when I received my magazine but because I'm new to this, I didn't really know what I should be looking AT, so to speak, and they all looked intimidating. Now I think I'll have to forge boldly ahead. So glad you review these, thank you!

  19. Thank you for taking the time to write this post, Sharon! It always helps to see the offerings through your eyes. ANNNNNDDDDD! they included finished measurements! Thanks again and again for working with McCalls!

  20. Beautiful, yes! But what really works here are the photos and the styling. Personally, I believe there is a great version of most patterns they offer.

  21. What a great review on the new Vogue patterns! There are some very interesting looks in this release. Interesting shapes, which unfortunately won't work on me as anything remotely 'boho' looking makes me look like a little kid who raided an artist's closet...but there are some wonderful classic designs that have my name ALL over them :) So excited about those beautiful sheath dresses...and, yes...those blouses with the "pussy"!

    Shams talked...Vogue listened :) And we thank you!

  22. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your well thought out critiques. I jumped over to ClubBMV and put six patterns in my Wish List for the next sale. And thanks, too, to TinyJunco for the Hot Patterns observation. I like that one much better than the V9020 and can't wait to order it and make it up. Why Vogue, of all companies, would choose to style that pattern cover like that is beyond me.

  23. Thanks for showing the potential in this collection; I had been unimpressed until reading your reviews. Now there are four more on my list to buy. None of which have Peter Pan collars or pussy bows.

  24. I will definitely do 9035, the Tilton jacket and REALLY the trousers. Thinking about 1410, the Mizono dress, but would do a quick and dirty muslin to decide if it would flatter me. And I'm not really much of a dress person. - Heather

  25. Baseball fanatics have spring training, Fashion fanatics look for the September issue of Vogue, and Sewing fanatics look forward to viewing and analyzing the Vogue pattern releases. :) I'm very impressed with the new patterns. I love the Sandra Betzina trousers (1411). Marcy Tilton's 9035 trousers look great. I'm looking forward to seeing someone interpret the Donna Karan dress (1409) and the DKNY 1407 dress. DKNY 1408 is a great skater dress with a difference. I am amused by the Mizono ruffled tops--they remind me of the fun times in the 1980's (good memories) when I wore pirate inspired outfits. I'd have to figure out how to scale down the ruffles, if I wore them today.

  26. First - it has to be hard to please the majority of the sewists out here since we all sew so differently BUT this is one of the first times that I think Vogue has actually managed to give everyone a little sumthin' sumthin'! Yes, that DKNY dress is already in my cart cause you're right it screams my name! *LOL* But there were quite a few others that I really liked and will probably pick up.

    I love that Vogue listened and that there is such diversity in this offering. Very few of us will need to wait out this cycle for the next pattern offerings to feel the Vogue love!

  27. I love your detailed review! I hate not hearing from you as often as we did (pre-Google), but when what you say is so potent, how can we complain? I have already posted the Tom and Linda Platt white top to my Pinterest board as one of my favorites, and have also wishlisted the Tilton jacket (V9035) on the site....not so much the pants, though (sorry). I will make a purchase when the detail of the double-buttons shown in the photo is clarified. The technical drawing do not show this option, and they are (in my opinion) the appealing feature of the jacket. I am a fan of the Rachael Comey dress, and hate what you are calling the 'pussy bows' featured in the collection, but I will be adding the white ruffled top featured in V1413. Maybe it's because I have such a large white blouse collection. Thanks for taking time to post your review...I look forward to seeing how you convert them into 'Sham-eless' creations. I know...corny...but you get my drift!...;D

  28. great review; thanks for taking the time to do it!

    I too hate bows and ruffles and Peter Pan collars. But I love several of the other patterns. And even with the ones that don't speak to me, I appreciate the attention to details.......

  29. p.s. i'm with you on the guy's coat. Depending on how small the sizing goes i may even whip one up (ha! turtle sempstress here) for the Mr.!

  30. I really liked the Ralph Rucci coat. Very nice and the men's jacket is something that just might end up under the Christmas tree this year. Also super nice.

  31. I'm so excited about some of these patterns -- especially the Ruccis!

    And thanks for pointing out 9037. I never would have looked at it twice, but I think I need to get it now.

  32. I just got my first ever issue of Vogue Patterns and I fell in love with a couple of them. I did not realize they do not put the whole collection in the magazine. It seems designer patterns only make the magazine. Thanks for the grat review. You always find things I totally miss and widen my choices. Not that I need that kind of help you know. Karen in Illinois

  33. Great review! I love seeing all the seaming details.

  34. Great review, Shams! To set the record straight on my new pattern which I call the intentionally un-matched 'suit'. The jacket is not a swing jacket, it is cut and hangs straight in spite of the appearance otherwise in the line drawing. The pants are straight lined, fitted smoothly in the hip and waist, not full, with no side seam, a side dart and front and back seams. The unconventional bit is an easy to make origami fold at the hem which nips in the width and creates a little dimensional side fold. They are definitely not 'harem', but a spin on a smooth waist clean lined trouser. Thanks for your wit, wisdom, insights and good sense of humor!

    1. Hey, Marcy! Thanks for setting the record straight! The line drawing for the jacket definitely looks flared at the hem. I agree that the pants aren't harem pants, but the pleat at the hem give them, to me, a harem vibe. I know I will love those! Thanks for your great designs and keep them coming!

  35. I love it when you post about the new patterns! This time the one I like the best (for me) is 9027...not one of your favorites, so that's unusual. And yes to Sandra Betzina's pants...1411.

  36. Thanks so much for this post! This is great info and a real service to the sewing community. I love the new Lynn Mizono dress and the asymmetrical blouse! And more good stuff from Marcy Tilton! Vogue really does seem to be listening.

  37. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I know your post took precious time, but I want you to know what a gift it is to us less experienced sewists!

  38. Great review!! I was also very pleased when I sew the new release...awesome collection of beauties!!

  39. Wow! I haven't been on the website, so had missed these. Now I'm looking for the next Vogue sale - I must have some of these patterns! Thanks for the helpful review. I appreciate your comments because so many designers designs look best on small busted women - that doesn't help me much!

  40. I too was impressed with the new fall offerings from Vogue. You actually pointed out a few more designs that I just over looked that had some appeal.

  41. but also some challenging patterns. It feels like a better mix than we have been seeing in past seasons.

  42. I agree, it was a good collection. Vogue 1413 (the one with all the ruffles) looks as though your curtains got sucked into your sewing machine :-)

    I bought the Sandra Betzina jacket as it reminds me of one of Sean Young's suits in Bladerunner.